Tour de France Stage 11: A Battle of the Sprinters

Stage 11 - another day for the sprinters. After a climbing day that provided so much entertainment, who will have the legs, though?

By Whit Yost |

Stage 11 – Clermont-Ferrand to Moulins (179.8km) – Wednesday, July 12

After a Rest Day sandwiched between two hard days in the hills, the Tour’s remaining field sprinters should get a chance to fight for the stage win in Moulins at the end of Stage 11, which might be their only chance to win one during the Tour’s second week.

This isn’t an easy stage, with three Category 4 ascents and a jagged profile throughout the first two thirds of the route. But things settle down considerably after the final climb–the Category 4 Côte de la Croix Blanche–which the riders summit with 61.3km left to race. So there’s lots of time for the sprinters’ teams to reel in whoever escaped earlier in the day.

Tour de France 2023 Stage 11As they head into Moulins for the finish, the riders will have two roundabouts to deal with followed by a right-left dog-leg with about 1 500m to-go. From there it’s more or less a straight shot to the finish line. The final 3km are flat as a pan, making this the perfect stage for the Tour’s purest sprinters.

The intense heat of the past few days is expected to break overnight, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 70s expected throughout the day.

Riders to watch

This the first Tour de France stage finish in Moulins, but the town frequently hosts March’s Paris-Nice. The “Race to the Sun” last visited in 2019, with Ireland’s Sam Bennett outsprinting Australia’s Caleb Ewan and the Netherlands’ Fabio Jakobsen to win the stage. Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) didn’t make the cut with his team this year, but Ewan (Lotto Destny) and Jakobsen (Soudal-Quick Step) are still in the race and desperate to win a stage for their respective teams.

Of course, they’ll both have Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) to contend with. Philipsen’s won three stages so far in this year’s Tour and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

When to Watch

With the race expected to end with a field sprint in Moulins, you can tune-in late on Stage 11. The stage is expected to end around 17h30, so tune-in about 30 minutes beforehand to check their progress and watch accordingly.

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