With the best year of his career in the books, including 19 victories and the Tour de France green jersey, Jasper Philipsen has said that he wants to win the famous sprinter’s jersey “as much as possible” in the coming years.
The Belgian took four wins in France this July, crowning himself as the top sprinter in the peloton and dominating the points classification to take the first green jersey of his career.
In 2022 he had finished a distant second place behind Wout van Aert despite winning the first two Tour de France stages of his career. He noted that his countryman will be a major rival for green in the future, even if he didn’t target it this year.
“I want to make it a goal to win the green jersey as much as possible,” Philipsen told Het Laatste Nieuws in a recent interview looking back on his campaign.
“This year I was lucky that Wout van Aert didn’t go all the way for it but with my sprint and climbing legs, I should have a good chance every year. I think I can be a good competitor for Wout.”
The four wins in France were among 19 throughout the year – more than any other rider in the peloton, one up on former teammate Tadej Pogačar. Other top results included two stages at Tirreno-Adriatico, the Classic Brugge-De Panne, Scheldeprijs, and a stage at the Renewi Tour.
Philipsen said that he joked a bit with Pogačar about overhauling the Slovenian to become the most victorious rider of 2023, an achievement only completed this month with four stage wins at the Tour of Turkey.
“Did I joke with him about it? A bit, but I don’t think he cares,” he said. “He has achieved almost all his big goals. He won’t really have been concerned with the number of wins. For him, the quality was more important.”
Philipsen said his fourth stage win at the Tour was his most important of the season, saying that it “silenced the critics” as he went it alone in the sprint in Moulins following several accusations of dangerous sprinting levelled at him and his Alpecin-Deceuninck lead-out train.
Away from the plethora of wins, Philipsen also showcased an as-yet unseen aptitude for the cobbled Classics, finishing fourth at Dwars door Vlaanderen and beating Van Aert to take second at Paris-Roubaix behind race winner, teammate Mathieu van der Poel.
He said that the result made him realise that he can now compete for the win in races like Roubaix, a step he wanted to take in his career.
“My podium finish in Paris-Roubaix made it click – now I know that I can also compete for wins in…