Dubai: UAE Team Emirates rider Jasper Philipsen celebrated his first win of the season with a dominating performance on Stage 3 of the Tour du Limousin, late on Thursday.
The Belgian timed his move to perfection with a burst of power in the closing 200 metres to come around Jake Stewart of the Groupama-FDJ team and take a clear victory, just 24 hours after his teammate Fernando Gaviria had claimed the team’s first win of the race.
It was Rui Costa who made the first decisive move on the final climb of the Cote de la Trassoudaine with 13km left to race in a select group of four riders. The group would swell on the descent with the Emirati squad taking control of the bunch with 4km to go.
Philipsen surfed the wheels until the uphill kick, guided by teammate Costa, before claiming his maiden win of the season and the 18th win for the team.
Costa finished eighth on the stage also to slip into eighth in the General Classification, just 16 seconds behind race leader Luca Wackermann of Vini-Zabu.
“It was a really hard stage with the most meters of climbing than any other day this week. For me, it was a push to be there in the final but we had a strong team and the guys controlled it for me nicely in the last kilometres,” Philipsen said.
“Fernando was really good yesterday and it gave me motivation to do something also today. I am happy my condition is growing and that I could finish it off with a win. I didn’t so much expect a win this week but I hoped it would come. The last couple of years I’ve had a lot of top-fives and podiums so to finally get another win is satisfying,” he added.
Friday’s final stage will take the riders from Lac de Saint-Pardoux to Limoges over a distance of 167km in what is set to be another sprint finale.
1. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) 4:36:21
2. Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ), same time
3. Benjamin Declercq (Arkea Samsic), same time
1. Luca Wackermann (Vini-Zabu) 13:20:06
2. Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) +5s
3. Kevin Ledanois (Arkea-Samsic) +7s
8. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) +16s