Day for the break on stage 11 of Tour de FranceWed 15 Jul 2015
A position in the day’s breakaway was hot property, and with good reason, on stage 11 of the Tour de France.
It took around 70km of constant attacking before it finally formed with any advantage, and then went on to contest for top places on the stage into Cauterets.
ORICA-GreenEDGE was amongst those trying to play a role in the moves but missed out when the cord eventually snapped.
“100% we were trying to get in the breakaway,” sport director Matt White said. “But there were 22 teams with the same objective.”
“When you have a dominant leader like we have seen with Sky and Chris Froome, and such a big cushion on places, it’s going to be the general trend from now on in that we have very aggressive starts.”
As the breakaway gained advantage on a day with no less than six climbs, the peloton also diminished into pieces.
Rafal Majka (Tinoff-Saxo) won solo having attacked his breakaway companions with 50km to go, whilst Adam Yates was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s best performer finishing 16’33” behind.
“It’s normal that a 22-year-old doesn’t have back-to-back good days in the mountains at the Tour de France,” White said. “This is all part of the development and the reason we have said all along we wouldn’t be putting on the pressure by riding for general classification.”
“Michael (Matthews) is also feeling better every day and is battling through the mountains alright whilst Simon Yates is on the improve having come down with a cold.”
How it unfolded
It was an active start to stage 11 with many seeing the stage as an opportunity for a successful breakaway.
Four riders battled against a cagey peloton to get away early but were only given 30seconds advantage as speed sat around 50kmph. By the 45km mark, one the first of six climbs for the day, the race was back together.
Another large selection was made over the second climb of the day, 22riders making the front group, but again this was brought back together as racing remained intense.
Eventually, the peloton allowed a group of seven to form and after 90km of racing they had three and a half minutes advantage. Their lead extended to eight minutes before it started to gradually decrease.
Inside 50km to go, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacked the break and went solo. Behind, the peloton with the yellow jersey was down to 30riders.
Majka crested the peak of the hors category Col du Tourmalet with five minutes advantage to the race favourites and kept pushing on the 30km descent. He gained time on the descent and held on for the final 10km climb to the finish to claim an impressive solo victory.