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Tour de France 2015: Stage 11

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Stage 11 is about to start and we've got a tough parcours on the menu for our second day in the Pyrenees. Chris Froome extended his lead in yellow after a dominant performance on the Col du Soudet yesterday.

Winner today likely to be somebody well out of the GC battle. So anybody except Froome, then.

@EdwardPickering Wed, 15th Jul 2015 09:43:00

This is how things finished yesterday, with Sky taking home a 1-2.

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 4:22:07
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:59
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:04
4 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:33
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:01
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:02:04
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:02:22
10 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:30

The peloton are on their way through the lengthy 9.6km neutral zone. They should be racing at 12:05 local time.

This is how yesterday's stage shook up the general classification.

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 35:56:09
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:52
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:09
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:01
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:03
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:04
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:04:33
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:35
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:06:12
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:57

Joaquim Rodriguez has gone down in the neutral zone. It appears he isn't too badly hurt and he's back on his bike.

There are six climbs for the riders to contend with today including the Col d'Aspin and the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet. Here is what lies ahead of the riders today.

 

Today is the 80th time over the Col du Tourmalet for the Tour de France. It first appeared in 1910 when Octave Lapize was first over the top. It was part of the final mountain stage during last year's Tour. Blel Kadri was first over the top with Vincenzo Nibali winning the stage, which finished on the Hautacam.

Talking with the teams this morning the feeling is that they all have their hands tied with Team Sky domination. Boh! A fight for the podium

@Laura_Meseguer Wed, 15th Jul 2015 10:11:25

The riders have completed five kilometres and we've got four riders on the attack. The men out front are Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep), Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhuebka).

It was Westra who initiated the move, with the Astana team perhaps looking to salvage something after Vinacenzo Nibali cracked big style yesterday. Astana team boss Alexandre Vinokourov has said that Jakob Fuglsang is the team's new leader.

174km remaining from 188km

Lampre-Merida and Cannondale-Garmin are doing the chasing at the moment. They seem eager to get someone in the break today with the and are keeping our four leaders on a short leash. The escapees have 20 seconds on the bunch.

As the action gets going, why not take the time to listen to the latest episode of our Tour de France podcast. Subscribe to it on iTunes to make sure you get the episodes as soon as their ready.

Adam Hansen, surprisingly, is still in the peloton after injuring himself heavily early on in the race. He had to ride a road bike during the team time trial and he finished over 22 minutes down yesterday.

 

"It was ok, I struggled a little but I am getting through it. I am improving everyday so I am happy," Hansen told Cyclingnews at the start of the stage. "The next stages about survival? Yes and no, ill try and support André in the intermediate sprints as its kind of important now and just survive.



"We have Tony [Gallopin] he’s French and at the Tour de France doing extremely well. He had the green jersey, two stage wins, a second."



 

163km remaining from 188km

Giant and FDJ have now taken up the pace setting after 24km. The four leaders have a 40-second gap. The peloton seem reluctant to let them go, which is not surprising considering it contains the current world champion. The others are no slouchers either, with Boasson Hagen a winner of three stages at the Tour. Today's finish is likely to be too difficult for him but perhaps he is planning to tee up one of his teammates.

Once again today the green jersey is up for grabs. Yesterday André Gripel took the points from the bunch and claimed the jersey back from Peter Sagan. However, today's intermediate sprint comes after a third cat climb and is also on an incline, which should suit Sagan better than Greipel. with just three points separating the pair it's going to be a hotly contested intermediate sprint. Here are the standings at the moment.

 

1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 225 pts
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 222
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 172
4 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 169
5 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 108
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 81
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 73
8 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 70
9 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step 63
10 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 53

One of the hardest stages in #LeTour2015 and the race is flat out averaging 51.5km/h in the first half hour

@dougryd Wed, 15th Jul 2015 10:41:43

Earlier this week, Team Sky told the media that they believe that Chris Froome's power files had been hacked. A video later surfaced with Froome's power data overlayed on footage of his Ventoux ride in 2013. After his victory yesterday, Froome has said that he will undergo independent testing to prove that he's clean. Read the full story here.

