Mark Cavendish takes his 13th Tour de France stage as he wins his 3rd in the 2010 Tour de France.
(Photo: Roberto Bettini)
As expected, 3 riders blasted out of Sisteron on Thursday's 184.5 kilometer stage 11 of the 2010 Tour de France. Sisteron sits in between the Dauphine and Provence regions in France- and is a first time host to the Tour de France.
The heat has taken its toll on the peloton. Temperatures in the 90s during the day and the apparent lack of air conditioning in France are causing many riders to have difficulty sleeping at night. This fatigue did not stop Anthony Geslin (FRA) Francais-des-Jeux, Stephane Auge (FRA) Cofidis and Jose Benitez (ESP) Footon-Servetto who attacked a soon as race director Christian Prudhomme officially started the race.
Stephane Auge (FRA) Cofidis, Anthony Geslin (FRA) Francais-des-Jeux and
Jose Benitez (ESP) Footon-Servetto, left to right in stage 11 of the 2010 Tour de France. Auge took the aggressive prize for the stage.
(Photo: Roberto Bettini)
The break stayed away, gaining points and prize money until kilometer 162, with just 22 km to go.
Team SaxoBank took control of the peloton around kilometer 18 in protection of the yellow jersey of Andy Schleck. As Jens Voigt and Fabian Cancellara forced the pace, the crosswinds gave aid in blowing the peloton to pieces.
Just outside of 7 kilometers to go, Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel(FRA), no stranger to making bold moves launched an attack. Yaroslav Popovych (Team RadioShack) marked the attack which was subsequently pulled back by the peloton in a matter of seconds. There would be no more attempts at glory today, except from the sprinters.
The blistering pace set by Saxo Bank as the peloton approached the town of Bourg-les-Valence split the field. In 2009, Astana's Alberto Contador (ESP) was left out in the wind in a similar stage. This year it would not happen as the Spaniard learned his lesson and latched on to the wheel of Schleck with the help of Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov.
The sprinters' teams would be up next, as Team Sky, Lampre-Farnese Vini, HTC-Columbia, Cervelo TestTeam and Garmin-Transitions would vie for position. The final run in to town would present the riders with one sharp right hand bend and one sharp left hand bend creating a dangerous environment for the speeds in excess of 60km/h. Whoever would be first in line through the corners would likely win the race.
The wind up for the sprint included Cavendish with his lead out man Mark Renshaw, Tyler Farrar with Julian Dean, Alessandro Petacchi and Robbie McEwen.
As the riders approached the 200 meter mark, it seemed as if Cavendish would have to fight with Farrar. At the last moment, Renshaw threw several headbutts at Dean, pushing him out of the way of Cavendish. At the same moment, Farrar had hooked on to Cavendish's wheel. This could be the win for Farrar.
In a second rogue act in a matter of moments, Renshaw veered into Farrar and cut him off, ruining his chances for victory.
Mark Cavendish took the sprint with his 3rd Tour stage win this year and
his 13th Tour de France victory. As such, Cavendish bests the 12-stage victory tally of several notable sprinters including German great Erik Zabel, Italian
Mario Cipollini and Australian Robbie McEwen.
(ITA/Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Tyler Farrar (USA/Garmin-Transitions)
finished second and third respectively. Renshaw Relegated, then Removed
Referees immediately relegated Renshaw, later deciding to eliminate him
from the race for his dangerous and unsportsmanlike actions.
race official Jean-Francois Pescheux said after the race:
"Renshaw was declassified immediately but we have decided to also throw
him off the
"We've only seen the pictures once, but his actions are
plain for all
to see. This is a bike race, not a gladiator's arena."
Green Goes to Petacchi
Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/Lampre-Farnese-Vini) finally took the green jersey away from Norwegian Thor Hushovd in stage 11 of the 2010 Tour de France.
(Photo: Roberto Bettini)
Petacchi took the green jersey from Thor Hushovd in the sprinter's competition narrowly by 4 points.
The Lampre rider leads the green jersey race on 161pts, with Cervelo's Hushovd second on 157, Australian Robbie McEwen on 138 and Cavendish on
Andy Schleck retains the yellow jersey with no change in the top of the General Classification and remains just 41 seconds over Spaniard Alberto Contador.Stage Results:
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) HTC-Columbia in 4hr 42min 29sec
2. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Lampre-Farnese Vini, same time
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions, s.t.
4. Jose Joaquim Rojas (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne, s.t.
5. Robbie McEwen (AUS) Katusha, s.t.
6. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN) Bbox-Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
7. Thor Hushovd (NOR) Cervelo TestTeam, s.t.
8. Lloyd Mondory (FRA) Ag2R-La Mondiale, s.t.
9. Juergen Roelandts (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto, s.t.
10. Gerald Ciolek (GER) Milram, s.t.General Classification after Stage 11:
1. Andy Schleck (LUX) Team SaxoBank in 53hr 43min 25sec
2. Alberto Contador (ESP) Team Astana at 0:41
3. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) Euskatel-Euskadi at 2:45
4. Denis Menchov (RUS) Rabobank at 2:58
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 3:31
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack at 3:59
7. Robert Gesink (NED) Rabobank at 4:22
8. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne at 4:41
9. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP) Team Katusha at 5:08
10. Ivan Basso (ITA) Liquigas-Doimo at 5:09
Stage 12 Preview
Bourg-de-Péage - Mende 210.5 km
With 5 small climbs and over 200 kilometers, Stage 12 may provide another opportunity for heroic breakaways. With so many opportunities for King of the Mountain candidates to gain points, look for Anthony Charteau (FRA/BBox-Bouygues Telecom) and Jerome Pineau (FRA/Quick Step) to continue their best-climber's battle for the polka dot jersey.
The final 5 kilometers of the stage deliver 10 to 11% slopes, known as the "Jalaebert climb" before leveling out to flat for one full kilometer into Mende. This intermediate day is considered flat by Tour de France standards, however it will suit the riders hoping to win a stage in this year's race.