Tour de France 2016

July 2-24, Mont-Saint-Michel, France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

 Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 11 of the Tour de France.


Tour de France race hub on Cyclingnews

Stage 11 preview

Complete start list

Tour de France: Cavendish searching for another Montpellier win

Tour de France: Will Froome and Quintana take centre stage on Ventoux?

  1. 13:11:15 CEST

    Hello and welcome to our complete live coverage of stage 11. The 162km stage travels east across the south of France from Carcassonne to Montpellier.


  2. 13:15:33 CEST

    We are 30 minutes from the start of the stage. The profile and race history points to a sprint finish in Montpellier but a strong wind blowing from the west could make for a hugely important stage for the GC.   


  3. 13:16:11 CEST

    As a result many teams -including Team Sky, are already on the rollers warming up for an expected fast start. 


  4. 13:20:37 CEST

    Riders are at the sign-on podium, including the yellow jersey Chris Froome (Team Sky) who gets a huge cheer. 


  5. 13:21:44 CEST

    Next up is Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data). He has won in Montpellier before.  


  6. 13:24:47 CEST

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) also get a huge cheer. He is in the polka-dot jersey again today.


  7. 13:29:56 CEST

    The Movistar team has also warmed-up on the rollers. Could this stage see a GC fight? 


  8. 13:38:23 CEST

    As the clock ticks down to the roll out, 192 riders have signed on and are ready to race. 


  9. 13:40:00 CEST

    The riders face a 4km neutralised section today. They roll out of stunning Carcassonne and then the flag will be dropped after going under a low bridge.  


  10. 13:41:04 CEST

    As ever, the Cyclingnews journalists are at the start, capturing the thoughts and comments from the riders on the start line.

    Barry Ryan spoke to Fabio Aru.


    "There's a lot of wind today, we need to stay alert and stay together as a team. It's an important stage but then they all are. The main thing is to be in front and stay focused," the Italian said. 


  11. 13:42:46 CEST

    Peter Sagan also talked briefly before the roll out:

    "I think a lot of teams are strong in the wind, not just us. There's Etixx, Lotto and others. And all the GC teams will be protecting their riders too. We'll see. There's going to be a lot of work to do today."


    Asked if he had anything planned something for today, Sagan said: "I never plan."


  12. 13:44:22 CEST

    The peloton is rolling to the start behind Christian Prudhomme's race director's car. The flag will be dropped very soon.


  13. 13:49:38 CEST

    And we're off! The stage has officially started.


  14. 13:51:39 CEST

    Team Sky has two riders on the front of the peloton, trying to control the early attacks.


  15. 13:54:02 CEST

    The riders have a tailwind at the moment as they ride away from Carcassonne. It is splitting the peloton as the attacks go off the front.  


  16. 13:54:46 CEST

    Majka and Navarro were two riders in trouble but the peloton has eased and so they are back in the pack. 


  17. 13:58:42 CEST

    The peloton is lined out in the early kilometres. The wind is a cross wind at parts but also a tail wind in others. It's going to be a fast stage. 


  18. 13:59:35 CEST

    French national champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ) is on the attack, trying to spark a break. Does he know that Bastille Day is tomorrow? 


  19. 14:01:59 CEST

    Vichot has a gap and is quickly joined by Leigh Howard (IAM). They have 55 seconds but will they be allowed to go clear of the peloton?  


  20. 14:07:57 CEST

    The duo's leas is up to 1:30. 


  21. 14:09:45 CEST

    Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), won in Montpellier in 2011.

    “I can remember it well. When I won there were road works and it was a narrow finish, now it’s wider,” he said at the start.

    The win is pretty strong, it’s 30 km/h with gusts up to 60km/h. The direction is all the same, so it might not split the peloton, but guys could just go our the back because guys are so nervous.”


  22. 14:14:39 CEST

    The peloton has let the two go up the road. Their lead is up to 2:00 now.

  23. 14:16:10 CEST

    The roads is protected by trees at the moment but an exposed section could cause problems soon. 


  24. 14:16:23 CEST



  25. 14:16:39 CEST

    Several riders went down at the back of the pack.