Cannondale-Garmin were another team that really struggled on the final climb yesterday with Ryder Hesjedal their best performer at over eight minutes down. Cyclingnews spoke to directeur sportif Charly Wegelius at the start this morning.

“It was a disappointing day for everybody, it was a tough day but we put it away and we go one with the consequences of that with a different race,” said Wegelius. “We’ve made a different strategy obviously with the consequences of what happened yesterday. Obviously we look ahead and see which riders we are going to use on which stages on the basis on what’s coming up. Obviously in the second half of the Tour you always have to measure every day the status of the riders as far the recuperations is concerned.

“For sure, with the time gaps as they are the onus is one the other top teams to break Froome but this is also one of those races where the race is so big that people who aren’t involved will defend their smaller places which is going, to a degree, cancel out those kinds of efforts.”

146km remaining from 188km

The leaders are passing through Lourdes and after 41 kilometres of battling the four escapees still only have 40 seconds on the peloton. They're going to struggle to stay out front when we hit this series of three climbs to come.

Peloton has just passed through Lourdes. Reports coming in that Vincenzo Nibali stopped at the cathedral for a blessing #TDF2015

@saddleblaze Wed, 15th Jul 2015 10:57:00

The gap briefly went up to 45 seconds but as we approach the 3rd cat Côte de Loucrup it has been cut down to just 30 seconds with Cannondale-Garmin leading the chase.

Alberto Contador's GC chances took a real blow yesterday after he was dropped. It's perhaps not too surprising that he struggled considering the amount of racing he's done in the last few months. Contador told reporters that he was struggling to breathe on the final climb. Read what he had to day here.

It's gruppo compatto now as the four escapees were finally reeled in at the 47km mark. The peloton is about to hit the top of the first climb, which will be followed by the intermediate sprint and the fourth category Côte de Bagnères-de-Bigorre.

Thomas Voeckler makes a brief move off the front with a Bretagne-Séché rider but they are brought back in.

Voeckler did pick up the mountains points though. he's got a long way to go if he wants to match the tally of the classification leader Chris Froome.

136km remaining from 188km

There has been a split in the bunch following that climb and Rui Costa is one of the riders caught out. He suffered during yesterday's final climb also.

Around 30 seconds between the two pelotons. André Greipel is another of those that has reportedly been dropped. Good news for Sagan in the battle for the green jersey.

With just a kilometre until the intermediate sprint, Lotto-Soudal have managed to close the gap to the front group but they're not quite there yet.

Riders who won twice on July 14th: Frantz, C.Pelissier, Aerts, Anquetil, Thevenet, Martins, Chozas, Jalabert, Froome.

@CafeRoubaix Wed, 15th Jul 2015 11:18:55

Bora's Dominik Nerz has abandoned the race. He was their hope for the overall classification.

Results of the intermediate sprint have come through. Matteo Trentin lead the bunch over for the full 20 points with Peter Sagan taking second. André Greipel could only manage ninth after that chase and the green jersey will once again change hands.

Rigoberto Uran came through the first week in a strong position and looked like a dark horse for the overall classification but he struggled yesterday and lost over five minutes. We caught up with his DS Brian Holm at the start of the day and he gave his assessment on what went on.

 

"After the team time trial he was looking strong, I think he was the favourite after the first week when Team Sky did a good job to keep him out of trouble on the flat stages. For sure they did better than last year and they learnt a lesson. Its not over before its over, if you have a bad day than… just because he didn’t have a bad day yesterday doesn’t mean he couldn’t have a bad day for the rest of the tour. Of course they are nervous and will cross their fingers with Quintana, Valverde, Tejay, even the French I think will be back but I think he will be difficult to be beat but its not over till its over is it," said Holm.



