17/07/19 - 12:45
Albi - Toulouse
Tour de France • Stage11

Albi - Toulouse

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No change in the general classification with Alaphilippe staying in yellow. Ciccone will drop out of the top 10 after losing time following that crash, though.


That's how close it was!


So, still no one can win a second stage on this race - with 11 different winners from 11 stages. Ewan joins the club of 13 current riders who have stage wins at all three Grand Tours.


It was a photo finish Ewan and Dylan Groenewegen there but the Australian beat the Dutchman by a whisker to snare his first Tour stage - and complete his Grand Tour grand slam. It was third for Elia Viviani and fourth for Peter Sagan.


Victory for Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal!


Groenewegen and Ewan are right up there with Viviani and Sagan...


Dimension Data have come to the front for Boasson Hagen but it's all Jumbo and QuickStep. Sagan lurks, mind.


Now it's Bora and Jumbo...


Katusha-Alpecin are up there, too, which is odd. It's very fast as the road drops into the centre of Toulouse. Sunweb, Lotto, Bahrain and Bora are trying to get involved.


It's all over now for De Gendt as Jumbo Visma continue to set the pace.


The road edges hill now - and it will be the death-knell for De Gendt (Aime not Thomas).


Numerous riders have been shelled out the back of the pack on this fast approach to Toulouse. Jumbo-Visma and Bora have taken it up and the gap for our lone leader is 23 seconds.


That incident involving De Buyst.


It's over for Rossetto and Calmejane, who shake hands as they're caught by the peloton. Just De Gendt to go now - and, for those just joining, it's not THE De Gendt but the other one. He still has 30 seconds.


Bad luck there for De Buyst who was nudged by a CCC Team rider who himself was correcting himself after being edged by another rider. The domino effect means that Caleb Ewan may be without his leadout man in the sprint.


CRASH! Jasper De Buyst rides off the road and into a ditch...


Perez's teammate Rossetto is livid with De Gendt there for attacking and splitting up the break. The Frenchman is gesticulating wildly at the Belgian as he rides clear into the sunset.


Anthony Perez is the first of the escapees to falter following an acceleration from De Gendt.


It will be interesting to see if Bol's involvement in that crash changes anything today for Matthews and Sunweb.


Just 30 seconds now for the four leaders. QuickStep and Jumbo-Visma still sharing the pacing in the peloton, with lotto Soudal a bit further back.


Ciccone is riding in a trio with Nizzolo and Langeveld, who both went down in that crash. Ciccone doesn't show any signs of injury - no cuts or bruises or tears to his kit - but he clearly got the wind knocked out of his sails. They're five minutes back now.


The four leaders have 53 seconds on the pack while Ciccone is now almost five minutes back after that crash. The group containing Quintana, Porte and Woods has made it back, though.


Not good for Giulio Ciccone: he's been dropped by the chase group and will now have to close the gap on his own. The Italian was caught out in the crosswinds on Monday and may lose more time today and drop out of the top 10.


That didn't last long: Niki Terpstra has withdrawn from the Tour. His rotten debut season at Total-Direct Energie continues.


Terpstra is now back on his bike but will face a nasty 40 minutes on the bike into the finish. Cees Bol was involved in that crash, too, so Matthews may be sprinting for Sunweb after all.


Also in this chasing group are Langeveld, Ciccone, Porte, Benoot, Woods and Nizzolo. It looks like Terpstra won't be able to continue - he's back down on the road and talking to the doctor.


Big chase for the Quintana group, who trail the peloton by 30 seconds. There's no easing up by QuickStep on the front and so it will be a big battle for the Colombian and the others to get back in.


The worst off is Niki Terpstra of Total Direct Energie, who stays prone for quite some time. It looks like he's thwacked his collarbone. Remember, he crashed badly earlier in the season and had to withdraw from the Tour of Flanders. He's back on hisfeet but let's see whether he can continue.


Riders from EF Education First, Sunweb, Dimension Data, Total-Direct Energy involved. Nairo Quintana is held up, as is Richie Porte and Giulio Ciccone, and they will need to chase back on.


CRASH: A number of riders down in the peloton!


The last time the Tour came to Toulouse it was a victory for the absent Mark Cavendish, who was riding for Team Colombia-Highroad back in 2018.


It must be getting windy and a bit nervous for, all of a sudden, four Ineos riders have come to the front: Thomas, Bernal, Rowe and Kwiatkowski.


Big Tony Martin is back on the front for Jumbo-Visma, with the gap still 1'20".


