Tour de France Stage 11 Preview: A Transitional Day Before The Pyrenees

Teams will once again position their sprinters for a win before the race heads into the mountains.

Whit Yost |

A transitional stage that brings the 2019 Tour closer to the Pyrenees, Stage 11 could be another chance for one of the sprinters to score a victory.

The day begins in Foix and winds its way southwest, covering two categorised climbs before the Intermediate Sprint in Gaillac. The second half of the stage is flat to rolling, but the breakaway should get caught in time for teams like Deceuninck–Quick Step, Lotto–Soudal, and Jumbo–Visma to set up their sprinters (Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan, and Dylan Groenewegen) to battle for the win.

As we saw at the end of Stage 10, crosswinds could play a surprisingly major role in the outcome. The run-in to Toulouse is tricky, and wind could break the race into echelons. While teams won’t get caught sleeping like they did on Monday, the final hour could be tense, with perhaps a few crashes as riders fight to stay at the front of the peloton and out of harm’s way.

Riders to Watch

On paper it’s a day for Viviani, Ewan, and Groenewegen, but don’t rule out green jersey leader Peter Sagan, Classics specialist Alexander Kristoff, or young upstart Wout van Aert, who won Stage 10 after teammate Greonewegen failed to make it into the first group on the road. Race leader Julian Alaphilippe should have no trouble keeping the yellow jersey for another day.

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