Jasper Philipsen of the Alpecin team won his third stage of the Tour de France in Bordeaux on Friday, overtaking veteran Mark Cavendish at the line.
The 38-year-old Cavendish, looking for a record-breaking 35th stage career victory in the Tour de France, led, but Philipsen passed him to win as Eritrean rider Biniam Girmay third.
The 25-year-old Philipsen won all three stages which ended in bunch sprints and on the 2km long home straight his teammate Mathieu van der Poel again led the Belgian to pole position. .
Many people braved the baking heat on the banks of the Garonne river in Bordeaux believing they would witness a vintage Cavendish set an all-time record of 35 stage wins.
The last time the Tour de France finished in downtown Bordeaux was in 2010, when Cavendish was in his glorious prime, and where he produced his trademark victory roar when he won the stage.
In Friday’s seventh stage of this Tour they instead witnessed Cavendish’s clever bid that was denied by death as he crossed the cursing line.
Girmay, of the Intermarche outfit, was supposed to be the first Black African to win a stage but the 23-year-old narrowly missed out as he finished third.
In the overall standings, the defending champion Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey ahead of Slovenia’s two-time champion Tadej Pogacar of the UAE Team.
Saturday’s eighth stage is another flattish affair with a 200km race from Libourne to Limoges, although there are three small climbs near the end, meaning a sprint is possible, as is a late run. – escape.