It's hard to look beyond Groenewegen, Viviani, Ewan and Sagan today - I'd put them as the top tier sprinters, with the likes of Kristoff, Colbrelli, Trentin and Nizzolo in the second tier, and Greipel, Stuyven, Matthews, Bol, Bonifazio, Philipsen and Teunissen in the third tier. If that sounds a bit harsh for the race's first yellow jersey, then that's purely because he's probably going to be leading out Groenewegen today.


Tim Wellens, the polka dot jersey, comes to the front of the pack to give Lotto Soudal teammate Maxim Monfort a fresh bidon. The gap is 1'05" so it's a done deal, really, that these four riders will be swallowed up in time for a bunch sprint finale.


It's Stage 10 winner Wout van Aert on the front of the peloton pulling for Jumbo-Visma so it's safe to assume that he won't be on sprinting duties tonight unless something drastic happens to Groenewegen.


With 50km remaining, the break has to negotiate some awkward - yet, thankfully, padded - road furniture. The peloton get through unscathed with a deficit of just the one minute now. They won't want to catch them too soon, otherwise there'll be a power struggle.


One rider who has struggled to impose himself in the bunch sprint finishes this year is Germany's Andre Greipel, who has yet to crack the top 10 in any stage. The veteran rider inferred to reporters that his lead-out at Arkea-Samsic was perhaps not as strong as what he was used to at Lotto Soudal, but that ultimately the fault lay at his door. He said: "There’s a nice sprint to come but there are also not many stages for breakaways, so everybody is expecting a sprint. Sprinters’ teams have to control and set up a bunch sprint. Hopefully I can be in the mix for the sprint today. Sprints so far have been very close and there are many good sprinters. It also comes down to teams. I cannot speak about our sprint train because physically, we are limited but we try our best. In the last kilometres, it’s up to me to find a good wheel. There are different possible scenarios. In a fraction of seconds, you have to make the right choice and I haven’t made the right choices so far."


The gap drops under the two-minute mark for the first time in a while.


The break have entered the feed zoner with a gap of 2'10". There are some ups and downs between here and the finish but it's largely flat ahead of the expected fast finish.


Here's how Viviani pipped Sagan at the intermediate sprint.


Bora lead out Peter Sagan with two riders but the Slovakian has to settle for second - or sixth, really - behind Elia Viviani, with Sonny Colbrelli behind them both. Matthews was nowhere to be seen and is clearly gone on strike after his demotion from team sprinting duties at Sunweb.


At the intermediate sprint at Gaillac it's Perez who takes the points (and prize money) ahead of De Gendt. But the real action will come when the peloton passes through and the green jersey battle starts in earnest...


It's a hot day in the south-west of France with the mercury over 30-degrees. There's also quite a breeze, which is maybe why some of the big teams have come to the front in case we see a repeat of Monday's antics.


It's Omar Fraille's 29th birthday today.


It's Anthony Perez who takes the solitary point over the summit of the climb. When the peloton comes over, Dylan Groenewegen needs to drop back because of a flat tyre.


The leaders are onto the second climb of the day, the Cat.5 Cote de Castelnau-de-Montmiral (2.5km at 3.8%). The gap is still just above two minutes.


We're hearing that Sunweb have given up on Michael Matthews and that the team will ride for young Dutch sprinter Cees Bol at the finish in Toulouse. The 23-year-old has three wins to his name this season but has yet to had his chance in his maiden Grand Tour. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the other sprinters in the finale. "We expect a chaotic sprint for the fast men and then it is good to put everything on Cees. He has more speed and is a big boy who can position himself a little better," Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said at the start today.


Here's today's break for you.


And, indeed, that was the inspiration behind the attack by local lads Calmejane and Anthony Perez. The former told Francetelevision on the start line in Albi: "With Anthony Perez, we are the local riders, me at the start, him at the finish. We’ve both been struggling since the start of the Tour. He’s been sick and I’ve had difficult feelings on the bike in some stages but we always motivated each other talking about today’s stage. It’s short and bumpy. It can be interesting for a breakaway. We want to breath the happiness of riding on home soil."


We learn from our friends at Cyclingnews that Total-Direct Energie are the only team not to place a rider in the top 10 in any stage. That's quite a terrible run for the French second tier team, who have Lilian Calmejane in today's break. It's a bit of a cop-out for the Frenchman to get in a break that will never go the distance; if he was in the form which saw him win a stage in his debut Tour in 2017 then he'd have attacked over those weekend stages in the Massif Central. The 26-year-old is from Albi, today's start town, so that was perhaps motivation for his early attack.


It's impressive to see two Cofidis riders in this break given the team is down to six riders following the withdrawals of Nicolas Edet and Christophe Laporte through illness. I wonder whether the team regret not bringing sprinter Nacer Bouhanni now? Rossetto is in today's break yet again - he's been in three already in this year's Tour and today should move back onto the top of the breakaway classification for most kilometres ahead of the peloton.


