Caleb Ewan pockets first Tour de France triumph

Tour de France 2019 | Stage 11 | Albi > Toulouse

Caleb Ewan claimed his first Tour de France victory on stage 11 in Toulouse, making it ten different winners of the first ten individual stages this year. The Australian pocket rocket outclassed Dylan Groenewegen in a very tight finish. Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey ahead of the Pyrenean stages.

Calmejane, Perez, Rosseto and Aimé De Gendt at the front

170 riders took the start of stage 11 in Albi. One non-starter: Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin). Four riders took off from the gun: Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie), Aimé De Gendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Anthony Perez and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis). It was highly expected that Albi native Calmejane and Toulouse native Perez would be part of the move from Albi to Toulouse. The sprinters’ teams put Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step) at the head of the peloton to maintain the time difference under three minutes. It was 2’55’’ at the côte de Tonnac (km 32) where Perez passed first ahead of De Gendt and the maximum time difference was recorded at côte de Castelnau-de-Montmiral (km 77) where Perez was first as well.

Quintana and Porte in a crash

Perez also won the intermediate sprint at Gaillac (km 87). The gap was down to one minute with 50km to go. 30km before the end, a crash took Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Richie Porte and former yellow jersey Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), among others, to the ground. Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) was forced to pull out. The GC riders involved in the accident made it back to the pack. It was bunched up again at the front when De Gendt, the most aggressive rider of the day, was the last breakaway rider swallowed by the peloton with 4.5km to go.

Grand Tour trilogy for Ewan

Jumbo-Visma took the command of the peloton in the last 4km of racing, with Wout van Aert and Amund Groendahl Jansen pulling hard. Katusha-Alpecin and Bora-Hansgrohe took over before the Dutch team went to the front again. Despite missing his lead out man Jasper De Buyst who got caught in a crash with 10km to go, Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal perfectly positioned himself behind Dylan Groenewegen and pipped him on the line to become the sixth rider taking his first ever Tour de France victory this year. Like Elia Viviani in Nancy, he completed his Grand Tour trilogy at the age of 25 after winning one stage at La Vuelta and three at the Giro. He had four top 3 before he managed to reach his goal in his first participation to the Tour de France.

Summary - Stage 11 - Tour de France 2019

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