Mark Cavendish has claimed the 18th Tour de France stage win of his career and seized the points classification leader’s green jersey. Second on the rainy 11th stage was yeserday’s winner Andre Greipel of Germany.
Cavendish made the most of the last stage designed for sprinters before the race reaches the Pyrenees to claim his 18th stage win at the Tour, his third in this year’s race. He won in 3 hours, 46 minutes, 7 seconds.
The 26-year-old Briton, who has reportedly agreed a move to Team Sky in 2012, now has 251 points in the race for the green jersey, with Rojas second on 235, Gilbert third on 231 and Greipel fourth on 164.
French rider Thomas Voeckler kept the race leader’s yellow jersey after the 167.5km trek from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur. Voecker finished 75th in the stage but with the same time as the winner.
Voeckler said he is now expecting to lose his yellow jersey during Thursday’s 12th stage, which takes the riders on the first of a three-day trek across the Pyrenees with a punishing 211km ride over the legendary col du Tourmalet and finishing on top of Luz-Ardiden.
Post race interview Mark Cavendish:
Stage 12 preview and who to watch:
Luz Ardiden returns to the Tour for the first time since almost unhinging Lance Armstrong’s bid for a record-equalling fifth Tour victory in 2003. The American crashed after his handlebars snagged a spectator’s bag. He recovered to go on and win and by finishing alone reinforce his lead. The 13km ascent to the summit finish will be preceded by the 17.1km climb over the Tourmalet and the 9.9km climb over the Hourquette d’Anzican, which makes its race debut. After a first day in the high mountains, the yellow jersey contenders should stand apart from the pretenders. Watch out for the likes of Frank and Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador, Luis Leon Sanchez, Ivan Basso and Cadel Evans.
Video of Stage 12 route:
Overall standings after Stage 11:
1. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) 45hr 52min 39sec
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/RAB) at 1:49s
3. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 2:26.
4. Frank Schleck (LUX/LEO) 2:29.
5. Andy Schleck (LUX/LEO) 2:37.
6. Tony Martin (GER/HTC) 2:38.
7. Peter Velits (SVK/HTC) 2:38.
8. Andreas Kloden (GER/RSH) 2:43.
9. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/OLO) 2:55.
10. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/LEO) 3:08.
11. Ivan Basso (ITA/LIQ) 3:36.
12. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 3:37.
13. Nicolas Roche (EIR/ALM) 3:45.
14. Kevin De Weert (BEL/QST) 3:47.
15. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 4:01.
16. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) 4:07.
17. Tom Danielson (USA/GRM) 4:22.
18. Rein Taaramae (EST/COF) 4:52.
19. Christian Vande Velde (USA/GRM) 4:53.
20. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 5:01.
21. Carlos Barredo (ESP/RAB) 5:04.
22. Vladimir Karpets (RUS/KAT) 5:05.
23. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LEO) 5:07.
24. Thor Hushovd (NOR/GRM) 5:13.
25. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/RSH) 5:14.