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Date: Wednesday, July 12
Distance: 203.5km (126.4mi)
A last chance for the sprinters before Paris or a day for the escapees? That is the main question facing the peloton in stage 11 of this year’s Tour. The general classification contenders will be hoping for an easy day to conserve energy before the hard-hitting mountains to come, but the sprinters’ teams will likely be motivated to bring the breakaway back to snatch a last chance of glory before Stage 21. Expect an interesting battle between the breakaway and peloton all day similar to stage 2 when Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) almost held off the chasing bunch. Pau is no stranger to the Tour route with 2017 being the 59th time the city has hosted a stage. And if it comes down to a sprint, it’s hard to bet against German Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), who has already won four of 10 stages — and four of five field sprints.
Christian Prudhomme, race director: “The Tour gets closer to its Pyrenean base but mountain specialists will still be preserving their energy. Going through the areas of Les Landes and Gers, the command of the pack will probably be left to the teams of sprinters. The escapees having made the effort to take off will, why not, have the opportunity to make a prayer at the Notre-Dame-des-Cyclistes Chapel, situated in Labastide-d’Armagnac.”