the Gateway to Provence and Bourg-les-Valence in the heart of the Rhone
Valley are both first time Tour hosts. The 180 kilometer stage has one Category 3
climb at kilometer 56.5, however this day is picture perfect for the
With two intermediate sprints and a perfect sprinter's
finish in Bourg-les-Valence, Stage 11 will prove important in the race
for the Green Jersey. The course rolls down the foothills of the Alps
giving the riders a short break between the mountain ranges that make
the Tour de France the most difficult sporting event on Earth.
While riders eager for stage victories may break away, it is doubtful any break will stick as the battle for the Green jersey intensifies among the fast men. Others who may attempt to leave the peloton behind are the King of the Mountains contenders Jerome Pineau (FRA/Quick Step) and Anthony Charteau (FRA/Bbox-Bouygues Telecom), separated by a single point, may have to answer to veteran Christophe Moreau (FRA/Caisse d'Epargne) on the single climb of the day.
for Cavendish to snag points in his fight from the back of the green
jersey points race. Alessandro Petacchi trails Thor Hushovd by 7
points, with Robbie McEwen still firmly in the fight after Wednesday's stage into Gap.
The final kilometer into Bourg-les-Valence.
has yet to win a stage in this year's Tour de France, and in Tyler
Farrar (USA) the team has hope. In earlier sprint stages teh team was unable to perfectly time the lead out, often sputtering out before the line. In addition, the American suffered injury which kept him from contesting the sprints at full bore. With a few days of healing, rest and tactical counseling, Jonathan Vaughters may finally have his day in the sun in Bourg-les-Valence.
Expect a heated stage with sprinters
going tete-a-tete to the end.