In a thrilling display of athleticism and strategy, Jasper Philipsen of Alpecin-Deceuninck clinched his 18th win of the year during the Tour of Turkey's Stage 4 in Marmaris. This marks his third victory in the tour, further solidifying his reputation as a dominant force in the world of professional cycling.
Navigating through the peloton in the race's final stretch, Philipsen strategically positioned himself on the left, creating an opening that propelled him ahead. With a brief assist from Cees Bol of Astana Qazaqstan, Philipsen overtook Giovanni Lonardi from Eolo-Kometa just moments before crossing the finish line. Timothy Dupont of Tarteletto-Isorex secured second place, followed closely by Lonardi, while Bol settled for fourth. Despite the intense competition, Stage 3 victor Alexey Lutsenko of Astana Qazaqstan maintained his overall lead.
2023 has been a landmark year for Philipsen, who has now surpassed cycling sensation Tadej Pogačar in terms of victories. Although Miguel Ángel López boasts 20 wins this season, some of these were achieved in regional South American races.
Philipsen's Triumphing Journey
Reflecting on his achievements, Philipsen shared, "Post-Tour de France, we aimed for new milestones. Winning is my passion, and striving to be this year's top victor became a personal challenge. This pursuit kept me driven during the season's latter part. While being the victory leader is symbolic, it's a recognition I cherish."
The road to victory wasn't without its challenges. Philipsen and his Alpecin-Deceuninck team had to counteract Nico Denz of Bora-Hansgrohe and manage multiple attacks before reaching Marmaris. Earlier, Jay Vine of UAE Team Emirates, despite facing health issues, made several daring moves, causing temporary splits in the peloton. However, unity was soon restored.
Denz's solo venture seemed promising, especially with a 3:50 lead. Yet, the combined efforts of Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè and Alpecin-Deceuninck gradually closed the gap. Despite a brief resurgence, Denz was overtaken with just 13.5km remaining.
As the race neared its climax, teams jostled for dominance. Philipsen, momentarily isolated, opted for patience, eventually using his unmatched sprinting prowess to secure the win. Recalling the race's final moments, he said, "I remembered the 2021 race dynamics and anticipated a group sprint. Despite the challenging climb, the expansive road to Marmaris made it tough to maintain a lead. We took a risk, but it paid off with this win."