July 17, 2003
Tour Today: Narbonne - Toulouse
Today's Stage 11 is the shortest road stage of the Tour at 153.5 kms.
Look for Lotto, FDJeux, and Telekom to jockey their sprinters into position at the intermediate sprints at 59 km and 126 km. There's a single categorized climb, a 3rd Category at 82.5 km, but that should leave plenty of time to reel in a rider or two on a flyer so the sprinters get a shot at the 35 points up for grabs at the stage finish. With Baden Cooke 9 points up on fellow Aussie Robbie McEwen, and 28 points up on Erik Zabel of Telekom, the points standings could be shuffled tonight.
Since Toulouse was a stage featured in the first Tour in 1903, today's finishing order will count toward the Centenary Tour centenaire classification.
Team CSC leads iBanesto.com in the team competition by a razor-thin 27 seconds.
José Enrique Gutierrez of Kelme will be wearing the red race number of the most aggressive rider for his 30 kms in front of the race on Tuesday.
Tomorrow is the first individual time trial.