Kasper Asgreen surprises the sprinters in Moûtiers and conquers the 18th stage

Featured in a four-rider breakaway, the Dane (Soudal-Quick Step) held on as the peloton returned on Thursday to take his maiden Tour victory.

The scenery looked like it was stitched with white thread, but everything was upside down. After six grueling stages which left no chance for the sprinters to shine, Jasper Philipsen and the big thighs were expected in Moûtiers on Thursday 20 July. But the breakaway, which never had more than a minute and forty seconds to spare, resisted the return of the peloton and Kasper Asgreen won.

First victory in the Tour de France for the winner of the 2021 Tour of Flanders, first success for his Soudal Quick-Step team in this edition, who had lost his card in the sprint, Fabio Jakobsen, a week earlier.

The indefatigable driver, who took most of the stints at the front of the race, sorted out his fellow breakaways, finishing ahead of Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto Dstny) and Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X). A hair’s breadth behind these three men, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) crossed the finish line in 4th position, ahead of the other sprinters. The Belgian will not be entitled to his fifth success in this edition of the Grande Boucle.

Philipsen authoritative, then overwhelmed

However, the latter had assigned his teammates to secure the chase, and also benefited from the work of other formations such as Jayco-Alula and DSM-Firmenich. When attacks rocked the peloton on the Boissier coast 80km from the finish, the green jersey, himself, had played the police. He had, for example, jumped behind the wheel of Pascal Eenkhoorn, before approaching him to intimidate him. But the Dutchman ended up fleeing, later rejoining the three components of the initial escape, including his teammate Victor Campenaerts. A welcome reinforcement that weighed in the balance upon arrival.

At the end of this transition phase there are no upheavals in the general classification. Jonas Vingegaard remains firmly attached to his yellow jersey. There has been no change either in the identity of those wearing the distinctive shirts: Giulio Ciccone keeps the polka dots, Jasper Philipsen the green shirt and Tadej Pogacar the white shirt. Wout van Aert left the race to attend the birth of his second child and Simon Geschke withdrew, exhausted.

Add a Comment