Mark Cavendish survives time cut while Luke Rowe eliminated on stage 11 of Tour de France 2021

The green jersey survives another day after a double ascent of Mont Ventoux

Mark Cavendish on stage 11 of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish has survived the time cut on stage 11 of the Tour de France 2021, but Luke Rowe didn't make the finish in time. 

The beastly stage starting from Sorgues featured two ascents of the iconic Mont Ventoux over the 198km course, finishing at the bottom of the mountain in Malaucène. 

It was a tense day for the sprinters as the stage opened with rapid racing from the flag, as teams battled to get into the breakaway, including Cavendish’s Deceuninck - Quick-Step team-mate Julian Alaphilippe. 

The stage went to Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who won solo after making it into the day’s breakaway, with the Belgian champion finishing the stage with a time of 5-17-43, and an average speed of 37.5km/h.

That put the day’s time limit at around 47 minutes, or 15 per cent of the winner’s time. 

Things looked close for Cavendish as reports from the roadside suggested he may be eliminated, but the Brit survived another day and finished the stage 40-40 behind the winner, surrounded by his team-mates Michael Mørkœv, Davide Ballerini, and Tim Declerq.

Ineos Grenadiers road captain Luke Rowe wasn't so fortunate, as he finished outside the limit and will not be taking to the start of stage 12, his team confirmed. 

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It was a close call for Team DSM’s Søren Kragh Andersen on stage 11, who made the time cut by around three seconds, finishing 47-36 down on Van Aert. 

Cavendish keeps the green jersey for another day, having won three stages of this year’s Tour, including stage 10 into Valence.

>>> How do Tour de France time cuts work?

He now has another opportunity to add to his tally on day 12, a 159km run from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nîmes, which could be decided in the crosswinds.  

Cavendish leads the points classification with 218 points, ahead of Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) on 160. 

This is the second time Cavendish has had to fight hard to stay in the 2021 Tour, having arrived in Tignes on stage nine with 90 seconds to spare. Meanwhile a number of other riders including Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Nic Dlamini (Qhubeka-NextHash) were eliminated.  

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.