UAE Team Emirates rider Jasper Philipsen gets season off to promising at Santos Tour Down Under

Philipsen, 21, will wear the white jersey for Stage 2 as the Tour’s best young rider

Binck Bank Tour 2019 - 15th Edition - 2nd stage Blankenberge - Ardooie 169 km - 13/08/2019 - Jasper Philipsen (BEL - UAE - Team Emirates) - photo Marc van Hecke/CV/BettiniPhoto©2019
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UAE Team Emirates rider Jasper Philipsen got his season off to a promising start with a second-place finish on Stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under.

A chaotic run-in to the line saw no team able to establish control at the front of the peloton. Other teams came forward and failed but Philipsen opened his sprint up early from the right-hand side and had a good lead. However, the speed was frantic behind and the Belgian was just edged out by half a wheel by Sam Bennett of Deceunick-Quickstep on the line.

Philipsen said: “I launched my sprint quite early and pulled out a good advantage but felt the other sprinters coming back as we reached the line. I did everything I could. We have a great team here and they did a nice job to get me in the right position for the finish. We will aim for more over the next few stages.”

Philipsen, 21, will wear the white jersey for Stage 2 as the Tour’s best young rider. The jersey is awarded at the end of each stage, and the race, to the best rider under 25 who leads the Youth Classification with the best cumulative time.

It was a less than perfect start for Alexandr Riabushenko who was taken to hospital midway through the stage with a suspected broken wrist.

Philipsen added: “Unfortunately we lost Riabushenko during the stage who had a crash so we wish him all the best.”

For the first time on the tour, Stage 2 will see the riders start from Woodside before crossing over to Sterling (135.8km) with a critical finish on a day which should favour the punchers such as UAE Team Emirates man Diego Ulissi.