Tour de France 2011

July 2-24, 2011, Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts , France, Road - HIS (Historical Calendar)

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 11 of the Tour de France. The 167.5km stage snakes from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur.

  1. 12:06:27 BST

    Rain is again falling at the start, meaning the riders have waited until the last minute to sign on and gather at the start line.

  2. 12:07:18 BST

    We already have one confirmed onn-starter after Ag2r-La Mondiale said that John Gadret has quit the Tour. 

  3. 12:08:14 BST

    He won a stage and finished fourth overall in the Giro d'Italia but had been struggling for several days at the Tour and has pulled out with fatigue.

  4. 12:09:24 BST

    The riders are now approaching the depart reel, when the flag will be dropped and the action begins.

  5. 12:10:19 BST

    The rain has eased slightly but it more rain is expected later.

  6. 12:12:46 BST

    The stage follows an S shape but spends most fo the day in the stunnig Tarn region of southern France near Toulouse.

  7. 12:15:28 BST

    The stage rolls through the countryside all day, with only one Cat 3 and one Cat 4 climb. New French hero Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) should have little problem keeping the polka-dot jersety for another day, despite his injuries from the stage nine car accident.

  8. 12:16:51 BST

    The intermediate sprint is in Gaillac after 85km. We can no doubt expect some sprinting action there as the battle for the green points jersey continues. 

  9. 12:20:30 BST

    With the Pyrenees beginning on Thursday with stage 12 to the summit finish on Luz Ardiden, the sprinters will be keen to enjoy one last day in the spotlight. The fast and straight finish also makes itperfect for high-speed lead out trains.

  10. 12:21:53 BST

    Will we see win number three for Cavendish? Or number two for his nemisis Andre Greipel. Perhaps Tyler Farrar will also be back to his best and take another win.

  11. 163km remaining from 168km

    12:23:17 BST

    After 5km the peloton is still together but riders are looking to get in the attack of the day.

  12. 12:24:38 BST

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  13. 12:26:58 BST

    The early attacks are comnig thick and fast but nothnig is sticking at the moment. 

  14. 12:27:32 BST

    Nine riders have a slight gap but Team sky seem to have missed it and so are leading the chase. 

  15. 155km remaining from 168km

    12:36:59 BST

    We now have six riders off the front who are trying hard to open a gap.

  16. 12:40:08 BST

    The six are Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Lars Boom (Rabobank), Andriy Grivko (Astana), Mickael Delage (FDJ), Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Saur-Sojasun).

  17. 151km remaining from 168km

    12:41:40 BST

    The six already have a gap of 1:30 and seem to be getting away from the peloton. None of them are a threat overall and so Thomas Voeckler of Europcar team will be happy to let them go clear, knowing his yellow jersey is safe.

  18. 12:46:59 BST

    The gap is now over three minutes. It looks like we have the break of the day.

  19. 12:47:42 BST

    Yet again there was little action before the peloton let the break open a big gap.

  20. 12:49:28 BST

    The six attackers are about to start the the Cote de Tonnac, the first of the two small climbs during the 167.5km stage. 

  21. 12:52:38 BST

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  22. 138km remaining from 168km

    12:56:36 BST

    The gap is growing despite the early climb. The six now lead by 4:15.

  23. 12:57:57 BST

    Lars Boom was the first over the Cat 3 climb but with Johnny Hoogerland leading the competition by five points, his lead polka-dot jersey is not under threat today.

  24. 13:01:49 BST

    The debate about crashes in this year's Tour de France continues today with further analysis on the numbers here. 

  25. 13:03:25 BST

    Mark Cavendish's HTC-highroad team is showing their intention of targetting victory today by working on the front to keep the break in check. However the gap is now 4:20.

  26. 13:06:08 BST

    Lars Bak and Danny Pate are doing the work for HTC. They're helping Europcar set the 'tempo' pace, so the break does not gain too much time.

  27. 13:12:20 BST

    The skies are still grey and heavy but the rain appears to be easing. However the wind is expected to pick up later and cause problems at the finish. 

  28. 13:19:00 BST

    It is dark and damp out on the roads as the peloton rolls through the forest.

  29. 13:21:03 BST

    Susan stepping in for a few minutes here.

  30. 13:22:36 BST

    Pablo Urtusan of Euskaltel punctures.

