Jasper Philipsen won stage 3 to Bayonne in a bunch sprint finish ahead of Phil Bauhaus and Caleb Ewan. It’s the third Tour de France stage victory and the 30th career win for the 25 year old Belgian as well as the fifth Tour de France win for Alpecin-Deceuninck. Adam Yates retained the overall lead.
POWLESS AND PICHON IN THE LEAD
The start of stage 3 was given at 13.14 to 174 riders. King of the Mountains Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) was first in action. He was joined at the front right after flag off by Laurent Pichon (Arkea-Samsic). Powless added points to his account in the King of the Mountains competition at Trabakua (km 13.8) and Millol (37.8) to mathematically secure the polka dot jersey at least until the Tour reaches the Pyrénées on stage 5. A time gap of 3’ minutes was recorded after 30km of racing. 37.2km were covered by the leading duo in the first hour of racing. Before the intermediate sprint at Deba (km 65.8), stage 2 winner Victor Lafay (Cofidis) escaped from the peloton to score 15 points behind Pichon and Powless in order to defend his green jersey.
PICHON FIRST IN FRANCE
At km 112, after having crested the four categorized climbs in first position, Powless sat up and left Pichon alone in the lead. Pichon entered France with an advantage of two minutes over the peloton and 60km remaining. It was down to 40’’ fifteen kilometres later as the teams of the sprinters entered in action. After 156km in the lead, Pichon was reeled in with 37km remaining. No breakaway took shape in the finale as sprinters’ teams set a high tempo and GC teams made sure their captain remained well positioned.
VAN DER POEL LEADS PHILIPSEN OUT
Intermarché-Circus-Wanty paved the way for Biniam Girmay to win his first Tour de France stage but the masterpiece in terms of lead out was made by Mathieu van der Poel at the service of Jasper Philipsen who started the 2023 Tour de France the same way he finished 2022. After winning his second stage on the Champs-Elysées last year, he claimed the first bunch sprint this year, pipping on the line Phil Bauhaus who is taking part in the Grande Boucle for the first time. Caleb Ewan rounded out the podium. Adam Yates retained the Maillot Jaune.