Fabio Jakobsen gave Quick Step its second victory in two days, both at the expense of Jumbo-Visma’s Wout Van Aert, with a brilliantly timed acceleration in the bunch sprint at Nyborg, Denmark. Jakobsen came from third place on the right side as Van Aert and Mads Pedersen of Trek were dueling for the stage victory, with the Dutchman showing a darting burst of speed just before the line to win by half a wheel. Van Aert, like yesterday, had to settle for second place — and the points jersey, and now with time bonuses the maillot jaune as well.
The win was extra sweet for Jakobsen, for any number of reasons. First, it marks a new milestone in his comeback from a horror crash in 2020, which put his career in jeopardy, only to see him rebound all the way to the very top. Secondly, it is a big step up from his previous best, taking stages and the points competition at the Vuelta a España, in terms of prestige at least. Finally, it puts to bed any angst at Quick Step and among the fans of Mark Cavendish, whose Tour exclusion spawned any number of internet “theories” as to why. Was this about Cav being out of contract and looking for a new team at year’s end? Was team boss Patrick Lefevre protecting the record of 34 stage wins at the Tour, shared now by Cav and Eddy Merckx, from slipping out of Belgian hands? Or was this just about who the best sprinter was?
Yesterday Lefevre said “everybody has to shut up if we win,” so commence shutting up, folks.
Meanwhile, the yellow jersey is somehow a first for Van Aert, who was already one of the most decorated riders on the planet. He doesn’t even have to worry about his lifelong nemesis Mathieu van der Poel wresting it from him, as the Dutchman sits 14 seconds back and will have to do something pretty big to overcome Van Aert’s ability to pick up bonus seconds seemingly at will. Van Aert leads the points competition by a single point over Jakobsen, thanks to the intermediate sprint where he picked up 13 points and which Jakobsen did not contest — suggesting that the real battle will feature Pedersen or Caleb Ewan or maybe even Peter Sagan, who missed his chance in the bunch finish today.
Finally, crashes marred the sprint, taking more than half the peloton out of contention in the penultimate KM with a huge pileup in which nobody appeared to be hurt. An earlier crash on the massive suspension bridge, the Great Belt Bridge, left EF’s Rigoberto Uran off the back, leading to a mad chase back by his team to avoid losing their GC leader early on. Oh, and Magnus Cort Nielsen took the only 3 KOM points available, putting the Dane into polka dots, to the delight of the home crowd.
- Fabio Jakobsen, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, 04:34:34
- Wout van Aert, Jumbo-Visma, + 00
- Mads Pedersen, Trek-Segafredo, + 00
- Danny van Poppel, BORA-hansgrohe, + 00
- Jasper Philipsen, Alpecin-Deceuninck, + 00
- Peter Sagan, TotalEnergies, + 00
- Jérémy Lecroq, B&B Hotels-KTM, + 00
- Dylan Groenewegen, Team BikeExchange-Jayco, + 00
- Luca Mozzato, B&B Hotels-KTM, + 00
- Hugo Hofstetter, Team Arkéa-Samsic, + 00
- Wout van Aert, Jumbo-Visma, 04:49:50
- Yves Lampaert, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, + 01
- Tadej Pogacar, UAE Team Emirates, + 08
- Filippo Ganna, INEOS Grenadiers, + 11
- Mads Pedersen, Trek-Segafredo, + 12
- Mathieu van der Poel, Alpecin-Deceuninck, + 14
- Jonas Vingegaard, Jumbo-Visma, + 16
- Primoz Roglic, Jumbo-Visma, + 17
- Bauke Mollema, Trek-Segafredo, + 18
- Dylan Teuns, Bahrain Victorious, + 21
Roskilde - Nyborg 202.2 km
The much anticipated Store Bælt Bridge stage. Likely to be a very nervous tense stage on small roads with big crowds. Potential for crosswinds on the coast going south toward the bridge but likely we won’t get the right wind direction. It will be quite windy though.
Expected finish: 17:00 - 17:25 CEST
Le Petit Viking of the Day : Wout van Aert
The knee is good to go, let’s get the wouting started.