Alpecin-Deceuninck renew with Jasper Philipsen ahead of Tour de France return

Jasper Philipsen was at the end of his contract and had the interest of many teams in the peloton. It was certainly not an easy task for Alpecin-Deceuninck to keep their prime sprinter, but the Belgian has renewed with the team until as long as 2028 - the same length as Mathieu van der Poel's contract.

"Mathieu has been committed to the team, so if I choose to change teams, it would mean losing an important teammate," Philipsen said in a recent interview. "He would like it if I stayed. But he also realizes that that is a choice that every rider has to make for himself. It is certainly not the case that he is putting pressure on me to stay." Van der Poel's presence in the team is a key aspect for Philipsen.

The World Champion was a key part of Philipsen success as a sprinter at the 2023 Tour de France and proved to be a perfect leadout rider; whilst his presence and support in the spring classics saw Philipsen win Milano-Sanremo this year and now finish twice second to van der Poel at Paris-Roubaix.

Philipsen is the main favourite to win the points classification at the Tour de France, specially after the storming success that was last year's edition. "Of course you have a certain focus, but it does have an impact on you. Especially if there is decompression after a certain victory," he said. "You can't really enjoy it for long, because the next day you have to fight for points again You must maintain that focus constantly until the goal is effectively achieved."

Philipsen will have the chance to become national champion this weekend in his home country, and at the Tour he will be able to count on the support of a dedicated leadout including van der Poel but also the likes of Soren Kragh Andersen and under-23 World Champion Axel Laurance.

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