Ewan sprints to victory on stage 11, Sagan relegated: Daily Tour Digest
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Caleb Ewan sprinted to his second victory so far at this year’s Tour de France on Wednesday’s stage 11, winning a close battle in Poitiers.
After late attackers Lukas Postlberger and Bob Jungels were reeled in, the stage came down to a hectic bunch kick. Wout van Aert was the first big name to go and the Belgian led the way into the last hundred meters before others surged past. Ewan and Sam Bennett came up on van Aert’s left, while Peter Sagan pushed his way through with his shoulder and his helmet on van Aert’s right next to the barriers.
Ewan, Sagan, and Bennett were closely matched all the way to the line. On the bike throw, Ewan finished just ahead of Sagan, who crossed the line just ahead of Bennett. Upon review of the finish, however, the race jury decided to relegate Sagan to last place in the group for his aggressive move to pass van Aert, giving Bennett runner-up honors on the day and putting van Aert in third.
What’s more, Sagan’s relegation took him out of the running for any points on the stage, propelling Bennett further ahead in the green jersey battle.
Primoz Roglic finished safely in the peloton to maintain his position atop the GC standings with no changes in the overall top 10.
The 167.5-kilometer stage from Châtelaillon-Plage saw Mathieu Ladagnous solo away early on as a the day’s main breakaway rider. He built a decent gap over the bunch, but the sprinters’ teams saw to it that he was never a real danger of staying clear, and he was reeled back in with around 40 kilometers to go.
Shortly after the pack caught Ladagnous, Gregor Mühlberger climbed into the team car. Then, Ion Izagirre went down hard in a crash, ultimately abandoning the race.
With around five kilometers to go, Postlberger shot off the front, and Jungels and Kasper Asgreen were quick to follow. The trio built a small gap as the other teams scrambled to react. After Asgreen dropped back with three kilometers to go, Jungels and Postlberger pressed on, but they were caught a kilometer later.
The catch set up a bunch sprint. B&B Hotels-Vital Concept and NTT had a strong presence at the front into the final 500 meters but as the lead-out riders peeled off, several sprinters launched at once. Van Aert led early but he was passed on both sides, with Ewan closing the final meters with a huge burst of speed. The 26-year-old Australian put in a big bike throw to hit the line first.
Top 10, stage 11
1 EWAN Caleb (Lotto Soudal) 4:00:01
2 BENNETT Sam (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
3 VAN AERT Wout (Team Jumbo-Visma)
4 COQUARD Bryan (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM)
5 VENTURINI Clément (AG2R La Mondiale)
6 PEDERSEN Mads (Trek – Segafredo)
7 MEZGEC Luka (Mitchelton-Scott)
8 HOFSTETTER Hugo (Israel Start-Up Nation)
9 NAESEN Oliver (AG2R La Mondiale)
10 GIBBONS Ryan (NTT Pro Cycling)
Top 10, GC
1 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 46:15:24
2 BERNAL Egan (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:21
3 MARTIN Guillaume (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) 0:28
4 BARDET Romain (AG2R La Mondiale) 0:30
5 QUINTANA Nairo (Team Arkéa Samsic) 0:32
6 URÁN Rigoberto (EF Pro Cycling)
7 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:44
8 YATES Adam (Mitchelton-Scott) 1:02
9 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel (Astana Pro Team) 1:15
10 LANDA Mikel (Bahrain – McLaren) 1:42
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Today’s featured image of Caleb Ewan winning stage 11 of the Tour de France comes from the Grubers.