le tourtdfTour de Francetour de france 2017

Tour 2017: Kittel Wins Stage 11

Marcel Kittel continued his dominant performance in the sprints at the Tour de France by recording his fifth victory of this edition in Pau.

On the stage before two days in the Pyrenees Kittel showed his strength to come around the competition and beat them on the line once again to extend his lead in the points classification and make it extremely difficult for anyone to beat him.

The second successive sprint stage of the race was set to be another easy day for the GC as the sprint teams heeded the call to action once again. The flat roads featured only a lone climb – the Cote d’Aire-sur-l’Adour (Cat4) at 145km.

The stage finishes in Pau – the gateway to the Pyrenees that the Tour de France almost always visits at some point int he race, be it as a stage start or finish or as an accommodation town between stages.

Tour de France 2017 Stage 11 Profile

The breakaway was formed within 200m of the flag being dropped after the neutralised zone and it was three riders who went with no reaction from the peloton behind. Marco Marcato (UAE), Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) were the lucky three and in response to their attack, Chris Froome signalled a comfort break to cement their lonely day out front.

After just 3.5km of racing their lead had gone out to 1’53” and after 50km of less than interesting racing with Team Sky, Lotto-Soudal and QuickStep setting the pace their gap had gone out to 4’30”.

The peloton wasn’t quite happy with that though and Katusha placed a rider to help out with the chase and inject a little urgency into proceedings, seeing the break’s lead almost halved to 2/32″ with 140km to race.

As the race approached the intermediate sprint Sunweb took over on the front for Michael Matthews with Lotto-Soudal still prominent at the front of the peloton, the break’s lead still remaining stable at around 2’30”. Despite the leadout Matthews was only able to take second place at the spring behind Kristoff, with Kittel in third and Greipel 4th once the three leaders had taken the maximum points.

The injection in pace had reduced the trio’s lead to just 2’10” with 60km left to race as they approached the Cote d’Aire-su-l’Adour. Backaert took the single point atop the climb and the break continued on towards Pau. With 40km left to go the trio had just 1′ on the peloton which was seeing GC teams begin to move to the front to protect against echelons forming in the crosswind.

Wit 28km to go Bodnar attacked his breakaway companions in a bid for solo victory as their lead came under 30″. A few minutes later the peloton caught Marcato and Backaert as Bodnar continued alone with an advantage of 40″ over the peloton with 10km to go.

Bodnar maintained his advantage into the final km and with the peloton rapidly closing in behind him it looked like he might just make it to the line to record an impressive victory.

Bodnar was caught with 200m to go though and despite Dimension Data and Lotto-Soudal closing in on the line it looked like Kittel might be beaten. The German wasn’t going to give up that easily though and managed to overhaul Boasson Hagen and Groenewegen on the line to take his 5th stage.

Tour de France 2017 Stage 11: Eymet>Pau 203.5km

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Marcel Kittel (QuickStep – Ger) 4:32:27″
2 Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned) s.t.
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data – Nor) s.t.
4 Michael Matthews (Sunweb – Aus) s.t.
5 Daniel Mclay (Fortuneo-Oscaro – GBr) s.t.
6 Davide Cimolai (FDJ – Fra) s.t.
7 Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal – Ger) s.t.
8 Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis – Fra) s.t.
9 Ben Swift (UAE – GBr) s.t.
10 Danilo Wyss (BMC – Sui) s.t.

General Classification

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Chris Froome (Team Sky – GBr) 32:27:29″
2 Fabio Aru (Astana – Ita) +18″
3 Romain Bardet (AG2R – Fra) +51″
4 Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac – Col) +55″
5 Jakob Fulgsang (Astana – Den) +1’37″
6 Dan Martin (QuickStep – Ire) +1’44″
7 Simon Yates (Orica-Scott – GBr) +2’02″
8 Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col) +2’13”
9 Mikel Landa (Team Sky – Spa) +3’06”
10 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo – NZl) +3’53″

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