The day after the rest day should be easy going. Arguably, it is one of the most straightforward stages of this year’s Tour de France. The biggest hurdles on the way from Albi to Toulouse are situated in the first half of the race. And these are not exactly Alpe d’Huez material. One is 3.6 kilometres at 4.9% and the other 2.5 kilometres at 3.8%. So the 11th stage offers a gentle return to action before the Tour de France takes it up a notch. GC riders will be tested in the following days, while the Toulouse finish is the last sprinters’ opportunity for a week.
Given his 2019 credentials, Groenewegen is the rider to beat. This year, he won ten sprints, Ewan nine, Viviani took seven sprints, Kristoff four, while Sagan powered to three wins. Yet, the Dutchman crashed hard on stage 1 and did not sprint pain-free until stage 7. He bounced back and outgunned Ewan and Sagan in Chalon-sur-Saône.
The first sprint on this year’s Tour de France was marred as Groenewegen went down inside the last 1.5 kilometres. Surprisingly, his lead-out Teunissen took the reins and outgunned Sagan in a millimetres sprint, while Ewan finished in third. When Groenewegen wasn’t able to fight for the stage honours in Albi due to crosswinds, Van Aert stepped up and he outgunned Vivani and Ewan. Jumbo-Visma is on a roll with three different sprinters winning three out of four bunch sprints on the Tour de France.
Viviani powered to his first ever Tour de France stage-win in the second sprint opportunity in Nancy. Kristoff and Ewan rounded out the podium.
Favourites 11th stage 2019 Tour de France
*** Dylan Groenewegen, Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan
** Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, Alexander Kristoff
* Giacomo Nizzolo, Mike Teunissen, Jasper Stuyven
Take a look at the route of the 11th stage on the Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 11: profile and finale
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