Stage Report: Two times up the monstrous Mont Ventoux was going to give us a hero’s win. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) was the man of the day – The Belgian champion got in the early break and then went solo on the second ascent of the Ventoux. Behind; the GC group exploded, but the yellow jersey of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) was never really in trouble, ignoring an attack from Van Aert’s teammate Jonas Vingegaard. Mark Cavendish made the time cut thanks to his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team mates.
Wout van Aert: “Probably my biggest ever win”
– The final kilometre of Stage 11 and read our full report and pics below:-
Wout van Aert won the eleventh stage of the Tour de France. After the double climb of the mythical Mont Ventoux, the Belgian Jumbo-Visma rider crossed the line solo in Malaucène. For the troubled Dutch team, which had to say goodbye to its classification ambitions early on, it was the first stage victory in this Tour.
Stage 11 profile
Tour boss Christian Prudhomme describes stage 11: “Five years after a windy visit, the Tour returns to the Giant of Provence that has become a Regional Natural Parc, for a double climb (including the almost unprecedented one going through Sault) and a finish at the bottom. A fine way to salute the initiative of the Conseil départemental of Vaucluse that refurnished the summit road for cyclists.”
Different days ahead
Belgians Van Aert and Van Avermaet wanted to be in the break
The Vaucluse route went from Sorgues over the Col de la Liguière to Sault, where the mythical Mont Ventoux was climbed. Then the peloton descended, to race up again via Bédoin via the harder south side. The finish was not at the top, but after a quick descent in Malaucène.
It took time for the break to form
The World champions was very keen on getting in the break
Under sunny conditions, it wasn’t long before a heated battle erupted for the day’s break. After the initial skirmishes, Julian Alaphilippe and Nairo Quintana jumped away in the run-up to the first climb, the Côte de Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, where the World champion dropped his Colombian co-attacker and climbed the 1 mountain point. Tony Martin had already abandoned by then. Early in the stage, the German rider ended up in a ditch, after which he had to give up.
Quintana went with Alaphilippe, but it didn’t last
Dan Martin made the break, but struggled on the first climb of the Ventoux
The pace was very high, as a result of which the peloton split into pieces. Alaphilippe managed to maintain his small lead and just after the intermediate sprint in Les Imberts he was joined by Dan Martin, Anthony Perez, Neilson Powless, Elie Gesbert and Jakob Fuglsang. Alaphilippe and Martin clearly had good legs and continued together on the Côte de Gordes, the second climb. Perez was able to make contact again just before the top, and Pierre Rolland also hooked up. The four started the descent from the castle village of Gordes.
Greg Van Avermaet was in a group between peloton and break
The fans were happy
After 50 kilometres the peloton eased up a little, allowing trailing riders like three-time stage winner Mark Cavendish to return. This allowed the four leaders to extend their lead to 1 minute. Then an eight-man group counter-attacked, including Vegard Stake Laengen, Trek-Segafredo pair Julien Bernard and Bauke Mollema, Nils Politt, Alpecin-Fenix riders Xandro Meurisse and Kristian Sbaragli, Luke Durbridge and Quentin Pacher. Behind, another group tried to cross.
Alaphilippe the first time up the Ventoux
Wout van Aert, Kenny Elissonde, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Benoît Cosnefroy and Greg Van Avermaet got together, and the Mollema group saw this Van Aert group connect after 60 kilometres. With this thirteen, the counter-attackers tried to close the minute behind the four leaders. For a long time their gap remained about 1 minute, only on the Col de la Liguière did the second group start to catch them. On the climb, where Martin came over the top first, Cosnefroy waited for the large group to assist leader Ben O’Connor.
Stage win for Van Aert?
With a 100 kilometres to go, at the foot of the first ascent of Mont Ventoux, Martin, Alaphilippe, Perez and Rolland saw the Mollema/Van Aert group join up. There was now 16 riders at the front: Stake Laengen (UAE), Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), Bernard, Elissonde, Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Politt (BORA-hansgrohe), Perez, Périchon (Cofidis), Meurisse, Sbaragli (Alpecin-Fenix), Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën), Durbridge (BikeExchange), Pacher and Rolland (B&,B Hotels). The peloton followed at 5 minutes.
The yellow jersey, Tadej Pogačar, had INEOS Grenadiers working on the front
On the Ventoux, the large leading group fell apart at the hands of Alaphilippe and Van Aert. In the end seven riders remained together at Chalet Reynard: Van Aert, Bernard, Elissonde, Alaphilippe, Perez, Meurisse and Durbridge. Mollema and Rolland tried to get back to the front riders at their own pace.
