STAGE 11: Vatan – Saint Fargeau
Thursday, July 15
WHAT’S THE COURSE LIKE?
The penultimate flat stage before the race begins to head south and hit the Alps proper. With just two fourth category climbs on the menu today, it’s almost certain to come down to a bunch sprint.
Today is the half-way point on this year’s race, and fittingly, we are in the middle of France. Heading into rural Burgundy, St. Fargeau is also the smallest ville étape on this year’s route.
Stage 11 map and profile>>>
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?
After a half-hearted go-slow in protest at yesterday’s radio ban, the peloton gets its beloved earpieces back today.
In theory, this should give the inevitable break that bit more freedom, but with precious green jersey points at stake, the sprinters’ teams will do everything in their power to make sure it comes down to a bunch gallop.
Mark Cavendish’s win yesterday in Issoudun means that he is now just six points away from the green jersey of Thor Hushovd. With more points available today, the competition for the points competition is heating up so look out for Columbia and Cervélo keeping control of proceedings at the head of the main field.
MEN TO WATCH
Mark Cavendish – With three stage wins to his credit, it’s hard to see anybody getting the measure of the Manxman if it does come down to a bunch sprint today. He says he’s not targeting green, but don’t be fooled, he wants the jersey back.
Thor Hushovd – The Norwegian has staked his claim as Cavendish’s main rival in this year’s Tour. If he’s sprinting well, he can take second behind Cavendish, but in a head-to-head sprint, the Manxman has the upper hand.
Tyler Farrar – The American Garmin rider was third into Issoudun yesterday and looks to be getting to grips with sprinting in the unique environment of the Tour de France. Could cause an upset if he times his effort right.
Sylvain Chavanel – The Frenchman has earmarked a stage in this year’s race that he’d like to win, but he won’t say which. Could it be this one?
CW’S TIP TO WIN
Mark Cavendish to take his fourth stage win this year, equalling last year’s record.
WHO’S WEARING THE JERSEYS?
Yellow – Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R-La Mondiale)
Green – Thor Hushovd (Cervélo Test Team)
Polka-dot – Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
White – Tony Martin (Team Columbia-HTC)
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