Adam Yates safely through stage 11 as sprinters take their chanceWed 17 Jul 2019
The sprinters took their chance on stage 11 as Mitchelton-SCOTT ticked off another day at the Tour de France.
The fast men made no mistake on a day that always seemed destined for a sprint finale, with team leader Adam Yates happy to make it through the stage as attention turns to tomorrow’s mountains.
It didn’t take long for the breakaway to form with four riders attacking as the flag dropped and the peloton sitting up immediately, content with the composition of the break on a day that always looked set for a sprint finish.
It was a similar scene to previous stages as the bunch allowed the escapees to get three minutes down the road before holding them there. It was the sprint teams that assumed their position at the head of the pack, but it was a steady pace being set on the first day after the rest day.
The categorised climbs early in the stage did little to alter the time gap with the peloton confident that they could reel in the four leaders at any time. Mitchelton-SCOTT were content to sit safely in the bunch, but were being attentive with the possible threat of crosswinds looming.
However, the wind failed to materialise and the stage was heading for a routine sprint finish until a crash with 30-kilometres remaining took down a host of general classification contenders. There was brief panic for those involved as they chased to get back on, but contact was soon made as the peloton eased the tempo.
As the peloton began to close in the on the break Aimé De Gendt (Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team) attacked his fellow escapees on the run into to town. The Belgian made to within five kilometres of the line before he was eventually reeled in by a bunch led by the sprint trains.
Mitchelton-SCOTT made it safely through the three-kilometres to go banner as the fight for position was left to the fast men. In the end it was former rider Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) who proved to be the fastest in the sprint, taking his debut Tour de France victory, while Adam Yates rolled home with his teammates.
Matt White (Sports Director):
“It was a little bit tense and probably more so because what happened the day before the rest day. There was potential there for crosswinds, which once the bunch sees what can happen, everyone is more switched on for the next time that arises.”
“It was a pretty ‘cruisey’ day, but there were times there, and especially for a team who are riding GC, you never let your guard down. The boys did a great job of looking after Adam and he got through safe and sound to the finish.”
“Also, congratulations to Caleb Ewan, his first Tour de France and his first stage win in the Tour de France.”
Tour de France 2019 Stage 11 Results:
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 3:51:26
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Team jumbo-Visma) ST
3. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck - Quick Step) ST
32. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General Classification After Stage 11:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) 47:18:41
2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +1:12
3. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +1:16
7. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:47
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.