Tour de France: Cavendish, Kittel miss time cut on brutal stage 11

Sprinters lose contact early in short, sharp stage in the Alps

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), one day after fighting to make the time cut by just 30 seconds in the first mountain stage in the Alps, has been eliminated from the Tour de France on stage 11, along with fellow sprinter Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Cavendish's lead-out man Mark Renshaw.

The sprinters finished well behind the gruppetto, which came in 29 minutes behind stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) at the end of a 108.5km stage to La Rosière that included two hors-categorie climbs in the first 57km.

Cavendish was initially being paced by two teammates, but they were ordered forward as the gap edged out to the 30-minute mark.

Kittel's teammate Rick Zabel sprinted to the line five seconds outside the time cut, but was allowed to keep his place in the Tour.

Both Kittel and Cavendish have struggled to get results in this Tour de France - Kittel's best was a third place on the opening stage, while Cavendish cracked the top 10 once on stage 8.

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