  26. 14:16:55 CEST

    As a result, the peloton has eased.


  27. 14:17:51 CEST

    Riders involved in the crash are Pinot (FDJ) and George Bennett (LottoNL) who finished in the ditch. Both are up and chasing to get back on.


  28. 14:19:54 CEST

    The race is on twisting country roads, with the direction of the wind changing all the time.  


  29. 14:20:45 CEST

    Another crash! This time van den Broeck has gone down.


  30. 14:21:32 CEST

    The GC teams are now on the front of the peloton, ready to protect their leaders.


  31. 14:23:18 CEST

    Cyclingnews Editor Daniel Benson spoke to Chris Froome at the start. 


    "Today you can see it with the trees bending over there. It could be a big day out there. The guys have warmed up and they’re ready for a hard start. Lets see what today brings," Froome said.

    "It’s a very nervous today especially with yellow to protect but the team have ridden in front for the last ten days now so hopefully they’ll help me stay out of trouble. We’ll be staying in front and keeping an eye on things. As soon as there a long straight with some cross winds we could see anyone take it up."


  32. 14:23:51 CEST

    Pinot and some other riders are still chafing to catch the peloton. That indicates how high the speed is up front. 


  33. 14:25:34 CEST

    Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac) has also crashed. It seems the wind is causing lots of riders to touch wheels as they fight for position.


  34. 14:29:11 CEST

    Pinot is back in the peloton as the race hits the short Cote de Minerve. 


  35. 14:30:41 CEST

    The wind has also sparked a forest fire, raising a hug cloud of smoke. However it should not be a problem for the race. 


  36. 14:40:54 CEST

    Thanks to the peloton easing, several other riders have got back up to the peloton after the crash.  


  37. 14:42:17 CEST

    Vichot is the first to the top of the short climb. He and Howard now lead by 2:30.


  38. 14:48:53 CEST

    Team Sky, Katusha and Tinkoff are riding shotgun on the front of the peloton. Everyone seems ready to react if the wind blows and the roads are exposed.   


  39. 14:53:23 CEST

    The  peloton is riding steady, they are currently protected by a hill and a village.


  40. 14:54:24 CEST

    Upfront Vichot and Howard are taking turns on the front, joining forces to extend their lead. 


  41. 14:58:43 CEST

    Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) is hoping to fight for the stage victory today if the stage ends in a sprint.

    He spoke to Daniel Benson before the start.

    "It could be an interesting day with the winds. I think all the teams are a little bit nervous. The GC teams for the riders in the wind and the sprinters’ teams. It could be a very nervous day and with that comes a lot of crashes. You have to be at the front and everyone will fight. Maybe there will be a split maybe nothing will happen," he said.

    "I think we’ll see a sprint but I don’t know how many guys will be there. There are a lot of strong teams and sometimes that means that nothing happens. If we were in Qatar, then of course we’d have splits."


  42. 15:03:34 CEST

    The riders are on the Cote de Villespassans now. It is 2.3km long at 4.5% but the pace is steady and the break is extending its lead. 


  43. 15:07:43 CEST

    Vichot also reaches the top of the second climb before Howard. Behind the final chasers -Lawson Craddock and Luis Leon Sanchez have rejoined the peloton after a long chase. 


  44. 15:10:45 CEST

    Paris-Roubaix winner has a special job today: Look after his Orica teammate Adam Yates, who is second overall behind Chris Froome.

    "For sure the winds will play a part in my role. My job today is to stick to Adam and make sure he’s with the GC riders and holds onto white," he told Daniel Benson.

    "He would rather be in the hills and we have the sprinters’ teams that will look to break things up. That’s what stage racing is all about. You’ve got to stage at the front and look after Adam. We got our stage yesterday and we know that we don’t have a pure sprinter here."


  45. 15:13:40 CEST

    The racing has been steady but nervous so far. This image shows Team Sky warming up before the start to be ready for a fast start. So far nothing much has happened.

    Team Sky warm up on the rollers before the start


  46. 15:16:52 CEST

     At least we have lots of sunshine today. Be grateful for small favours!