Pogačar looking cool
Jonas Vingegaard had his Jumbo-Visma teammate, van Aert up the road
Alaphilippe was the first to cross the top (1910 metres), followed by Perez and Mollema. Then the leading group descended for the first time to Malaucène, where the finish would be at the end of the stage. Alaphilippe and Van Aert in particular cut the corners on the descent. Once in Malaucène, it was time to count down the kilometres until Bédoin, where the second climb of Mont Ventoux would begin. David Gaudu had meanwhile been dropped from the peloton; the French leader of Groupama-FDJ, tenth overall, had to let the rest go.
Tour stage winner, Matej Mohoric, was taking in the view of Mont Ventoux
Time to grit his teeth – Philippe Gilbert
With 37.7 kilometres to go, the leading group started Mont Ventoux for the second time. As the road began to climb again, the strength had drained from Perez. The Frenchman could no longer keep up with the pace that Mollema’s companions, Bernard and Elissonde, imposed on the leading group. Bernard then did another turn on the front and then it was also over for the Trek rider. The moment Bernard dropped out, his teammate Elissonde accelerated. Behind him only Van Aert, Mollema and Alaphilippe remained.
The top of the Ventoux for the first time
Van Aert and Mollema wanted the win
With 14 kilometres to the top, Van Aert rode away from Mollema and Alaphilippe. The Belgian champion, who was second in the bunch sprint yesterday, went after Elissonde on his own and joined the French rider a little later. At eleven kilometres from the top, Van Aert pulled away from Elissonde and continued solo. At Chalet Reynard, with 6 kilometres to the summit, he had 1 minute on Elissonde and Mollema. Alaphilippe’s deficit had already risen to 4 minutes.
It was Van Aert who went solo
Is there anything this man can’t do?
INEOS Grenadiers were in charge of the GC group on the second climb of Mont Ventoux. After Gaudu was the first of the top-10 riders to be dropped, it was also too fast for Ben O’Connor, second overall, and Guillaume Martin (9th). Behind Richard Carapaz’s train, Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard, Enric Mas and Wilco Kelderman managed to hold their own. Once on the bare mountain, Mas was in trouble. Vingegaard then accelerated, only Pogačar could follow and only at first. The Danish climber then dropped the Slovenian.
The Trek-Segafredo pair of Bauke Mollema and Kenny Elissonde couldn’t catch Van Aert
Van Aert crossed the top 1 minute ahead of Elissonde and Mollema. His teammate Vingegaard followed after 1:30. Half a minute later, Pogačar started the descent with Urán and Carapaz. Van Aert stayed out of trouble on the wide roads and crossed the line as the winner in Malaucène after five and a half hours of racing. A minute later Elissonde and Mollema finished. Vingegaard was caught by Pogačar, Urán and Carapaz, who had descended hard from Mont Ventoux.
Jonas Vingegaard dropped all the GC men
The big win for the Belgian champion
Stage winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I am lost for words. I didn’t think of winning this stage coming into the Tour de France. I only started to believe in it yesterday: that, if I went on the breakaway, I might have a chance of victory. The Mont Ventoux is one of the most iconic climbs in the cycling world. This may be the best victory of my career. There was a big battle for the breakaway ahead of the climbs. Alaphilippe, par example, spent a lot of energy in those moments. But, above all, I guess everything is possible if you believe you can do it. It was very hard emotionally to reach this Tour de France on a proper level. Then, on the first week we had very bad luck. Even today, again, we lost Tony Martin to a crash. But we kept ourselves motivated and focused. If you believe, success ends up coming. I feel very proud of what I accomplished here.”
Wout van Aert – A worthy winner
Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “The pace was very hard during the whole second climb to Mont Ventoux. In the final kilometres, Jonas Vingegaard attacked and I just couldn’t follow him. It was too much and I exploded a little bit. I joined forces with Urán and Carapaz on the descent and we managed to save the day for everyone. When Vingegaard dropped me, I knew I had to stay calm and set my own pace. We were close to the summit when I got dropped, and I knew the descent was a good opportunity to bring him back. In the end, it was a good day for me. From what we have seen this year, we already know Jonas Vingegaard can be one of the best climbers of this era. I’m not surprised of what he did today: he is a super rider.”
Pogačar pulled Vingegaard back along with Uran and Carapaz
Tour de France Stage 11 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 5:17:43
2. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 1:14
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:38
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:56
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 3:02
11. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 3:28
12. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 4:05
13. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 5:09
14. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange
15. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 05:35
16. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
17. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
18. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 05:46
19. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 7:18
20. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 7:34
21. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 11:32
22. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers at 12:18
23. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
24. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
25. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 11:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 43:44:38
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
5. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 5:58
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 6:16
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:30
8. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 7:11
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 9:29
10. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 10:28
11. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 15:35
12. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 24:44
13. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 25:21
14. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 25:53
15. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 30:51
16. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 32:20
17. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 38:49
18. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 39:13
19. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 43:54
20. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 47:37
21. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 49:17
22. Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash at 50:57
23. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 53:35
24. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech at 54:35
25. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 54:41.