"I can see that I am now reaching my best level" - Two defeats in Belgium don't bother Jasper Philipsen with view to Tour de France

Jasper Philipsen has lost a bunch sprint to Tim Merlier for the second time this week at the 2024 Baloise Belgium Tour. Yet the leader of Alpecin-Deceuninck, who managed to grab one stage himself on Friday, is not worried about the main goal of the upcoming summer.

"I would have liked to win, but I must also be honest that Tim was faster today," was Philipsen's first reaction after his second place in the bunch sprint in Brussels. It was dropped off well in the last bend by the Alpecin-Deceuninck train, but was still reassembled by Merlier.

The fact that he has suffered two sprint defeats does not worry him. "Everything is going well towards the Tour. We got our lead out on track, everyone knows what to do. I can see that I am now reaching my best level," Philipsen blames himself. "The green jersey and stage victories are the goal, we will do our best for that."

Philipsen will have a final test next week before he travels to the Grand Départ in Florence - the National Championships in Zottegem. "I always ride championships to win. We have a strong team across the board, so I hope to compete for the title," he says.

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