Philipsen has become a star. At the same time, he was not well emotionally, noticed a former partner

They spent 2021 together in Belgian team Alpecin-Fenix, now Alpecin-Deceuninck, and also rode the Tour de France together. Two years ago, however, Philipsen certainly didn’t stand out all that much. “He was an outsider, he got on the podium several times, but the victory eluded him”, described Vakoč.

That’s right, the Ham native has finished second three times and third three times. “He lacked a bit of confidence. He had a hard time not going to the Tour as the main sprinter. He was not entirely comfortable emotionally”, admitted the former Czech driver and participant in the two years of the Old Lady.

Not only because of the narrow defeats, but also because of what is said to be a troublemaker in nature, he earned the nickname Jasper the Disaster. “But I don’t think it’s fully deserved,” thought Vakoč.

STUDIO TOUR with Petr Vakoč, double participant in the Tour de FranceVideo: Sport.cz

If only because he has been shining since last year’s Tour Philipsen. He still recorded two second places, but above all won his first two victories in the most prestigious race in the world. “As soon as he won the first stage, he checked that he had lived up to expectations and approached the rest with a cool head,” said Vakoč.

This year, the Belgian sprinter is particularly benefiting from the work of his star partner Mathieu van der Poel, who has prepared him an excellent position three times in the last two hundred meters. “It’s amazing that such a superstar can play the role of super housekeeper and help the sprinters. Mathieu is in great shape. He is unrivaled in sprint assist. Together they put on such a show together,” smiles Vakoc.

John Robinson

"Extreme gamer. Food geek. Internet buff. Alcohol expert. Passionate music specialist. Beeraholic. Incurable coffee fan."

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