In a remarkable season filled with triumphs, Belgian cycling sensation Jasper Philipsen of Alpecin-Deceuninck is gearing up for a thrilling challenge in professional cycling. As he basks in the glory of a stellar 2023 campaign, Philipsen is not content with resting on his laurels.
He is set on seizing the coveted green jersey at the upcoming Tour de France, where he'll go head-to-head with the formidable Wout van Aert of Jumbo-Visma. The year 2023 saw Philipsen claim victory in an astonishing 19 races, including an awe-inspiring four stage wins and the prestigious green jersey at the Tour de France.
His dominance extended beyond the Tour, as he impressed the cycling world with a remarkable second-place finish in the grueling Paris-Roubaix. Wout van Aert, the reigning points classification champion at the Tour de France in 2022, made a mid-race exit this year to celebrate the birth of his second child.
Yet, even before his departure, Philipsen's stranglehold on the standings was unmistakable.
Philipsen's Tour Ambitions
Looking ahead to the next season, Philipsen is acutely aware that the battle for the green jersey will be fiercer than ever.
The Alpecin sprinter is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for victory. "I want to make it a goal to win the green jersey as much as possible. I was fortunate that Wout van Aert didn't complete the race this year, but with my exceptional sprinting and climbing abilities, I should be a formidable contender every year.
I believe I can provide strong competition for Wout," Philipsen affirmed in an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws. Beyond his ambitions for the Tour de France, Philipsen is also determined to build upon his strides in the Spring Classics during the previous season.
His triumphs included victories at Classic Brugge-De Panne and Scheldeprijs, followed by a remarkable second-place finish in Paris-Roubaix, where he shared the podium with his teammate Mathieu van der Poel. "My podium finish in Paris-Roubaix forged a connection for me.
I am now confident that I can vie for victory in races of such caliber. It's a progression I've long desired in these races, and I intend to continue in this vein alongside my sprinting pursuits," Philipsen explained. As he sets his sights on future challenges, Philipsen remains determined to clinch titles in the Belgian Championships, the European Championships in nearby Hasselt, and even a shot at the coveted Olympic road race in Paris. However, he acknowledges that securing these spots will be fiercely competitive in professional cycling.