"To be fair, it was more of less just a flat stage with a 15km climb so it was not exactly four big mountains so those big time splits, I was a bit surprise it was that much. Nobody really expected Contador to lose three minutes and that was a surprise to me, on the other hand I don’t think its over for Contador and we will see the Spanish riders back."

123km remaining from 188km

A group of 15 riders have gone off the front after that fourth category climb including Frenchmen Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot. Both were favourites going into the race after their performances last year but they've struggled to follow it up. Can they salvage something today?

Bardet is currently over 13 minutes down in the overall classification with Pinot a further five back. They are fighting for their place in the top 10.

The 15 leaders have a small 12-second gap as we go down this descent. A further seven riders have jumped off the front and are chasing them down. 

The seven rides have joined up with the leaders to make it a group of 22 out front. Team Sky are making the chase at the moment and the gap remains a tiny 12 seconds. Next for the riders is the 2.7km Côte de Mauvezin.

Team Sky obviously decided that the group was much too strong for their liking and it's all back together again.

These small climbs are just to soften up the peloton before we get to the real stuff. Let us know your predictions for today's stage on twitter. You can reach us at @SadhbhOS or @Cyclingnewsfeed.

We've had plenty of action in the last few kilometres. Currently we have a group of 11 riders off the front including Stage 8 winner Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale) and his teammate Mikaël Chérel, Laurens ten Dam (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jacques Janse van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka), Steve Morabito (FDJ) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka).
 

Teklahaimanot has taken the points at the top of the côte de Mauvezin. He won't be able to take back the polka-dot jersey but he could move himself a lot closer to the top of the standings.

Well it's all change again and that group has been caught. We now have three different riders out front including two former king of the mountains winners with Thomas Voeckler (Eruopcar) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo). Serge Pauwels of MTN-Qhubeka is with them. He's the fourth different rider to go on the attack for them today. They seem determined.

The three leaders have been joined by two more with Steve Morabito (FDJ) and German champion Emanuel Buchmann (Bora). They have 40 seconds on the bunch with Arnaud Démare and Julien Simon trying to bridge the gap.

Chris Froome put in an astounding performance yesterday to extend his lead in the overall classification. He spoke to the media this morning, saying that he's feeling yesterday's efforts.

 

"At this point I’m just hoping to hang onto my lead and rely on my teammates to get me through the next few day," said Froome. "Yesterday was a pretty big effort and I can already feel that the legs are a bit sore. Hopefully we’ll just try and get through today as best that we can as we have another really tough day coming up tomorrow"

When asked if he expected attacks today Froome said: "I’d have to say any of the guys who lost time yesterday. Quintana, I’d expect him to be very aggressive. The Tourmalet suits him well. I definitely think he could go for it. I’m very grateful that I’m not in the position where I have to try and make up three minutes. We’re going to have to expect that my rivals are going to try and take the race on at any moment. I don’t think I’ll be alone today. The final climb is shorter and it’s only normal that I’ll be paying for my effort yesterday."
 

102km remaining from 188km

the five leaders have 2:46 on the peloton now and it looks like we've finally got our break of the day with 85kilometres ridden. Simon and Démare are 48 seconds in arrears.

It's lunch time for the riders as they pass through the feed zone. They'll want to get in as much nutrition as they can before the Col d'Aspin.

Chris Froome dealt a major blow to his rivals yesterday and now enjoyed a significant lead in the overall classification. Some are saying the race is over, Astana and Movistar bosses Alexandre Vinokourov and Eusebio Unzué have their say on the matter here.

The average speed over the first two hours of racing is 44kph but that should slow down in the second half of the stage. Simon and Démare have joined forced with the five riders out front and we now have a group of seven leading the way.

The leaders have 4:10 on the bunch as we hit the halfway point. The seven men out front are: Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka), Steve Morabito and Arnaud Démare (FDJ) Julien Simon (Cofidis) and Emmanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon 18).

Daniele Bennati has abandoned the race. He is the second Tinkoff-Saxo rider to quit after Ivan Basso pulled out on the rest day after it was discovered that he had testicular cancer.

