Tour de France Stage 10: Relaxed Pace Turns Fierce as Philipsen Secures First Tour Stage Win

After a leisurely ride through the French countryside, a powerful sprint sees Philipsen take the win in Orléans to Saint-Amand-Montrond.


BY MICHAEL VENUTOLO-MANTOVANI |

Stage Winner: Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
GC Leader: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)

After a brutal first week and a much-needed rest day, the Tour de France eased into its second week with an almost wholly flat tenth stage.

Stretching from Orléans to Saint-Amand-Montrond, the stage gained just 925 meters in elevation over its 187.3 kilometres and featured just one sprint segment, fifty-seven kilometers into the day.

And with a mighty mountain stage looming tomorrow, the peloton spent much of the early part of the day on what looked more like a Saturday café ride than the biggest race on Earth, chatting, smiling, and maintaining an almost wholly human pace around twenty miles per hour.

The pace finally picked up on the last 5 km of the relaxed stage. In a sprint led out by Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), his teammate Jasper Philipsen came off his wheel and sprinted to take his first win in this Tour, closely followed by Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) in second place, and Pascal Ackerman (Premier Tech) securing third.

“I’m happy we could play to our strengths, and everybody got a deserved win.”

Asked if the long-awaited win brought a sense of relief, Philipsen said, “I think you can say it like that. Last week was not a great week. It was an endless week for us. But I’m happy and relieved we can show our strength with our leadout train. It was what we came for.”

“By stage ten, it had been five sprints without a win,” he added. “But I’m happy we could play to our strengths, and everybody got a deserved win.”

How Stage 10 Unfolded

Finally, after the peloton neared the 5-kilometre mark, a trio of riders—Harm Vanhoucke and Maxim Van Gils of Lotto-Dstny and Kobe Goossens of Intermarché-Wanty—attacked in an effort to set up their sprinters, Arnaud de Lie and Biniam Girmay, respectively, for the day’s intermediate sprint.

Shortly after, van Gils sat up, joining a two-man chase group between the leaders the peloton, leaving Vanhoucke and Goossens off the front, where their lead quickly increased to well over a minute on the peloton.

Goossens crossed under the green banner first, collecting the maximum of twenty points. Vanhocuke was directly on his wheel. A minute and twenty seconds later, Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Jasper Philipsen outsprinted the group, netting third in the intermediate sprint. For a moment, it appeared as though Philipsen deviated from his line—a move he’s become infamous for—blocking Girmay. But replay showed that it may have been a case of narrowing barriers blocking Girmay’s move.

Straight out of the sprint, Vanhoucke sat up and waited for the peloton to catch him, leaving Goossens as the lone leader for a short time. A few short kilometers later, Goossens did the same, constantly peeking over his shoulder to see when the peloton might swallow him back up.

With some sixty kilometres to go, as the race finally faced strong winds blowing across the open French countryside, the day’s pace ticked up noticeably. What was a day of relative leisure suddenly became something of a bike race again.

But even as the kilometres ticked down, the race showed an unusual lack of urgency until the final few kms. With less than 16 km to go, the pace was still well under thirty miles an hour, with no sign of teams organizing for the final sprint.

It wasn’t until eight km remained that the day’s fireworks, at long last, started to go off as teammates found each other, and the peloton’s speed shot up to the high thirties, the forties, and even the low fifties.

Tensions were especially high between the Alpecin-Deceuninck and Intermarché-Wanty teams, as both knew this was a prime stage for Jasper Philipsen to close the gap in the green jersey competition or for Biniam Girmay to put more of a stranglehold on it.

Around the day’s sweeping final turn, Alpecin’s leadout train—highlighted by current World Champion Mathieu van der Poel—was lined up perfectly, delivering Philipsen to the final few hundred metres and toward his first stage win of this year’s Tour with relative ease.

Girmay mitigated the damage, however, nipping Premier Tech’s Pascal Ackerman and Visma-Lease a Bike’s Wout van Aert at the line to capture second-place points.

READ MORE ON: 2024 Tour de France stage 10 Tour de France

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