Mathieu van der Poel leadout impressive for Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie: "It becomes impossible to beat Philipsen"

The Tour de France puts in display some of the best leadouts in the cycling world and certainly one of them is that of Alpecin-Deceuninck. Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen teamed up to absolute perfection in 2023 but have had a rough Tour until yesterday's victory. But it was a victory in 2023 style; Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie believe that with van der Poel's leadout, the Belgian is close to unbeatable even here.

"Jasper was quite emotional at the finish. It was perfect', Armstrong said in The Move podcast. The Belgian team finally managed to make their move the way they intended on stage 10. After a few unsuccessful sprints, a relegation and a long gap to close to the green jersey, Philipsen had been quite discontent with the race thus far whilst van der Poel is lacking the form and routes to take a victory himself.

But on stage 10 the pieces of the puzzle finally clicked and the team had three men close to the front inside the final kilometer. Robbe Ghys did an important working heading into the sprint, but this time around Mathieu van der Poel was able to unleash his explosive sprint which saw no-one trying to surprise Philipsen. In the dash to the line, last year's green jersey managed to comfortably take the triumph over Biniam Girmay and Pascal Ackermann.

"Anyone who watches cycling and sees that train go, with Van der Poel who has a clear path in the last kilometer, knows that it is game over for the rest," fellow American George Hincapie argued. "Then it becomes impossible to beat Philipsen, which is also the case." This takes some weight off the shoulders of Alpecin but still, there are only a few sprint stages remaining and Philipsen continues to have a 74-point gap to close to the Intermarché-Wanty rider if he wants to wear green in Nice.

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