Dan Martin has decided that he wants to be in the break and he's set off in chase. He's 39 seconds ahead of the peloton but he's got another 3:40 to make up if he wants to join the seven out front.

Martin was the victor when the race went over the Tourmalet in 2013 after Garmin blew the race apart. He had a tough ride yesterday and Cyclingnews caught up with him this morning.

 

"Obviously it was a bad day for us but we’ll find out when we get on the bike [how the legs are]," said Martin. "I don’t know what our issue was, me and Andrew both had the same sensations. We just front have any power left on the last climb. Whether it was the heat or whatever it was, its still a question mark for us but we regroup and move on. Its still a long way to go in this race."

86km remaining from 188km

A mechanical problem for Pinot. A quick wheel change and he's on his way again.

We spoke of Martin's success when the race visited the Tourmalet two years ago but it wasn't such a good day out for Team Sky as David Brailsord explains.

 

"This day, two years ago was our worst performance probably, after having a great performance on Ax 3 Domaines, so we’re pretty focused on today and making sure that we don’t do the same," Brailsford said at the start of the day. 

 

"As we saw two years ago, a lot of the guys here will react to yesterday. They’re great racers and I’m sure they’ll come out fighting, they don’t just roll over and lie down, that’s not the way it works. I think collectively there’ll be a lot of action, we can expect the unexpected, we just have to stay strong and try to mange the situation."
 

Andriy Grivko is now with Martin. They're closing in on the leaders but they're still 3:24 behind.

The advantage for the escapees continues to grow. They've got 6:12 on the bunch with the chasers 3:16 behind.

Richie Porte is in the mountains jersey today, as he looks after it for his teammate Chris Froome. Thankfully no polka-dot shorts in sight.

80km remaining from 188km

The leaders are on the Col d'Aspin. Let the fun begin!

Grivko can't keep up with Martin and he's shelled out. Martin continues alone and he's cut the deficit to 2:30.

If this break can make it to the finish Rafal Majka is certainly the favourite to take the victory. Majka won two stages of last year's Tour and went onto claim the mountains classification. He's been pretty quite this year but you still can't count him out.

Serge Pauwels could also be a serious threat from this break. The Belgian, who moved to MTN-Qhubeka for this season, finished 14th in yesterday's summit finish. He's never won a Grand Tour stage though.

Col d'Aspin is one of my favourite climbs. Not least because it's not head-bangingly tough. Lovely view across valley for the final few ks.

@EdwardPickering Wed, 15th Jul 2015 12:46:15

75km remaining from 188km

Dan Martin is putting in a huge effort on the Aspin and he's now just 58 seconds behind the leaders. Can he make it across before they reach the top? He's got 5km to do it.

Démare has put in a good effort to make it this far but he's now struggling to keep in touch with this break group. He's more a sprinter so this is not his terrain.

Martin can see the leaders and he's almost with Demare now.

74km remaining from 188km

Martin doesn't even slow down as he passes Demare, who seems in good spirits despite being distanced.

Martin brings the number of riders in the leading group back to 7 as he finally makes touch. What a great effort from him to do that. They have a 7:08 advantage on the peloton.

Bardet has been dropped and he's back with the gruppetto. He was on the attack early today but this has not been a good Tour de France for the young Frenchman.

At the front of the peloton all seems calm with BMC and Sky setting the pace.

Bardet is back with the peloton after a quick trip to the medical car. It seems that he is having trouble with the heat and he's been given some tights filled with ice to keep his temperature down. It's been very hot in France for the past week and a number of riders were complaining about the heat after yesterday's stage.

#TDF2015 what is Majka waiting for ? Needs all the minutes he Can get before the race (hopefully) starts on Tourmalet

@MRasmussen1974 Wed, 15th Jul 2015 13:03:48

The top of the climb is coming up and Dan martin attacks

Martin takes the maximum points. He also gets a tidy 5,000 euros for winning the Souvenir Jacques Goddet.

