Racing resumed after the first rest day with a straightforward stage for the sprinters with 167 kilometers from Albi to Toulouse on the cards.
The breakaway of the day was formed as soon as the flag dropped when four riders attacked and with no reaction from the peloton, the quartet began to extend their advantage.
With a bunch sprint expected in Toulouse, the peloton didn’t allow the breakaway’s advantage to exceed three minutes to all but ensure the breakaway would have no way of staying away.
The gap was down to one minute with 30 kilometers to go but a crash shortly after disrupted the peloton and allowed the breakaway to maintain their advantage before Aimé De Gendt (Wanty Groupe Gobert) attacked solo from the breakaway.
There was a big battle for position at the front of the bunch as the sprint trains fought for the best line approaching the finale, and once De Gendt was caught with five kilometers to go, it was a chaotic run into the finish.
Ewan proved to be fastest on the day and behind, Van Avermaet crossed the line as CCC Team’s first rider.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was a fairly easy day until the chaotic finale. You never know how you will feel after the rest day and I definitely felt better as the day went on. In the final, it was a big fight for the positioning and for me, it’s not worth taking the risk when I’m up against all of the pure sprinters. Tomorrow will hopefully be a good day for us. We are still motivated to go for a stage win so we need to take every opportunity we can.”
Tour de France
Stage 11 Albi > Toulouse (167km)
Top 3: 1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), 2. Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo Visma), 3. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
CCC Team top 3: 26. Greg Van Avermaet, 64. Łukasz Wiśniowski, 68. Joey Rosskopf