  47. 15:20:00 CEST

    The gap is under 4 minutes now -- just barely. With 92km to go, it is 3:50.


  48. 15:23:36 CEST

    Team Tinkoff may have lost Contador, but they have not given up on this race. They have just turned up the speed to see if they can't get some echelons going -- and maybe drop some rivals.


  49. 89km remaining from 162.5km

    15:24:26 CEST

    The gap is dropping like a stone now. 2:40!


  50. 15:26:18 CEST

    The field is now strung out, no longer all bunched together. Can't tell if there are really gaps. Although we see Wilco Kelderman and Robert Wagner of JumboNL-Lotto scurrying back up to the field after a mechanical.


  51. 15:28:24 CEST

    Gaps indeed! A large group up front, and a group some30 or more seconds back. And the gap hovering at 2 minutes.


  52. 15:29:17 CEST

    Those who got caught out and are now 40 secons back include Michael Matthews, Daryl Impey, Tony Gallopin and Thibaut Pinot.


  53. 15:32:48 CEST

    Kelderman also in the second group.


  54. 15:34:36 CEST

    Dimension Data reassures us that Mark Cavendish and his helpers are safely near the front, and BMC says the same for its guys.


  55. 15:37:30 CEST

    Looks like Group is going to catch back up with Group 1.


  56. 15:39:19 CEST

    Not all of them though. A group of five, including Matthews, looks to have lost contact.


  57. 15:39:59 CEST

    Meanwhile, Howard and Vichot continue merrily on their way, only 1:30 up.


  58. 15:43:01 CEST

    Echelons! We knew they were coming.....


  59. 73km remaining from 162.5km

    15:44:05 CEST

    73 kms and only 48 seconds now.

    Six or seven groups now, spread across the road in classic echelon style.


  60. 15:46:10 CEST

    Astana leads the way with only 30 seconds to the leaders.


  61. 15:49:06 CEST

    Pinot had been dropped but has now clawed his way back up the first group.


  62. 15:50:23 CEST

    Only 20 seconds now for Howard and Vichot, who turn around to see the mob not far behind....


  63. 15:51:46 CEST

    The bunch is in a town now, so less wind. Looks like things are coming back together.


  64. 15:53:02 CEST

    The second chasing group has its sights on the first group now. But they are getting back into open areas, so who knows.


  65. 15:54:44 CEST

    No such luck. We have four groups out there on the road. All the special jerseys are in the first group, though.


  66. 15:56:38 CEST

    The gap is jumping from 15 to 30 seconds, showing a downward trend now.


  67. 15:58:34 CEST

    Sky pulling the field along. Only 8 seconds now.


  68. 15:59:12 CEST

    With 61.2km to go, the break duo is caught.


  69. 60km remaining from 162.5km

    16:01:09 CEST

    The race is definitely on now. But where is Movistar?


  70. 16:03:50 CEST

    The flag on cars ad camper vans show how strong the wind is blowing. It is currently at 35km/h. 


  71. 16:04:30 CEST

    The pace at the front has eased now, with Nairo Quintana and several Movistar riders moving back to the front.  


  72. 16:05:29 CEST

    Behind them there are several groups that have formed after they were forced to create several echelons. Some of these groups may not get back up to the peloton today but they will have to ride hard all the way to the finish.  


  73. 16:06:44 CEST

    • Crash



  74. 16:07:18 CEST

    Rafa Majka goes down, as does his Tinkoff teammate Oscar Gatto. 


  75. 16:07:45 CEST

    They went down at a pinch point in the road.



  76. 16:08:14 CEST

    Winner Anacona (Movistar) also went down.


  77. 16:09:19 CEST

    It seems that Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was also stuck behind but he has rejoined the peloton and is now moving up near the front. 


  78. 16:11:42 CEST

    Quintana seems to be on his own after the crashes and echelons. He's up front for now but other teams are finding information to protect their team leaders.


  79. 50km remaining from 162.5km

    16:12:16 CEST

    It is time for the intermediate sprint. Will Cv sprint against Saagn?


