July 13, 2011
Cavendish takes 3rd victory, green jersey on Stage 11
HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish continued his reign as the Tour's dominant sprinter, riding clear of André Greipel and Tyler Farrar for his 18th career Tour stage win.
The day's breakaway, and a competing effort to set up their sprinter by Garmin-Cervelo, splintered HTC's leadout train, but Cavendish and Mark Renshaw followed Sky's Geraint Thomas (rumored to be a teammate of Cav's in 2012), with Renshaw, then Cavendish going hard up the right side of the road. Stage 10 winner André Greipel and Stage 3 winner Tyler Farrar couldn't bring the speed to close down the Manxman, and Cavendish had his third stage win of the 2011 Tour.
The win gave Cavendish the lead in the green jersey contest, which up to now had favored Belgium's Philippe Gilbert of Omega Pharma-Lotto. There are two likely sprint
stages still to come, Stage 15 and the Stage 21 finale.
1) Cavendish, HTC, 251
2) Rojas, Movistart, 235
3) Gilbert, Omega Pharma-Lotto, 231
4) André Greipel, Omega Pharma-Lotto, 164
5) Thor Hushovd, Garmin-Cervelo, 163
6) Romain Feillu, Vacansoleil-DCM, 141
7) Cadel Evans, BMC, 135
8) Tyler Farrar, Garmin-Cervelo, 106
9) Sébastien Hinault, AG2R, 82
10) Denis Galimzyanov, Katusha, 81
The overall race leadership was unchanged. Here it is before the big changes that are likely to begin tomorrow:
GC, after Stage 11:
1) Thomas Voeckler, Europcar, in 4:52:39
2) Luis-Leon Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:49
3) Cadel Evans, BMC, at 2:26
4) Frank Schleck, Leopard-Trek, at 2:29
5) Andy Schleck, Leopard-Trek, at 2:29
6) Tony Martin, HTC-Highroad, at 2:38
7) Peter Velits, HTC-Highroad, at 2:38
8) Andréas Klöden, RadioShack, at 2:43
9) Philippe Gilbert, Omega Pharma-Lotto, at 2:55
10) Jakob Fuglsang, Leopard-Trek, at 3:08
Basso's at 3:36, Cunego 3:37, Roche 3:45, Gesink at 4:01, Contador 4:07, Danielson 4:22, and Samuel Sanchez at 5:01.
In the KoM, Johnny Hoogerland's time in the lead will soon come to an end:
KoM, after Stage 11:
1) Johnny Hoogerland, Vacansoleil, 22 pts
2) Thomas Voeckler, Europcar, 17 pts
3) Tejay Van Garderen, HTC, 5 pts
4) Marco Marcato, Vacansoleil-DCM, 5 pts
5) Rui Costa, Movistart, 5 pts
6) Sandy Casar, FDJ, 5 pts
Gesink holds the white jersey for at least another day. Europcar holds the team lead, while Mickael Delage of FDJ took the combativity prize for his role in the break on Wednesday.
Stage 11 Preview: 167.5 km Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur
There's really not that much to say about today's stage. It's another day for the sprinters, and Cavendish will be super motivated after coming up a little short in Stage 10.
Just two categorized climbs today, as riders face a 3rd Category climb at the 28.5-km mark, and a 4th Category at 135.5 km. This means Johnny Hoogerland will hold the King of the Mountains jersey into the high mountains tomorrow, since he leads by more points than are on offer today.
Voeckler will hold yellow for another day, barring a lightning strike. There's no way a meaningful breakaway stays away today. And with the mountains looming, even meaningless breakaways are going to get reeled back in by the sprint teams.
There's an intermediate sprint very close to the middle of the stage today, just 11 kilometers after the feed zone. Philippe Gilbert continues to lead the green jersey competition, but the lead is shrinking. Gilbert sits with 226 points, José Rojas 209, and Cavendish 197. With a stage win today, and roughly equal points in the intermediate sprint, Cavendish could take over the green jersey.
Thing to watch today: HTC's train. HTC has had to do a lot of work to bring back the breakaways, and the only time they've been able to work their train to the line, Cavendish won. The peloton and the parcours have conspired to effectively disrupt Cav's leadout twice, and in those stages, Cav has “just” one win.
Hats off to Greipel, who just flat outsprinted Cavendish in the stage yesterday, with Goss and Renshaw shredded by Gilbert's late attack. Greipel will look to come off Cav's wheel in the finishing sprint today. José Rojas has been close in every sprint, and hasn't quite pulled off a win; Tyler Farrar hasn't factored in sprint since his win in Stage 3, so both will want to score here, for different reasons.
Smart money has to be on Cavendish, though, who will be looking to erase the memory of yesterday's narrow sprint loss with an 18th career Tour stage win.