  31. 13:24:29 BST

    After a bit of sun and warmth, the riders are all bundled up in  long sleeves and rain jackets again today.

  32. 13:26:55 BST

    Yesterday's stage win by Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) was the 60th ever by a German. The last one was in 2009 by Heinrich Haussler, who coincidentally, is no longer a German citizen.

  33. 13:28:24 BST

    We have a large gap in the peloton, looks about half and half.  No doubt they will all come back together again, but we are not sure how it came to pass.

  34. 13:31:23 BST

    The gap was probably due to the wet descent.  No one  really wants to take any chances. We have seen enough nasty situations already in the Tour this year.

  35. 13:32:14 BST

    David Arroyo of Movistar punctured and is now working his way back up to the field.

  36. 13:34:09 BST

    The gap between the two halves of the peloton is getting smaller.

    Things are drying up a bit, and the lead group even has a bit of sunshine.

  37. 13:36:01 BST

    Sebastian Lang of Omega Pharma-Lotto is the next to have mechanical problems.  The German just announced that he will retire the end of this season.

  38. 13:38:40 BST

    The peloton is back together, strung out in a long line.

  39. 13:41:46 BST

    Danny Pate is back on the front now, dragging the peloton along.

  40. 98km remaining from 168km

    13:48:09 BST

    The breakaways are working smoothly but the gap is falling. 

  41. 13:50:57 BST

    Tommy Voeckler is busy eating something as the riders cover 70km of the stage. The peloton has just passed the feed zone.

  42. 13:53:27 BST

    All the overall contenders are staying out of trouble today, saving their legs for Thursday's first big mountain stage to Luz Ardiden. 

  43. 13:54:22 BST

    The 211km stage includes the Col du Tourmalet and then the 13.3km (7.4%) climb to the finish.

  44. 13:55:04 BST

    It is also the first real mountain stage of the race and so some one could suffer the change in racing.

  45. 13:58:06 BST

    David Loosli (Lampre-ISD) has a crevasion (flat) but does not seem worried as he rolls along behind the team car.

  46. 14:00:04 BST

    Our Australia editor Jane Aubrey has hit the nail on the head. Will today's finish change who wears the green jersey. What do you think?

  47. 90km remaining from 168km

    14:02:36 BST

    Petacchi is also moving back up to the peloton. It seems he might have been the puncture victim. Petacchi has admitted to not being as fast or as sharp as 2010 when he won two stages and the green jersey. It seems age is finally catching up with Ale Jet.  

  48. 14:04:45 BST

    The roads are now dry for the break as fields of sunflowers come into view. This can only be the Tour de France.

  49. 14:06:52 BST

    Voeckler is eating again, without taking his hands off the bars.  He just seems to suck in the energy bars like a stork eating fish.

  50. 14:07:51 BST

    Here comes the intermediate sprint. Will some one in the break have a go for the points and cash prize? 

  51. 14:09:12 BST

    Delage (FDJ) was first over the line but there was some debate amongst the riders. ono duobt they will share the primes between them as is tradition.

  52. 14:10:24 BST

    HTC are riding for Cavendish but Gilbert also wants points.

  53. 14:11:13 BST

    That was fast.

  54. 14:12:14 BST

    Cavendish got on Greipel's wheel and then surged past to take it ahead of Rojas.

  55. 14:12:56 BST

    But where was Gilbert? He lost the wheels and was gapped before the sprint. A bit of a mess-up by Omega Pharma-Lotto.

  56. 14:16:21 BST

    Gilbert's lead has been cut further now and so the green jersey is up for grabs at the finish.

  57. 14:22:49 BST

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  58. 72km remaining from 168km

    14:23:52 BST

    The peloton is slowly eating into the gap of the breakaway after eating away at their lunch after the feed zone.

  59. 14:38:49 BST

    Other iders are now moving to the front to help the chase.

  60. 14:40:01 BST

    Ryder Hesjedal is now on the front as more Garmin-Cervelo riders move to the front to help with the chase.

  61. 14:45:05 BST

    The rain is returning as the peloton rolls along on the country roads. Garmin and HTC seem to be getting ready for the possible side winds. This could get exciting.

  62. 56km remaining from 168km

    14:45:41 BST

    The gap is now down to three minutes.

