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Philipsen denies Cavendish with third stage win

Vingegaard holds on to yellow jersey, Kuss stays in 10th after Stage 7
Team Jumbo-Visma helped keep leader Jonas Vingegaard, right, in the yellow leader's jersey with its performance on Stage 7 on Friday in the Tour de France. (Courtesy of Team Jumbo-Visma)

Jasper Philipsen of Alpecin-Deceuninck won Stage 7 of the Tour de France on Friday, capturing his third stage win in the last week and strengthening his grip on the green points jersey. Christophe Laporte and Jonas Vingegaard led the peloton with about 3.5 kilometers to go, but then teams started jockeying for position for their sprinters and the Jumbo-Visma riders let them go.

Two of Philipsen’s teammates gave him a good lead out into the final kilometer. On the final straightaway, Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) sprinted out in front with a powerful attack, but Philipsen countered and was able to pass him just before the finish to deny Cavendish a record 35th stage win. Cavendish and Eddy Merckx are currently tied for first all time at 34 TDF stage wins. Philipsen, meanwhile, has won all three of the sprint stages so far in this year’s Tour.

Vingegaard ending up finishing 22nd with Laporte by his side to hold on to the yellow leader’s jersey. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) crossed 25th to stay 25 seconds behind Vingegaard in the GC in second place as the top-12 cyclists in the general classification didn’t change.

Durangoan Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) finished 50th in the same time as Philipsen to stay in 10th place in the GC (+5:28).

“On days like this, it is essential for us to get to the next day without any problems,” said Jumbo-Visma coach Merijn Zeeman. “The team did an excellent job keeping Jonas out of the frenzy today. It's a strong team effort and nice to see. We hope to do the same on tomorrow’s stage. Maybe there will be a chance for Wout van Aert in the final. If we get that chance, we will grab it with both hands.”

Durangoan Quinn Simmons of Lidl-Trek finished 165th on the stage in a group with King of the Mountain jersey wearer, American Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), finishing 3:05 after the winner on the mostly-flat 169.9-kilometer stage.

Mads Pedersen had Lidl-Trek’s top finish, placing 10th on the stage while scoring 17 points to move into fourth in the points race. Team leader Mattias Skjelmose remained in 21st in the GC (+8:47) with a 43rd-place finish on the stage from Mont-de-Marsan to Bordeaux.

The standings in the team race also stayed the same, with Jumbo-Visma holding onto its lead another day and Lidl-Trek staying in eighth.

“It was relatively easy today,” Vingegaard said. “The temperature was over 30 degrees (Celsius), but I didn’t mind. The morale is excellent. If you had told me at the start of this Tour de France that I would be 25 seconds ahead in the yellow jersey after these seven stages, I would have signed for it in a heartbeat. We are all happy with the way things are going at the moment.”