Philipsen likely to look for sprint opportunities at Vuelta a España
Kristoff set to be UAE Team Emirates' main sprinter at Tour de France
Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) will apparently not take part in this year's Tour de France, and is likely to instead compete at the Vuelta a España at the end of the season, the 22-year-old has told the Belgian media.
Philipsen has two victories to his name – a stage at the 2018 Tour of Utah and a stage at the 2019 Tour Down Under – since turning professional with then Professional Continental (now Continental) team Hagens Berman Axeon in 2018, and made the move to UAE Team Emirates in 2019.
In 2020, Philipsen again rode the Tour Down Under, where he won the points classification by virtue of finishing in the top five on four of the race's six stages, and then only completed Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne back in Europe at the start of March before his season was curtailed by the coronavirus-pandemic shutdown.
"The intention is to be ready immediately when the competition resumes in August, even though I'm probably not going to ride the Tour de France [August 29-September 20] this year," Philipsen told Het Laatste Nieuws on Friday. "It'll be a tough Tour, and so the team is focusing more on the general classification with Tadej Pogačar, with Alexander Kristoff for the sprints.
"I should be doing the Vuelta, and also the Classics and important one-day race that don't overlap with it," he added, with the Spanish Grand Tour rescheduled this year for October 20-November 8.
It suggests that Philipsen's programme may include WorldTour races Strade Bianche (August 1) and Milan-San Remo (August 8) – both of which Philipsen rode in 2019 for the first time – while the Tour of Flanders (October 18) and Paris-Roubaix (October 25) wouldn't be on his programme this year, with the latter overlapping with the Vuelta and the former coming just two days before the start of the Grand Tour in the Basque town of Irún.
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.