Jasper Philipsen edged out a thrilling sprint to secure his first stage win in this year’s Tour de France on Tuesday. The Belgian, known for his powerful finishes, capitalised on the flat 187-kilometre route from Orléans to Saint-Amand-Montrond, which lacked classified climbs and set the stage for a mass sprint.

Biniam Girmay, who has already celebrated two stage victories, finished second, while Pascal Ackermann claimed third place. Despite the excitement, the overall leaders’ standings remained unchanged. Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey, maintaining his 33-second lead over Remco Evenepoel and more than a minute ahead of two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard.

Philipsen, who had finished runner-up twice last week, expressed his satisfaction: “Today everything worked according to plan. We came to the Tour de France with the goal of winning at least one stage. I’m really happy that we can now tick that box and go further in the Tour with more confidence in the team.”

The stage was largely uneventful, with the peloton enjoying a picturesque route, including a pass by the 500-year-old Château de Chambord, despite intermittent showers. The race resumed after the first rest day without significant disruptions.

Alpecin-Deceuninck had experienced a fruitless opening week, making Tuesday’s victory a much-needed boost. Roubaix winner Mathieu van der Poel expertly led Philipsen to the win, a combination that had been almost unbeatable in the previous year’s Tour. “I’ve said a few times that last year almost every sprint was a success and went perfectly, but that’s not always the case,” van der Poel noted.

Van der Poel’s delight was evident as he discussed the stage: “Today we were all incredibly motivated. There are only a few more chances for us as a team. I’m glad we took our chance now.” His lead-out performance ensured Philipsen’s victory, with the team’s tactics proving flawless in the crucial final moments.

The final kilometre saw Alpecin-Deceuninck occupy prime positions, with van der Poel opening the sprint and Philipsen cruising to victory. Reflecting on their strategy, van der Poel mentioned, “That last corner was crucial, so it was a good decision to let Jonas [Rickaert] and Robbe [Ghys] take their turn a bit earlier. It worked perfectly.”

Peloton
(Photo credit: Charly Lopez)

For Team dsm-firmenich PostNL, the stage was less favourable. Their sprint train lost formation in the chaos of the final kilometres, leaving John Degenkolb to secure seventh place. Coach Matt Winston commented, “We were together as a team over the hill in the finale but in the fast downhill towards the five kilometres to go mark we got a bit disconnected there and never really came back together with the sprint group.”

Wout van Aert also found himself just outside the podium, finishing fourth. Despite a strong lead-out by Christophe Laporte, van Aert had to settle behind Ackermann, Girmay, and Philipsen. “I’m satisfied with this fourth place, although I certainly could have been third,” van Aert said. “I was well placed towards the crucial corners in the final kilometres, but there I let myself be pushed away a bit too much by the others.”

Mark Cavendish was another notable figure unable to contest the sprint. He lost contact with his lead-out men in the technical final kilometre, missing the chance to extend his record for Tour stage wins. “I don’t know why the boys went – as I get there they went, we weren’t supposed to go til later,” Cavendish remarked. Mørkøv, Cavendish’s experienced lead-out man, explained that the team’s tactic to move up towards the last chicane didn’t go as planned. “Unfortunately, Cees [Bol] and I, we lost Cav on that last two k’s, and I don’t think he came around in that good of a position,” he said.

As the riders look ahead, stage 11 promises to bring the challenges of the Massif Central mountains back into play, adding another layer of excitement to this year’s Tour.

2024 Tour de France Stage 10 result

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Main photo credit: ASO – Billy Ceusters