The third savage Tour de France stage in the Alps proved too much for some top sprinters: one day after Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel finished outside the time limit on La Rosière, Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), and double stage winners Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) abandoned the race having fallen too far behind to reasonably make the cut.
Stage 11 to Alpe d’Huez was another hot, hard day in the mountains, with the massive 25.3km ascent to the Col de la Madeleine cresting just 53km into the stage.
Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) was the first to abandon, having fallen behind early in the stage. Groenewegen was the next, giving in before the second climb.
Greipel and Gaviria, who tussled in stage 8’s sprint to Amiens and were both relegated, chased behind the gruppetto up the Col de la Croix de Fer but fell further behind.
Greipel, along with teammate Marcel Sieberg, then climbed off as both riders knew they would be unable to make the time limit. Gaviria, with his teammate Max Richeze, continued for a few more kilometres before climbing into the team car.
Green jersey holder Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) are the top sprinters left in the race.
Italian rider involved in a crash with police motorbike on stage 12 Vincenzo Nibali battles up Alpe d’Huez on stage 11 of the Tour de France Credit: Yuzuru Sunada Nibali crashed with 3.8km remaining as the riders climbed towards the summit finish in the ski resort of Alpe d’Huez, hitting the deck as police...
Tour de France race leader Geraint Thomas says that he is “99 per cent” confident that there is currently no doping in cycling, and that the success of himself and the rest of Team Sky is down to nothing more than hard training. Thomas leads the 2018 Tour de France over Team Sky team-mate Chris...