68km remaining from 188km

Despite having to do most of the chase alone, Martin looks like he's feeling strong today and he could be on course for his second Tour de France stage win. On that short performance, he has definitely made himself the favourite from that group of 7 out front.

Here are the full results at the top of the Aspin.

 

1. Dan Martin, 10 pts

2. Thomas Voeckler, 8 pts

3. Serge Pauwels, 6 pts

4. Rafal Majka, 4 pts

5. Julien Simon, 2 pts

6. Steve Morabito, 1 pt

Apologies for an earlier error, it is the Tourmelet where the first rider over the top will take 5,00 euros. Expect a battle for that KOM.

We saw Johann Vansummeren in trouble earlier on and he's abandoned due to a crash on stage 2. LeTour.fr also report that Romain Bardet is suffering with heatstroke and threw up on the climb.

61km remaining from 188km

The break are taking it easy on this descent but they still hold a large advantage of 7:44 over the bunch.

58km remaining from 188km

Team Sky are working hard on the front of the peloton with Luke Rowe leading them down this descent. They've trimmed the advantage of the escapees to 7:20.

Still 58km to go on this stage, why not listen to episode 12 of our Tour de France podcast while following the action. Remember to plug your headphones if you're listening at work.

Bora-Argon 18 have confirmed that Nerz retired due to stomach problems.

The riders are climbing again and they've reached the Tourmalet. After digging in on the descent, Sky have eased p and the gap is going out again. They were likely just trying to keep their leader safe out front.

.@SadhbhOS @romainbardet Heatstroke implies neurological dysfunction. No way he could ride. May have milder degree of heat illness.

@jarradvz Wed, 15th Jul 2015 13:19:43

53km remaining from 188km

Demare has caught back up with the leaders on that descent and they are 8 once again. He's unlikely to make it to the top of the Tourmalet with them though. We haven't mentioned Grivko in a while and the Astana rider is still trudging along alone two minutes ahead of the peloton.

And Démare has gone out the back again.

Jakob Fuglsang to lead Astana at Tour de France after Nibali cracks http://t.co/wAtXqaGa38 #Tour2015 http://t.co/2YYKNUDiee

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 15th Jul 2015 13:38:29

Reports coming through that Ivan Basso had a successful operation today and he will leave hospital tomorrow.

As we mentioned earlier, this is the 80th time that the race will go over the Tourmalet. The 17.1km climb averages 7.3% but it hits several sections above 10 per cent in the second half of the ascent with a maximum of 12 per cent.

49km remaining from 188km

Astana have taken up the pace setting as Pinot is dropped. The gap to the escapees is just 6:27 now.

Lots of riders going out the back including Jean Christophe Péraud. The Astana pace proving too much for him.

Michal Kwiatkowski and Wout Poels have also taken the trap door exit. Poels obviously feeling the efforts of yesterday.

Pinot is now 1:36 behind the peloton and he's actually behind some of the sprinters. A surprise considering how strong Pinot has been in the run up to the Tour.

Despite losing Poels, Froome still has four teammates with him. Nibali is second in the peloton with one teammate in front of him. Is he planning something or is he working for Fuglsang, who is further back in the peloton?

Up front and the escape group has split up. Majka has gone off alone, with Pauwels chasing. Martin is in the third group on the road now.

Both bardet and Barguil have been shelled out the back now, while Andrew Talansky is struggling to stay in touch. This group is thinning out quickly.

Sharp corner ten meters after finish line. Strange. #TDF2015 http://t.co/too72je4ms

@philmaertens Wed, 15th Jul 2015 13:53:05

We've got another abandon for AG2R with Ben Gastauer calling it a day. Bardet is back with the team car, he's been suffering with heat exhaustion.

We're waiting for a time check between Majka and the chasers but he is almost five minutes ahead of the peloton. He's got less than 5km to the top.

More news of abandons coming through and Rein Taaramae is the next victim. Astana lost Lars Boom yesterday after he was suffering with the flu.

