Belgian Jasper Philipsen denied Mark Cavendish a record-breaking victory on the Tour de France to claim his third stage win in this year’s race on Friday.
After 170km from Mont de Marsan, Philipsen was the fastest again in the final sprint, although Briton Cavendish almost caught the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider by surprise by launching his effort early.
The Briton, chasing a record-breaking 35th Tour de France individual win, was eventually outpowered by Philipsen and had to settle for what might remain the most frustrating runner-up spot in his career.
The 38-year-old Cavendish, back on the world’s greatest race after a one-year hiatus, shares the record of stage wins with Belgian great Eddy Merckx, who took his 34 victories between 1969 and 1975.
Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay finished third.
Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
Saturday’s eighth stage is a 200.7-km hilly ride from Libourne to Limoges.
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