Belgian champion Wout van Aert made the most of the double dose of the Mont Ventoux originally set to suit the pure climbers. He rode away solo from a breakaway group in the second ascent to fend off Kenny Elissonde and Bauke Mollema in Malaucène. Despite an attack by Jonas Vingegaard 1.2km before the summit, Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey.
Alaphilippe the most active rider in the first half of stage 11
164 riders took the start of stage 11 at Sorgues at 12.15. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) was first in action. Simon Geschke (Cofidis) tried his luck. Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix) and Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-Quick Step) stayed longer at the front. At km 25, Alaphilippe and Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) rode away while Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) crashed out. The world champion powered to the côte de Fontaine-du-Vaucluse (cat. 4, km 32) alone in the lead. He was caught by five riders at km 42 after passing first at the intermediate sprint. Alaphilippe was reinforced after the côte de Gordes (cat. 4, km 43.7) by Dan Martin (Israel-Start Up-Nation), Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Pierre Rolland (B&B-KTM). A group of 13 chasers was formed behind them: Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Julian Bernard, Bauke Mollema, Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Xandro Meurisee, Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Fenix), Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange), Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-KTM), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Greg Van Avermaet, Benoît Cosnefroy (Ag2r-Citröen), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis).
Ineos-Grenadiers in the lead of the yellow jersey group
Cosnefroy got dropped and swallowed by the peloton. At the bottom of the Mont Ventoux, the four leaders were reunited with the twelve remaining chasers with 99km to go while Ineos-Grenadiers kept pacing the pack five minutes behind. 12km before the summit, Alaphilippe, Durbridge, van Aert, Meurisse, Bernard, Elissonde and Perez rode away. Mollema came across to them with 1km to go to the top. Alaphilippe sprinted to take the KOM points before Perez and Mollema. With 50km to go, it was still Ineos-Grenadiers leading the peloton with the same deficit while David Gaudu was the only member of the top 10 overall to have been dropped, suffering the heat and the consequences of a very fast start.
Van Aert counters the Trek-Segafredo trio
Bernard upped the tempo as the front group headed back to the Mont Ventoux, paving the way for Elissonde to attack and go solo with 36km to go and 14km yet to climb. Van Aert came across to the Frenchman two kilometres further. While Mollema rode Alaphilippe off and tried to bridge the gap to the leading duo, van Aert went solo 11km before the summit. Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) was the first of the top 9 riders on GC to get distanced from the yellow jersey group still led by four Ineos-Grenadiers. Eventually, it wasn’t Carapaz but Vingegaard who launched an attack with 1.2km to go to the summit. While van Aert managed to retain in the descent the lead of 1’05’’ he had over Elissonde and Mollema at the Mont Ventoux, Vingegaard was brought back by Pogacar, Uran and Carapaz before the finish in Malaucène. It’s the fourth stage win for van Aert at the Tour de France after three bunch sprints in Albi, Privas and Lavaur.