British climber Simon Yates is looking forward to round-two in the mountains from tomorrow following another day successfully defending his best young rider white jersey on stage 11 of the Tour de France today.
The flat parcours and dominance of Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors), who took his fifth sprint stage victory, seemed like another simple day in the saddle for onlookers, but Yates admitted there was some nerves in the peloton.
“It wasn’t an easy day out there today,” Yates explained. “There was a bit of wind today and that was causing some stress in the bunch.”
“Guys are always fighting for good position. Particularly in the final it becomes more stressful and fast-paced.
“For sure I will enjoy tomorrow a bit more than today, less stress and more in my territory on the climbs.”
Tomorrow is the second of the three summit finishes at the 2017 Tour de France. The final category two climb into Peyragudes is proceeded by five other summits, include two category-one and a hors category climb.
The ORICA-SCOTT rider anticipated an aggressive day on the road.
“I think tomorrow will be very similar to the other mountain stages,” Yates predicted. “There’s going to be a lot of guys who are looking for the breakaway at the beginning so I’m sure it’ll be a very hard start.”
“Then I think there will be guys wanting to take some time out of Chris (Froome) in the final so I’m predicting another really hard day.
“At the beginning, I will follow the big guys who are up there in the GC but I hope I have good legs and if I do and I see a good opportunity in the final there, maybe I can try something.”
How it happened:
Today’s stage 11 of the Tour de France was another flat stage over 200km and despite some nerves in the peloton, the stage finished with another expected bunch sprint.
A small breakaway of three riders went off the front immediately but the trio were held in control by the peloton for the entire day.
Bora-Hansgrohe rider Maciej Bodnar was the brave solo survivor from the breakaway, adding some extra action to the finish as he held on until the final 250m of the stage.
But it wasn’t to be as the sprinters sailed past, with Kittel stealing the honours yet again.
Tour de France – Stage 11 Results
1. Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors) 4:34:27
2. Dylan Groenwgen (Team LottoNL-Jumb) ST
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) ST
28. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
Tour de France – General Classification after Stage 11:
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 47:01:55
2. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) +0:18
3. Romain Bardet (AG2R) +0:51
7. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +2:02