Another great finish for the spectators yesterday. Mark Cavendish took the eleventh stage ahead of Andre Greipel, claiming back the driving seat. Tyler Farrar brought in third, but neither he nor Greipel were able to challenge the Cavendish’s power yesterday. Cavendish’s win affords him the maillot vert while Voeckler rolled in with the peloton to defend his overall lead before the tour takes to the mountains.
Yesterday was a mostly flat run of 167.5km from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur. At times the rain was so hard it was bouncing off the road, and the sky was dark enough to warrant headlights on the support vehicles. I would imagine the slighter built riders would have suffered a little under that maelstrom.
Quick rundown of the finale below:
7.3km to go and the break has 30 seconds.
7.0km: Matt Goss is off the back. This is peut bon for HTC.
6.0km: HTC has Eisel on the front. A bit early for him, but the break is strong today. Peter Velits takes over and Lampre lends some power. Sky too.
5.0km: Boom stays in the saddle but still manages to “fire the big gun”.
3km: Boom has 8 seconds.
2200m to go. Boom is caught, Eisel pulls off and Tony Martin takes over. HTC only have Renshaw in front of Cav now.
1000m to go: Millar is leading out Hushovd who is leading out the HTC train.
500m: Geraint Thomas is leading out Renshaw now. Really, it’s so nice of these British riders to stick together. We really know he’s working for Boasson Hagen, but you know people will say Sky is wooing Cav.
Cav jumps from a ways out but nobody can match his speed. Greipel looks like he’s doing all he can to stay close to his wheel and Farrar tries but can’t get around Greipel for second.