  80. 16:13:43 CEST

    Kittel also goes or it and beats Sagan and Cavendish. But Sagan extends his lead on Cavendish thanks to the result.   


  81. 16:16:50 CEST

     The big chase group, that includes Pinot (FDJ) is 1:00 back on the main peloton. 

  82. 16:17:11 CEST

    Several teams have riders stuck in the back group. 


  83. 16:19:23 CEST

    Three FDJ riders are trying to lead the chase for Pinot. Other echelons are forming behind them.


  84. 40km remaining from 162.5km

    16:23:00 CEST

    Quintana is fighting for wheels but is alone near the front. He's mixed up with big Classics riders from LottoNL and Etixx. He has now found two teammates to follow, with another behind him.


  85. 16:27:35 CEST

    The riders are packed across the road but the wind is now blowing from behind. 


  86. 16:28:01 CEST

    It is helping the Pinot group close the gap. It is 30 seconds now.


  87. 32km remaining from 162.5km

    16:35:11 CEST

    They're back! Pinot and the group of 81 riders has rejoined the peloton.


  88. 16:36:06 CEST

    The Cyclingnews crew has reached the finish in Montpellier and have given us some recon info.  


  89. 16:39:11 CEST

    Who is your tip to win the sprint today? Mark Cavendish? Marcel Kittel? Andre Greipel? How about Dan Mclay as an outsider? 


  90. 16:40:10 CEST

    Here we go again! Another surge as the road is exposed in the wind.  


  91. 16:40:49 CEST

    This time Tinkoff, Etixx and BMC test their rivals. 


  92. 16:41:22 CEST

    Some riders are being spat out of the back. 


  93. 22km remaining from 162.5km

    16:47:23 CEST

    The riders turn left and then right, with the wind now blowing them towards the finish in Montpellier. The speed is high as the sprint teams begin to smell their chance of success.


  94. 16:50:12 CEST

    Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac) in the main group but is hurting after his early crash. 


  95. 18km remaining from 162.5km

    16:53:32 CEST

    The sprint teams are hesitating before hitting the front to control the peloton and lead out the sprint. 


  96. 16:57:06 CEST

    Tinkoff and BMC are bossing the front of the peloton, raising the speed as they protect their riders.


  97. 16:57:54 CEST

    Schar and Burghardt are protecting Porte and van Garderen. Tinkoff is riding for Sagan.  


  98. 17:00:03 CEST

    The wind is still blowing and there could be another split and further echelons.  


  99. 17:00:35 CEST

    Sagan and Bodnar have jumped away, with Froome the first to go after them.


  100. 17:01:27 CEST

    Thomas has joined Froome, Sagan and Bodnar. The yellow jersey is on the attack! 


  101. 17:02:12 CEST

    Sagan is still driving hard, with other riders trying to join them. 


  102. 17:02:40 CEST

    Thomas and Froome are doing turns in the attacking echelon.


  103. 17:03:35 CEST

    The four have a 200m lead now. They are going away from the rest of the peloton that includes Quintana and all the other GC riders.


  104. 17:04:59 CEST

    The four already have 20 seconds. The peloton has yet to create a proper chase. 


  105. 17:05:34 CEST

    Cavendish is at the back of the peloton. He seems to have a problem with just 7km to go. He could be out of the sprint.  


  106. 6km remaining from 162.5km

    17:06:38 CEST

    Froome, Thomas, Sagan and Bodnar lead the peloton by 25 seconds.


  107. 17:07:21 CEST

    Cavendish has sat up. He seems to have a flat or mechanical problem. 


  108. 17:07:49 CEST

    Etixx and Katusha ate chasing the Froome/Sagan attack but they are not closing the gap. 


  109. 17:08:23 CEST

    Lotto Soudal is also helping the chase but the four are out of sight. 


  110. 3km remaining from 162.5km

    17:09:28 CEST

    The race leaves the main road and heads to the centre of Montpellier.


  111. 17:10:20 CEST

    They will soon turn left and left again before a straight run to the finish near the stadium. The route could help the chasers.


  112. 17:10:36 CEST

    The gap is down to 20 seconds.


