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Jasper Philipsen outsprinted Mark Cavendish to win the second Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium after 20 laps of racing on a 3km street circuit that passed many of the city-state’s iconic landmarks.
The event was more of an exhibition than a race, but the big stars gave the many present fans a great show with continuous attacks. Tadej Pogačar, Peter Sagan and Chris Froome were active right from the start, getting into breaks and fighting for the intermediate sprints.
Sagan claimed the points classification as he did more times than anyone at the Tour de France in his career with seven green jerseys. He recently retired from road racing with an off-road campaign planned for the coming year.
The criterium was the headline event of the weekend in Singapore, preceded by a team time trial won by UAE Team Emirates and a series of fan events including amateur criteriums and charity rides.
Four-time Tour de France champion Froome got himself into the first break of the day with three other riders, but this was short-lived as UAE Team Emirates worked to bring it back together.
The third break of the day was the most successful, slipping away with 23km to go. It contained a Tour de France stage winner from this year, Victor Lafay (Cofidis) and Brandon Rivera (Ineos Grenadiers).
They were caught with 13km remaining before Vuelta a España champion Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) found his way off the front with Pogačar and Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), the polka-dot jersey winner from this year’s Tour.
Two-time Tour winner Pogačar went solo as they hit the penultimate lap and 4km to go mark, slipping away from Ciccone and Kuss. He took the bell alone with Froome leading the chase for Mark Cavendish.
The British duo were riding for the Tour de France Criterium Legends team alongside Sagan and Ciccone. The Slovakian led out the Manx Missile coming into the final corner as Pogačar was reabsorbed, but Philipsen’s launch on the left was too strong for Cavendish.
It was a fitting end for the winningest rider of 2023, Philipsen, who took 19 victories this season and the most at the Tour de France with…