Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) has moved ahead of good friend Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) to the top of the men’s professional victories leaderboard for 2023, with his 18th win coming on stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey.
It was far from the red carpet leadout Philipsen had received in the past for his 18th win, however, as he fought to find a sprinting lane on his own in the final kilometre before taking the long way around and still having enough speed for the victory into Marmaris.
“After the Tour [de France] we were just looking to some goals that were left and I like to win so the goal to maybe be the winning champion this year was a nice goal for me to go for,” said Philipsen after stage 4. “It also kept me motivated during the end of the season which wasn’t so easy, but I’m happy to be the king of the victories.
“It doesn’t mean a lot, but to me it means something, so it’s always nice.”
This is the first time a male rider has reached the 18-win mark since Elia Viviani in 2018 while riding for Quick-Step Floors and highlights just how prolific the Belgian sprinter has been throughout the season.
Eight of Philipsen’s wins have come at WorldTour level, with four of those at the Tour de France where he was head and shoulders above the rest of the sprint field and also claimed the green points classification jersey.
Among his other victories include stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico, the Renewi Tour and at the unofficial sprinters classic, Scheldeprijs, more than confirming his status as the best male sprinter in world cycling.
Philipsen has also been very efficient in the last two months of the season, taking seven of his 18 wins in just 11 race days, highlighting how well he’s maintained his superb form as 2023 comes to a close.
Colombia’s Miguel Ángel López has 20 wins in 2023, but since he was sacked from Astana Qazaqstan and moved to Medellin-EPM, has moved down to Continental level and taken the majority of his wins at either 2.2 or national level, with only wins at WorldTour, .Pro or .1 level counting towards the overall wins leaderboard.
Lopez won three races above a .2 level in 2023 with two stage wins at the Vuelta a San Juan and the Colombian national championships, but was provisionally suspended in July due to the UCI being notified of a “potential anti-doping rule violation.”
All of Philipsen’s wins have been at .1 level or above making him the winningest rider of the season and alongside this the…