  63. 14:48:44 BST

    The breakaway riders seem to believe thwey can stay away and are still working hard.

  64. 14:51:18 BST

    Today has been a fast stage so far and can surely only get faster beofre the finish. The riders covered the second hour at 47 km/h and are likely to finish the stage with a 45km/h average.

  65. 14:52:06 BST

    Ouch. The peloton is lined out making it difficult for teams to feed. 

  66. 50km remaining from 168km

    14:54:40 BST

    The break is now 50km from the finish.

  67. 14:57:53 BST

    Danny Pate has taken his peak out from under his helmet. It's time to get serious and up the pace.

  68. 14:59:32 BST

    Up front Jimmy Engoulvent is on the front, tucked over his bike on a slight descent. He's a big sprinter but is going it everything now as the saide winds kick in.

  69. 15:02:45 BST

    Eurosport is talking to Saxo Bank DS Brad McGee. Rather than be pessimistic after Cnotador's crashes, he's optimistic saying that apart from a few cuts and bruises, all the riders are feeling good and are healthy.

  70. 15:03:46 BST

    McGee describes Contador's knee problem as 'not perfect' but said it is an 'injury' and so they are doing everything they can to treat him.

  71. 15:05:48 BST

    A huge dark cloud is gatheirng over the race and threatening more rain. Riders are moving up before the road turns left and perhaps hit by strong side winds. 

  72. 15:06:12 BST

    This could get very exciting very soon.

  73. 15:07:18 BST

    The breakaway riders are getting soaked again by a rain shower. Some riders have pointed out they have had six consecutive days of rain.

  74. 15:08:45 BST

    The break is on a classic French country road with trees covwering the road. But it is not protecting them from the heavy rain. 

  75. 15:10:30 BST

    Roman Feillu punctured but had a wheekl chsange and is now chasing back on and trying to get back to the front. He could be an outside for the sprint at the finish.

  76. 36km remaining from 168km

    15:11:51 BST

    The gap is now down to below two minutes as the final Cat 4 climb approaches.

  77. 15:15:06 BST

    Vladimir Isiachev (Katusha) has been dropped by the peloton. The way he fell out of the back indicates just how fast the racing is now.

  78. 15:15:46 BST

    Recent stage winner Rui Costa (Movistar) has flatted but quickly gets a wheel and a push and is away in pursuit. 

  79. 15:19:14 BST

    BMC and Leopard Trek are now on the front of the peloton. No doubt looking after their team leaders for the descent and cross winds

  80. 15:20:53 BST

    Hesjedal is back on the front. He's 15 minutes down overall and so will no doubt be working for Christian Vande Velde in the mountains.

  81. 30km remaining from 168km

    15:21:56 BST

    Over the top of the climb, the break has just a 1:30 lead.

  82. 15:23:08 BST

    Boom is giving it big licks on the front of the break.

  83. 15:26:49 BST

    Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) is doing a turn on the front. The little Australian does not offer much shelter for the riders behind him but his presence on the front indicates Team Sky will be going for the sprint today.

  84. 15:27:08 BST

    The question is with Edvald Boasson Hagen or Ben Swift.

  85. 15:28:51 BST

    The corn fields are divided by chateau, country houses and fields of sunflowers. But the riders have little chance to enjoy the views.

  86. 15:30:45 BST

    There are huge crowds along the stage as the road kicks up slightly. The six guys up front fully deserve their cheers and they haven't given up yet. 

  87. 24km remaining from 168km

    15:32:08 BST

    The race passes through Puylaurens and begins a slight descent.

  88. 15:32:18 BST

    It is time for the final act of the stage.

  89. 15:34:32 BST

    The descent is wet, while behind Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) has flatted. 

  90. 20km remaining from 168km

    15:36:23 BST

    Boom is still blasting along on the front, getting some vital help fromn Grivko. They're taking on the peloton and the gap is still 1:15.

  91. 15:38:04 BST

    HTC has been working all day chasing the break but will they have enough to lead out the sprint?

  92. 15:38:47 BST

    The break is fighting a headwind now and that will make it difficult for them to stay away.

  93. 15:39:38 BST

    Behind, Lampre move to the front, looking after Petacchi, while BMC protect Cadel Evans.

