Dubai: UAE Team Emirates rider Jasper Philipsen confirmed his rising status with a second place in Stage Four of the Vuelta a Espana late on Friday.
The 22-year-old Belgian rider, who will join the Alpecin-Fenix team next season, put up a strong display to sprint home into second place of the Vuelta held from Garray to Ejea de los Caballeros covering a distance of 191.7km.
Putting in the hard work earlier on was the UAE duo of Rui and Ivo Oliveira as Philipsen arrived first into the final corner with 250 metres to go and get a huge jump on his rivals. Only stage winner Sam Bennett of the Deceuninck-Quickstep team was able to come around the Belgian in the dying metres to snatch a win.
Philipsen has been in good form this season while topping the Sprints Classification on the Tour Down Under and winning Stage One on the BinckBank Tour and Stage 3 on the Tour du Limousin.
“Everything went well for us as a team. The boys did an amazing job in the final just as we had planned. The whole time I was in pole position to take the win and with 50 metres to go, I felt I had it,” Philipsen said.
“In the end, Bennett came from behind with a lot of speed. I have no regrets about my sprint, as did as planned and it didn’t exactly work out in the end. I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the stage win, but the second spot still gives me the confidence to go all out for wins on other sprint stages here.”
This marks the best result in a Grand Tour stage for Philipsen, who will now look towards the next sprint opportunity which is set to be on Stage 9.
David De La Cruz remains the best-placed for the UAE Team Emirates in the General Classification with an overall 12th place and 2.31 minutes adrift of leader Primoz Roglic of Slovenia.
Saturday will see the riders go from Huesca to Sabinanigo covering a stage distance of 184.4km with four categorised climbs coming within the last 50km.
1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quickstep), 3:53.29
2. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates), same time
3. Jakub Mareczko (CCC), same time
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 16h30’53”
2. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +5s
3. Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers) +13s
12. David De La Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) +2’31”