Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) edged out Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) at the finish line in Toulouse for his first stage victory during Tour de France Stage 11’s 167 km ride from Albi to Toulouse. Ewan became the tenth rider to win a stage at the 2019 Tour de France.
Following the first day off of the tour, the 167 km route from Albi to Toulouse featured an easy stage before the tour heads into the grueling mountain stages.
The flat road into Toulouse set up a sprint that ended up a three-way burst to the finish line among Caleb Ewan, E. Viviani, and D. Groenewegen.
STAGE 11 – TOP 4 RESULTS:
1. Caleb Ewan
2. Dylan Groenewegen
3. Elia Viviani
4. Peter Sagan
1. Julian Alaphilippe (47:18:14)
2. Geraint Thomas +1:12
3. Egan Bernal +1:16
4. Steven Kruijswijk +1:27
Overall, Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey for another day. The tour heads to the mountains, where Alaphilippe can more than hold his own. He might distance himself from the peloton, but the top dogs from Team Ineos are right behind him. Defending champ Geraint Thomas is only 1:12 behind the leader. Egan Bernal is just four seconds behind Thomas.
Dutch riders have been dominating this year’s race with Wout van Aert taking down Stage 10. Steve Kruijs has not won a stage yet, but he’s still in fourth overall and less than 90 seconds behind Alaphilippe.
Stage 11: Albi to Toulouse
After a day off, the Tour de France resumed with Stage 11 and a 173 km jaunt from Albi to Toulouse. There were a couple of minor hills at the start of the stage. However, the flatlands for the second half the ride into Toulouse provided an opportunity for a big-time sprint.
Four riders attacked early and with Aime De Gendt (Wanty-Gobert), Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie), Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Anthony Perez (Cofidis) separating themselves from the start. They built up a 3-minute margin before the pack caught up to them on the outskirts of Toulouse.
A finals print developed with Elia Viviani (Decueninck-Quick-Step), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma), and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).
Ewan beat Groenewegen by a nose and won the stage and green jersey with a time of 3 hours, 51 minutes, and 26 seconds.
“I’ve been close in the last four sprints I’ve done,” said Ewan. “My team never lost faith in me. I knew if given the chance.”
Ewan’s victory in Stage 11 marked ten different winners for the first ten individual stages of the tour.
Stage 12 is a 207.5 km ride from Toulouse through a valley into the Pyrenees mountains before descending into the town of Bagneres-de-Bigorre.