Tadej Pogačar shows first signs of cracking
We were all expecting it to be another very strong display from the race leader of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) on stage 11 of the Tour de France 2021, but it wasn't quite as simple as that as he did lose touch with white jersey wearer, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).
In his own words he "exploded" as he tried to follow the young Danish rider on the final couple of kilometres on Mont Ventoux.
Pogačar may have gone a little bit too deep in the Alps and the time trial where he stamped his dominance on the race.
He did manage to pull Vingegaard back on the descent with the help of Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), but there will be a bit of worry from the UAE Team Emirates camp.
Jonas Vingegaard shows he's another star coming out of Denmark
Jonas Vingegaard has shown some superb form this season but this has been a huge surprise as he has been thrusted to the leaders role for Jumbo-Visma at the Tour de France after Primož Roglič crashed out and Stevan Kruijswijk, Wout van Aert and Sepp Kuss all lost time.
Vingegaard was a late inclusion for Jumbo-Visma as Tom Dumoulin announced he would not race at the Tour in 2021, so he wasn't even going to be racing here at the start of the year.
This seems to be a good tactic as Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) was in a similar boat as he replaced Sam Bennett in the Tour team.
Vingegaard isn't the closest challenger to Pogačar yet, but it looks like he may be the strongest climber at the race. He sits in third at the moment at 5-32, so a long way to bridge yet.
Wout van Aert shows he can do everything
A day after finishing second in the bunch sprint behind Cavendish, Wout van Aert has shown, once again, that he is one of the best all-round riders we have seen.
In the past two seasons the Belgian road race champion has shown to be one of the fastest sprinters in the world, one of the world's best time triallists, powerful on the cobbles and gravel thanks to his cyclocross ability, as well as being an amazing climber.
Is there anything this man can not do? He took off and left the Bauke Mollema, Kenny Elissonde (both Trek-Segafredo) and world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) before soloing the final 8km of the climb and descending to the line in Malaucène.
He is also now involved with the mountains standings as he moves to just two points behind Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) in that competition.
Ineos Grenadiers does a huge amount of work for no gain again
The break had finally gone after almost half of the stage being constant attacks off the front but the team that took over the pacing was not the team of the leaders, UAE Team Emirates, but rather the team of Ineos Grenadiers.
The entire British team hit the front and then started riding at a solid enough pace to keep the gap to the break as low as possible. Riding up and over the first ascent of Mont Ventoux on the front apart from the final 300 metres where UAE took brief control.
Then on the flat between the climbs they took over again and continued to drive the pace up the second ascent of Ventoux before Michał Kwiatkowski swung off leaving Carapaz on his own.
Then the Ecuadorian did nothing at all with Vinegegaard the only rider who went out to try and test Pogačar. Carapaz finished with Pogačar, Vingegaard and Urán and now sits in fourth overall.
Top five sees yet another big rejig
Once again we have seen a bit of a reshuffle in the standings with Tadej Pogačar now holding a very comfortable looking lead over his challengers.
The main threat at the start of the day was Australian climber Ben O'Connor (Ag2r-Citroën) who was just over two minutes down on the Slovenian Pogačar in yellow after a superb ride and stage win on stage nine of the race to Tignes.
However, O'Connor started to struggle after making the initial selection and faded with about 9km to the top of Ventoux. He finished in 15th place on the day at 5-35 behind stage winner Van Aert but crucially just over four minutes back from the other GC leaders.
O'Connor now sits in fifth at 5-58 behind Pogačar. Rigoberto Urán continues his very solid ride to move up into second place, but he is now at 5-18 from the yellow jersey, which is a very tough gap to close.
Vingegaard is next at 5-32, but he is now the likely main candidate to try and challenge Pogačar in the Pyrenees. Carapaz is fourth just one second behind Vingegaard.
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