The champion of Belgium Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) won the eleventh stage of the 108th Tour de France, along the 199 km from Sorgues to Malaucène, including five GPMs, including the double climb of Mont Ventoux. The Flemish champion was ahead of the Trek Segafredo duo by 1’14 ”, made up of the French Kenny Elissonde and the Dutch Bauke Mollema. The yellow jersey, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates), won the fourth coin at 1’38 “from the winner, preceding, in order, those who now appear as the three probable contenders for the two remaining places on the podium: Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo), Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Jonas Vinegsard (Jumbo Visma). In the ranking, the Slovenian golden boy, thanks to the bad day of Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen), second this morning at the start at 2’01, has further consolidated his leadership. The Colombian Uran, in fact, rose to the place of honor with the much more substantial gap of 5’18 “, followed by the surprising young Danish Vinegaard at 5’32” who can boast only one second advantage over the Ecuadorian Carapaz, winner of the Giro d’Italia 2019.
If from the economic point of view of this edition of the Grande Boucle, this stage said very little, there is no doubt that, taken in its singularity, today was a great day of cycling. It was animated by a flight of 16 runners, consolidated along the way, in the kilometers before the first ascent of Mont Ventoux: the world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck QuickStep), Dan Martin (Israel StartUp Nation), Pierre Rolland and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels), Anthony Perez and Pierre-Luc Perichon (Cofidis), Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma), Vegard Laengen (UAE Emirates), Nils Politt (Bora Hansgrohe), Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange), Xandro Merisse and Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin Fenix ), Kenny Elissonde, Bauke Mollema and Julien Bernard (Trek Segafredo) and Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroen Team).
On the first ascent of the steep slope so dear to Francesco Petrarca, only eight remained: Van Aert, Mollema, Alaphilippe, Meurisse, Perez, Elissonde, Bernard and Durbridge. The rainbow jersey was the first to whiz under the GPM. The group of the best passed after five minutes. The situation remained crystallized until the second entrance to the “Monte Calvo”, 38 km from the finish. As soon as the road began to rear up, Elissonde left. Van Aert, Alaphilippe and team-mate Mollema were on the Frenchman while the others gave in with a crash. At this point the Belgian Champion took the initiative. The rainbow jersey gave way as the Trek Segafredo duo limited the damage on the irrepressible Flemish. Behind, we witnessed the usual massacre caused by the whirlwind rhythm set by Ineos with Carapaz who in the end, instead of attacking Pogacar, decided to ally with him, also in light of O’Connor’s crisis. The only one who had the courage to challenge the Lord of the Tour was Vinegaard. The 25-year-old Dane, winner of the Coppi & Bartali Week in March, spent a bad quarter of an hour in the yellow jersey in the two kilometers preceding the last GPM. The Komenda champion, however, did not lose his head. He was picked up by the Carapaz – Uran duo, immediately after the brow. The trio, as if to seal an alliance with a podium flavor, fell on the generous Scandinavian two thousand meters from the finish.
The twelfth stage is scheduled for tomorrow, the first of three interlocutory sections. Along the 160 km from Saint-Paul-Trois Chateaux to Nimes the main difficulties could present the wind. It will be the great day of Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck Quick Step) at the first match point to equal the record of the great Eddy Merckx.