  113. 17:10:58 CEST

    Froome, Thomas, Sagan and Bodnar are working together, with even Froome doing turns on the front. 


  114. 17:11:57 CEST

    Giant-Alpecin is chasing for Degenkolb but the four still have 15 seconds. This will be close.


  115. 1km remaining from 162.5km

    17:12:12 CEST

    Last kilometre! 


  116. 17:12:28 CEST

    Thomas is leading them home at 60km/h.


  117. 17:12:50 CEST

    Now Froome hits the front to fight for every second. They won't be caught.  


  118. 17:13:34 CEST

    Bodnar leads out but Sagan comes past him. Froome tries to match him but Sagan wins the stage, with Froome in his slipstream. 


  119. 17:14:14 CEST

    The peloton finishes six seconds back but Froome also took a six-second time bonus. 


  120. 17:15:16 CEST

    That's not much time but is a huge mental bonus for Froome.


  121. 17:16:18 CEST

    It was amazing to see the yellow and green jerseys take on the race like that. 


  122. 17:17:32 CEST

    Thanks to his stage win and Cavendish's late mechanical problems, Sagan has massively extended his lead in the points competition. 


  123. 17:22:05 CEST

    What a stage, first with the cross winds and echelons, then with the late audacious attack by Sagan and Froome's decision to go with him. They both had excellent support from teammates Bodnar and Thomas, who helped them stay away.   


  124. 17:28:06 CEST

    Froome now leads the Tour de France by 28 seconds, with Adam Yates (Orica-Bike Exchange) second.


  125. 17:28:53 CEST

    Dan Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) is third at 31 seconds. 


  126. 17:30:48 CEST

    Sagan is on the podium and collects the kisses and flowers as stage winner. It is sixth stage victory at the Tour de France.


  127. 17:31:24 CEST

    Today's stage was only 3:26:00 long but was a thriller. 


  128. 17:33:36 CEST

    Froome's attack shook up the top ten. Both Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) and Purito Rodriguez (Katusha) lost 1:09. 


  129. 17:36:16 CEST

    Peter Sagan revealed ho the attack with Froome happened:

    "Froomey and Geraint Thomas came with us. I said, ‘We are too strong. They’re never going to catch us.’ We just pulled very hard and it happened. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

    "Today everybody was like, ‘It’s crazy wind, it’s crazy wind.’ And just crazy wind was last 15km, or 12, I don’t know how much."

    "It was not planning. It was like, it was dangerous you have to stay in the front. The bunch is going to split for sure. But you go in breakaway with green jersey and yellow jersey and two guys like Bodnar and Thomas, you cannot plan that. It just happened."


  130. 17:38:49 CEST

    It seems that Movistar manager Unzue is angry that the stage passed on narrow roads, describing it as too dangerous. He should be perhaps asking what happened to his team and why they didn't protect Quintana. 


  131. 17:43:28 CEST

    We have the first images of Sagan's victory. Sagan beat Froome in the sprint.


    Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) wins stage 11 of the Tour de France over Chris Froome


  132. 17:45:21 CEST

    This photo was taken before the start but reveals so much about what happened in the finale.


    Chris Froome and Peter Sagan plotting at the start of Stage 11 of the Tour de France


  133. 17:48:54 CEST

    Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) talked about the stage.

    "I was surprised as well, Sagan was just motoring," he said of the attack.

    "When they went Froomey responded straightaway and behind him there was a gap, so I got up to him. We were at the front all day just waiting for something to go and then Sagan and Bodnar just went and that was it."


  134. 17:53:56 CEST

    Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) seems to enjoy entertaining everyone watching the stage.

    “I hope everyone had fun today. I was hurting but enjoyed it too. I hope it’s fun to at least watch,”he said after the podium ceremony.

    “It was an improvised attack. I’m just really happy we made it to the finish. It just happened, we didn’t make any more calculations. We got a gap and then when we had five metres, I looked back and decided to go for it. Then they came with us, all four of us worked like crazy.”

    “I was happy because I bet everything on an attack. I could have lost the green jersey because if they’d caught I wouldn’t have won the sprint but it worked out well.”