Majka (TCS) speeds up ahead of the break. Currently travelling 15.48 km/h. #TDFdata #TDF2015

@letourdata Wed, 15th Jul 2015 13:57:15

Rui Costa has also abandoned. He's been struggling with a leg injury since the first week and looked like he was in trouble earlier today.

43km remaining from 188km

Vincenzo Nibali is setting the pace now in the group of favourites. Also in that group is Thomas, Froome, Valverde, Quintana, Gesink, Gallopin, Mollema, Van Garderen and Rolland.

Richie Porte was reported as dropped but he has now moved to the front of the Froome group.

We've finally got a time check for Majka and he is 55 seconds ahead of the chasers.

Contador is also in that Froome group, there is another Astana rider but we haven't got a visual on him yet. We'll let you know when we confirm their identity.

It looks like that second Astana rider might be Scarponi but I'm not 100% sure.

Warren Barguil is fighting hard to get back. He's about a minute down on the group of favourites at the moment. He passes Uran along the way.

Samuel Sanchez is also in that group for BMC.

My mistake it is Kangert in there for Astana. Here is a full list of the riders in that group of favourites, who are 5:22 down on Majka:  Vincenzo Nibali, Tanel Kangert (Astana), Chris Froome, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas (Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar),Tejay van Garderen and Samuel Sanchez (BMC), Tony Gallopin (Lotto), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Robert Gesink (Lotto-Jumbo), Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing).

40km remaining from 188km

Barguil is plugging away and he's brought the gap between himself and the Froome group down to 34 seconds. Not long until they're at the top of the climb. We must remember that he had a pretty heavy crash yesterday.

Majka over the top of the Tourmalet to collect 25 points in the KOM competition and 5,000 euros in his back pocket. Is this a change in tactic for Tinkoff-Saxo after Contador's crumbling yesterday? Majka won the mountains jersey last year after Contador crashed out in the first week.

Alex Dowsett is making his debut at the Tour de France this season. He's been helping Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, who are both still in the group of favourites. Take a closer look at his Canyon bike here.

It looks like Talansky might have regained touch with the group of favourites. He, like his teammates, had a bad day in the mountains yesterday. Michael Rogers, Laurens Ten Dam and Mathias Frank are also back with the group.

35km remaining from 188km

Rolland ups the pace in the main group and puts Frank in trouble. They're still climbing as Majka is descending 5:36 further up the road.

The group of favourites are on the descent, led by Thomas but Richie Porte has been distanced.

It was Froome who led the main group over the top and he added a few more points to his tally in the mountains classification.

Majka really going for it on this descent and he gets scarily close to the edge of the road.

Here is how the results were at the top of the Tourmalet.

 

1. Rafal Majka, 25 pts

At 1.45

2. Serge Pauwels, 20 pts

At 2.00

3. Emmanuel Buchmann, 16 pts

At 2.05

4. Dan Martin, 14 pts

At 4.05

5. Thomas Voeckler, 12 pts

6. Julien Simon, 10 pts

At 5.20

7. Steve Morabito, 8 pts

At 5.40

8. Chris Froome, 6 pts

9. Pierre Rolland, 4 pts

10. Geraint Thomas, 2 pts
 

A cow makes it's way across the road and Barguil has to take some evasive action. He slips down the left side of the road and he continues his chase of this group of favourites.

26km remaining from 188km

Dan Martin has joined up with Serge Pauwels on this descent. They're quite far behind Majka still but this is a very long descent.

We gave you Alex Dowsett's bike but we've also got Tejay van Garderen's BMC Team Machine. Take a look at it here.

After a furious chase, Barguil has made it back to the leading group.

Majka under the 20km to go banner and he's still looking strong. He's got 5:41 on the yellow jersey group with Pauwels 1:10 back on him. He's closing the gap.

