Sprinters lose contact early in short, sharp stage in the Alps
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), one day after fighting to make the time cut by just 30 seconds in the first mountain stage in the Alps, has been eliminated from the Tour de France on stage 11, along with fellow sprinter Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Cavendish’s lead-out man Mark Renshaw.
The sprinters finished well behind the gruppetto, which came in 29 minutes behind stage winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) at the end of a 108.5km stage to La Rosière that included two hours-categorise climbs in the first 57km.
Cavendish was initially being paced by two teammates, but they were ordered forward as the gap edged out to the 30-minute mark.
Kittel’s teammate Rick Zabel sprinted to the line five seconds outside the time cut but was allowed to keep his place in the Tour.
Both Kittel and Cavendish have struggled to get results in this Tour de France – Kittel’s best was a third place on the opening stage, while Cavendish cracked the top 10 once on stage 8.
Geraint Thomas became the first yellow jersey wearer since disgraced Lance Armstrong to triumph on the legendary Alpe d’Huez after a thrilling finale to a punishing Tour de France Stage 12 on Thursday. But the Welshman, along with teammate Chris Froome, was met by a chorus of boos and jeers at the finish as Team...
Geraint Thomas played down any potential leadership issues within Team Sky after taking a resounding stage 11 win at La Rosiere, and with it the yellow jersey. Thomas attacked a group of GC contenders, including his teammate Chris Froome, with five kilometres remaining on the first summit finish of the race. The Welshman’s attack brought...