  135. 17:59:14 CEST

    The organisers of the Tour de France have announced that Thursday’s stage to Mont Ventoux will be shortened due to the danger of strong winds on the exposed mountain. Forecasts of 10km/h winds forced the organiser to shorten the stage to protect the riders and spectators on the climb.

    Race director Christian Prudhomme made the announcement soon after he finish of the stage to Montpellier. Prudhomme explained that the finish line will be placed near the Chalet Reynard, making the stage 5.7km shorter.

    “It will be a spectacular climb of 10km. Rider safety is more important,” Prudhomme said, announcing the shortening of the stage.



  136. 18:09:14 CEST

    There are reports of 100km/h winds at the exposed summit of Ventoux, with race organisers unable to reach the summit to erect the small but vital technical area for the finish. 


  137. 18:10:16 CEST

    No doubt the creation this year of the Extreme Weather Protocol also helped reach a wise decision on reducing the stage to Ventoux.   


  138. 18:15:48 CEST

    This was the moment Sagan and Froome sprinted to the line.


    Green jersey Peter Sagan and race leader Froome got away in the finale of stage 11


  139. 18:19:47 CEST

    Peter Sagan found out about the shortened stage to Ventoux in the post-stage press conference. 


    "It will be six kilometres less? Nice!"


  140. 18:19:50 CEST

    Peter Sagan found out about the shortened stage to Ventoux in the post-stage press conference. 


    "It will be six kilometres less? Nice!"


  141. 18:23:57 CEST

    Fabio Aru (Astana) lost time to Froome but was happy just to finish the stage.

    “It was a tough stage for a lot of us but the team helped me a lot. I hope Luis Leon Sanchez is okay after his crash. He’s an important rider for us," he said.

    "I’m not surprised what Froome did. He has won the Tour twice, so it’s no surprise. Well try to come up with something later in the race. There’s a lot of racing to come yet." 


  142. 18:29:25 CEST

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) admitted he had a tough day in the echelons.  

    "It was a difficult day for me. There was a lot of wind and it was all flat. And the sprinters were favoured," he said.

    "Froome took a few seconds by taking advantage of the moment but I want to remain positive. We didn't crash while it was very nervous."

    "Organisers are thinking about the show but we take chances with our lives every day and especially in stages like this."

    "Tomorrow I would have liked the stage to go to the top because it's an ideal climb for me. But anyway, there are still lots of days and mountains for me."


  143. 18:34:23 CEST

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) spoke briefly after pulling on a new yellow jersey.

    “I can’t believe what happened out there. It was really difficult day but I relied on my teammates all day and they were always at the front and that allowed me to go with Sagan at the end."

    Asked about the shortening of the Ventoux stage, Froome said:

    “The sprint with Sagan might be different…. Lets see what happens. There’s really strong winds forecast, so that could play a part even before we reach the climb. We have to be switched on and ready for anything.”


  144. 18:38:10 CEST

    What a stage and what a finale.

    To get the full story and see our photo gallery of he action, click here to visit the stage report page.  


  145. 18:42:29 CEST

    This is the moment the Sagan/Froome break powered clear.


    Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) drive the breakaway on stage 11


  146. 18:55:29 CEST

    As we wrap up our full live coverage from the stage, this image sums up the days action, the echelons and the final attack by Sagan, Froome, Thomas and Bodnar.


    Sagan, Bodnar, Thomas and Froome split from the front of the race in the final kilometers


  147. 19:04:38 CEST

    We'll have full live coverage from Thursday's stage from Montpellier to Mont Ventoux.

    The stage won't finish atop the bald mountain on Provence -the Géant de Provence but 5.7km lower at the Chalet Reynard. The climb to the finish is still 10km long and could be raced even more aggressively now. With the key hilly time trial coming the day after, we are in the most important days of this year's Tour de France.  


  148. 19:07:02 CEST

    For full coverage of today's stage, visit our special Tour de France by clicking here. 

    We'll say goodbye with an image that explains the stage to Montpellier.

    Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) drive the breakaway on stage 11


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