#TDF I'm sorry Team,sponsors,family&friends. I don't know whats happening w/ my body.I feel really bad.I'll do some medical tests&let u know

@RuiCostaCyclist Wed, 15th Jul 2015 14:33:24

Richie Porte is leading the charge for the so-called peloton. They are stung out under the pace set by the Australian.

Serge Pauwels getting some advice from Jens Zemke in the team car. He's now 1:16 behind Majka.

Barguil, took back 1min on yellow jersey group on top part of Tourmalet descent. impressive stuff coming through the team cars.

@willfoth Wed, 15th Jul 2015 14:36:09

Away from the Tour de France and Francesco Reda has tested positive for EPO. Read the full story here.

13km remaining from 188km

As the road becomes less steep, Majka begins pulling away from Pauwels again. The polish rider has1:22 on the Belgian.

Back int he group of favourites and it looks like another Movistar rider has joined up with Valverde and Quintana. Only caught a glimpse of the arm so haven't established their identity yet.

The gap between Pauwels and Majka keeps going up and down. The latest check has is at 1:09 as we begin climbing again.

Fortunately for Majka he's got a tailwind on this final ascent.

Average speed over the last km: Majka (TCS) 47.29 km/h Pauwels (MTN) 47.75 km/h #TDFdata #TDF2015

@letourdata Wed, 15th Jul 2015 14:48:51

The peloton is now at 6:07 back with Richie Porte continuing to set the pace.

With 8km to go Majka has 1:14 on Pauwels. It doesn't look like Pauwels has enough to catch the Polish rider.

Seeing the stage go away from him, Dan Martin has accelerated and dropped Buchmann. He can see Pauwels up the road.

Movistar confirm that Castroviejo is the third Movistar rider in this group. He's been very strong for the team during this year's Tour.

6km remaining from 188km

Just 6km to go for Majka. He looks set for victory but the top part of this climb is no easy challenge.

FDJ. Where do you squeeze them to get the toothpaste to come out, from the bottom or the middle?

@fmk_RoI Wed, 15th Jul 2015 14:54:55

Majka looks pretty comfortable as he gets out of the saddle for a bit. In contrast, Pauwels is looking a little ragged.

Under the 5km to go banner for Majka and he's got 1:22 on Pauwels. Richie Porte continues to set the pace int he bunch.

Jacques Janse van Rensberg is with the group of favourites, great ride from him to make it back. He had a strong day yesterday too.

3km remaining from 188km

The pace back in the main group has gone down as they look to save energy and the gap to Majka is growing once again. It's now at 6:42.

A beautiful view over the hairpins of the Cauterets. It peaks just over 3km from the finish.

Dan Martin has caught Serge Pauwels. He doesn't wait and sails straight past the peloton. There's 1:33 between himself and Majka. This is a tough ask for him.

Majka has crested the final climb and he's got a touch over 2km to the finish now with a 1:28 advantage over the chasing Dan martin.

2km to go for Majka and he's still looking comfortable as the road eases out.

Martin is still closing but he's still down 1:24 and he won't be able to shut that down with 1.5 to go.

Mollema attacks

Mollema's move has put the sword to a few riders with Porte and Nibali going out the back.

Mollema is pulling out a small gap with Robert Gesink trying to chase him down.

Rafal Majka wins stage 11 of the Tour de France

That will cheer up the Tinkoff-Saxo camp after a bad start to the second week.

Dan Martin crosses the line at 58 seconds behind Majka.

Buchmann crosses the line in third, it seems he passed Pauwels somewhere along the way.

Mollema continues with his attack further down the road. How much time can he gain?

Pauwels comes home in fourth.

The chasers can see Mollema but they don't appear to be chasing too hard.

Voeckler and Simon come home together at 3:33 as the main group go under the flamme rouge

Gallopin jumps off the front og the Froome group and Thomas sets the pace as they try to bring him back.

Mollema comes home at 5:10 down and there is a sprint for the line behind him with Valverde leading them over at 5:18.

Another bad day for Nibali and he goes over the line at 6:11 down. He could go out of the top 10 after that.

