By Thomas Dodd
- Peter Sagan wins stage 11 from Carcassonne to Montpellier
- Brit Chris Froome forms four man break with Sagan and two teammates to extend overall lead
- More windy conditions have caused tomorrow’s finish point on Mont Ventoux to come forward
MONTPELLIER, FRANCE – Peter Sagan out-sprinted Chris Froome to claim his second stage win of the 2016 Tour de France, as the Brit extended his lead at the top of the overall classification.
In a rare finale for a flat sprinters’ stage, the green jersey crossed the line ahead of the yellow jersey after the two had been part of a four man break formed thanks to windy conditions with twelve kilometres to go.
Froome’s bold and brazen burst of acceleration comes just days after he attacked on a descent and means he has nearly half a minutes advantage over fellow Brit Adam Yates and 35 seconds on closest rival Nairo Quintana, with more mountainous days and two time trials to come before Paris.
On what was the supposed to be merely a flat transition stage between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central, the defending champion astutely made the most of crosswinds causing echelons in the main field to sneak more time over his nearest challengers.
Both Froome, who with the addition of time bonuses extended his lead at the top of the standings by twelve seconds, and Sagan had teammates with them on the run into Montpellier.
Tinkoff’s Maciej Bodnar and Sky’s Geraint Thomas also managed to break off from the main peloton, and were on hand to help their team leaders maximise their advantage before the finish line.
Mark Cavendish, already a three-time stage winner in 2016, struggled with a gear issue and rolled in well down the order.
The Manxman now lies 90 points behind Sagan in the Green Jersey points classification.
And after playing such a pivotal role in determining the outcome of Stage 11, the wind has already made its mark on Thursday’s Bastille Day route to Mont Ventoux.
With 100kph gusts expected, over six kilometres of racing has cancelled, meaning the finish for one of the race’s most famous climbs will now take place earlier than usual, at Chalet-Reynard, before the race leaves the treeline of the ‘Bald Mountain’.
Stage 11 Result (Carcassonne to Montpellier 162.5km)
1. Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff 3h26m23seconds
2. Chris Froome (GBR) Sky +06seconds
3. Maciaj Bodnar (POL) Tinkoff +10
4. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) Katusha +16
5. Christophe Laporte (FRA) Cofidis +16
6. Jasper Stuyven (BEL) Trek-Segafredo +16
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Dimension Data +16
8. Andre Greipel (GER) Lotto Soudal +16
9. Sondre Holst Enger (NOR) IAM Cycling +16
10. Oliver Naesen (BEL) IAM Cycling +16
14. Adam Yates, Orica +16
15. Daniel McLay, Fortuneo +16
31. Geraint Thomas, Sky +16
140. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +3m50
165. Luke Rowe, Sky +5m39
176. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +5m39
177. Ian Stannard, Sky +5m39
Overall Standings (After Stage 11):
1. Chris Froome (GBR) Sky 52h34m37seconds
2. Adam Yates (GBR) Orica +28
3. Dan Martin (IRE) Etixx-QuickStep +31
4. Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar +35
5. Bauke Mollemea (HOL) Trek-Segafredo +56
6. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R +56
7. Sergio Henao Montoya (COL) Sky +56
8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar +1m13
9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing +1m13
10. Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Tinkoff +1m28
16. Geraint Thomas, Sky +3m32
135. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +1h44m50
164. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +1h53m31
179. Ian Stannard, Sky +1h58m37
180. Luke Rowe, Sky +1h58m54
174. Daniel McLay, Fortuneo +1h57m18
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