  94. 16km remaining from 168km

    15:41:58 BST

    The speed is close to 70km/h and it;s poutring with rain on the race and at the finish in Lavaur. This could be nasty. 

  95. 13km remaining from 168km

    15:44:31 BST

    HTC is giving it everything but the gap is still 40 seconds.

  96. 15:46:27 BST

    Lars Bak has now sat up. He's been working for most of the day to help the chase.

  97. 11km remaining from 168km

    15:47:25 BST

    The gap is 35 seconds but the peloton can also see them.

  98. 10km remaining from 168km

    15:49:13 BST

    Tejay Van Garderen takes a turn on the front for HTC but BMC are also at the front. 

  99. 15:50:23 BST

    HTC has seven riders in their line, including last man Cavendish. Everybody seems happy to let them lead out the sprint. 

  100. 15:52:04 BST

    Quinziato is on the front for BMC, with Cancellara also up to look after the Schlecks for Leopard Trek.

  101. 15:52:30 BST

    Goss has also sat up now after working in the chase.

  102. 15:52:56 BST

    Everybody is suffering out there.

  103. 15:53:30 BST

    Goss was ill yesterday and so HTC has also needed to reshuffle the lead out train order.

  104. 6km remaining from 168km

    15:53:59 BST

    Grivko is giving a go but the gap is just 20 seconds now.

  105. 15:54:28 BST

    Flecha is dropped and still suffering after his crash.

  106. 15:55:22 BST

    HTC seem to have eased off the pace, with Lampre and Leopard Trek on the front. Are HTC playing games ansd saving one last efofrt for the finish? We'll find out very, very, soon. 

  107. 5km remaining from 168km

    15:55:43 BST

    Boom attacks alone! Boom!

  108. 15:56:30 BST

    Boom is tucked over the bars and has a gap but surely he can't stay away.

  109. 15:57:43 BST

    The rest of the break has been swept up. Can Boom stay away with three km to go?

  110. 2km remaining from 168km

    15:58:32 BST

    HTC has four riders on the front as Boom fades and sits up. Time for a sprint finish.

  111. 15:59:20 BST

    Garmin has taken over and HTC seem happy to let me lead it out.

  112. 1km remaining from 168km

    15:59:49 BST

    Millar is on the front, Thomas is looking after Boason Hagen for Sky.

  113. 16:00:09 BST

    Cav is still there. He could emerge and go for it.

  114. 16:01:07 BST

    Thomas opens the sprint but Cav is there. 

  115. 16:01:13 BST

    Thomas opens the sprint but Cav is there. 

  116. 16:01:56 BST

    Renshaw then took over and gave Cavendsih a perfect lead out. The Briton weent early but held it all the way to the line.

  117. 16:02:46 BST

    Cavendish stopped to watch the sprint replay on television and could see how he beat Andre Greipel and Tyler Farrar.

  118. 16:03:11 BST

    Thanks to his win, Cavendish also takes the green points jersey. 

  119. 16:04:13 BST

    Provisional result:

    1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad 3:46:07
    2 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto
    3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
    4 Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team
    5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
    6 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
    7 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
    8 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
    9 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team
    10 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ

  120. 16:04:54 BST

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) retains the race lead and yellow jersey. 

  121. 16:08:23 BST

    Phew! that was a high-speed finish but Cavendish made sure he got his jump and sprint just right to win number three this year.

  122. 16:09:44 BST

    It was Cavendish's 18th win at the Tour de France.

  123. 16:12:08 BST

    According to our quick calculations, Cavendish has 251points, 16 ahead of Rojas who has 235. Gilbert is third on 231.

  124. 16:15:37 BST

    Provisional GC:

    1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
    2 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
    3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
    4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
    5 Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek
    6 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad
    7 Peter Velits (Svk) HTC-Highroad
    8 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack
    9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
    10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek

  125. 16:17:09 BST

    That ends our live coverage for today. Mark Cavendish is on the podium collecting the kisses and the green jersey. Everyone else is already thinknig of Thursday's first mountain stage to Luz Ardiden. 

  126. 16:18:07 BST

    Check out Cyclingnews for a full stage report, photo galleries and interviews.

  127. 16:18:19 BST

    Au revoir!

  128. 16:31:12 BST

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