Nibali is the Charles Brunson of the peloton. Expression never changes no matter how he's riding

@petercossins Wed, 15th Jul 2015 15:13:07

Here is confirmation of the stage result

 

1 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 5:02:01
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:00
3 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:01:23
4 Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka 0:02:08
5 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:34
6 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:03:34
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:05:11
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:19
9 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:05:21
10 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:05:21

And that has seen some changes in the overall standings. Here are how they look after stage 11.

 

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 41:03:31
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:52
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:09
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:59
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:04:03
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:04:04
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:04:33
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:04:35
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:06:44
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:07:05

Basso testicular cancer surgery a success http://t.co/6fiiD72yNO http://t.co/T8eJBmVSHG

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 15th Jul 2015 15:19:56

Stage winner Rafal Majka spoke after the stage and here is what eh had to say. "I didn’t choose this stage but I knew ti was really hard, it’s the Tourmalet, it’s no easy stage and I like this weather. Today I had an opportunity to be in the breakaway. I’m so happy and this victory is for my teammate Ivan Basso, he’s now at home, and also Daniele Bennati, who crashed today. Also my family and my wife, who gives me a lot of power.

"I didn’t come here for the GC, I came here to help Alberto and we have some opportunities. It’s still a long Tour de France and we have to fight 100 per cent with Alberto."
 

Tomorrow the riders face the finish of the Plateau de Beille. Take a look at our stage preview here.

Rafal Majka celebrating his win today.

 

Serge Pauwels made a valiant effort to chase Majka but eventually finished fourth, here is what he had to say after the stage: "I was feeling really good. Yesterday I had really good legs. Today in the beginning we had Edvald in the breakaway with four guys, Cannondale chased really hard behind them so we knew that those four guys wouldn’t stay away.

 

"The race started again, and again and I think I chose the right moment to be in the breakaway. We were all strong riders also. It was still another race to try and get to the finish but I think that the best rider was at the front Majka. I was feeling really good and I climbed well on the Tourmalet and I chose to do my own rhythm and not to wait for Daniel Martin and Bauchmann the German champ, and in the final I was getting empty and they passed me but it was my choice to try and go for the victory and not to ride for second place."

Le gruppetto rentrera-t-il dans les délais ? #TDF2015 http://t.co/fKBsPDeKs3

@letour Wed, 15th Jul 2015 15:49:07

Geraint Thomas put in another strong performance today as he worked for his teammate Chris Froome. Here is what the team Sky rider had to say after the stage.

 

"It was a really hard start, it was an hour and 40 minutes of on the rivet. Fortunately, with the boys, we rode well as a unit and stuck together. Managed to get a good break and then just settled down and tried to recover as much as possible, wait for the Tourmalet and a possible attack from a team, and that is exactly what happened with Astana. That was solid, that pace, that was hard. There weren't very many guys left but me and Richie [Porte] managed to stay in there and took Froomie all the way to the line."

4th place finisher @sergepauwels still smiling :) http://t.co/isWbYrMfw7

@dougryd Wed, 15th Jul 2015 15:55:45

We're building a full report, gallery and stage results. Check it all out here.

Chris Froome on the final climb of the day.

 

Froome confirms he will take physiological tests soon. Says analysis of leaked power data "doesn't do anyone any good" without expertise

@DickinsonTimes Wed, 15th Jul 2015 16:06:55

Correction, time cut should have been 15% of 5:02:01, so 45:20. Dempster still should have been outside the cut. @letour?

@Laura_Weislo Wed, 15th Jul 2015 16:21:31

Here's a round-up of some of the reactions from today's stage, including Majka, Thomas, Rogers and Pauwels.

Warren Barguil : « Pas la journée idéale » http://t.co/lcupuhONtV #TDF2015

@radiotour_fr Wed, 15th Jul 2015 16:24:03

That is all from us today, remember to check our report, results and gallery and if you want to discuss the stage then head to our stage 11 topic in the forum.

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