More transfer rumours... and this time involving this year's runner-up at Paris-Roubaix.


Right, sorry for the delay. A few teething troubles in the new Eurosport office. We changed over the weekend and everything just crashed. But we're back up and running now and there's been very little change: the four-man break still has 2'30" over the pack. Jumbo-Visma have joined the chase now with their entire train. Given all their sprinting options, the Dutch team will be one of the favourites today - probably through Groenewegen, their #1 fast man.


The gap grows to 3'20" back to the peloton, which is being led by an assortment of riders from Lotto Soudal, Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-QuickStep.


This climb is pretty spectacular as it rises up Les Gorges de l'Aveyron near the picture postcard town of Saint-Antonin Noble Val. And it's Anthony Perez who takes the two points over the summit ahead of Aime De Gendt, who settles for one point. But that wasn't contested.


The rumours today suggest that Movistar Nairo Quintana is off to Arkea-Samsic on a three-year deal along with two teammates, his brother Dayer and Winner Anacona. Diego Rosa of Team Ineos is also meant to be joining the Breton team.


The riders are onto the Cat.3 Cote de Tonnac (3.6km at 4.9%).


We're approaching the first climb of the day with the gap still around 2'20" for the four leaders.


Michael Matthews is currently off the back speaking to his DS at Sunweb. The Australian has had a pretty shoddy Tour so far, regularly set up in the sprints by his team but unable to deliver a win. He entered the race low on morale and "disappointed and confused" after his teammate Tom Dumoulin was forced to withdraw. Apparently Matthews trained not to win sprints but to help the Dutchman over rolling terrain, so he had to readapt and reconfigure. Perhaps today's the day...


Interestingly, while there have been 10 different winners, Jumbo-Visma have had three different riders win sprints - with Mike Teunissen going into yellow on day one, Dylan Groenewegen winning the longest stage of the race in Stage 7, and Wout van Aert triumphing after the crosswind chaos of Monday in Stage 10. Who'll get the nod today?


We've had 10 different winners so far in this year's race which means no one sprinter has been a dominant force. Could today be the day that Sagan, Groenewegen or Viviani double up, or could Caleb Ewan finally open up his Tour de France account?


With the opportunities for the sprinters few and far between for the sprinters from here until Paris, it's no surprise that the teams of the fast men are keeping this break very much on a leash. The gap is still only 2:20.


The final jersey classification to bring you up to speed on is the white jersey. Colombia's Bernal is the best young rider with a 30-second advantage on Enric Mas of Spain and 1'16" over Ciccone. As for the team classification, that is being led by Movistar even if the Spanish team are currently bottom of the standings when it comes to prize money. Go figure.


Just the three KOM points up for grabs today so there shouldn't be any change in the KOM strandings. So far, Lotto Soudal have mastered the mountains classification with aplomb: Tim Wellens is in polka dots with 43pts while his fellow Belgian and good pal Thomas De Gendt is six points behind him. That man Giulio Ciccone is third on 30pts and a real threat: the Italian won the KOM competition in May's Giro.


Expect a big battle for points at the intermediate sprint and then at the finish today, which should be decided in a bunch sprint. Slovakia's Peter Sagan leads the green jersey standings on 229 points with his nearest challenger being Australia's Michael Matthews on 167pts.


None of these escapees are any threat to Julian Alaphilippe's yellow jersey, the best placed rider being Calmejane well over an hour down on GC. A reminder that the Frenchman from QuickStep leads the race by 1'12" over Geraint Thomas and 1'16" over Egan Bernal, with Steven Kruijswijk and Emanuel Buchmann completing the top 5 ahead of Mas, Yates, Quintana, Martin and Ciccone, who are all within 2'32" of the summit.


The gap is quickly up to two minutes for the four-man break. Here's the moment they danced clear of the pack earlier on...


The escapees are Anthony Perez and Stéphane Rossetto (both Cofidis), Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) and Aimé De Gendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). So, that's three Frenchman and a Belgian (who sounds like but isn't related to his breakaway king namesake, Thomas).


One non-starter today - Germany's Rik Zabel of Katusha-Alpecin, who has flu. So we're down to 170 riders now after six withdrawals to date.


They're off! And we have some attacks from the outset as four riders ping off the front from the gun...


The riders are currently rolling through the neutral zone ahead of the official start. Here's the profile of today's stage towards the Pyrenees.

Stage 11 profile, 2019 Tour de France

Bonjour le Tour! Hello and welcome to live coverage of Stage 11 of the Tour de France as the race resumes after the first rest day with a largely flat 167km ride from Albi to Toulouse.