-An exclusive post for Cycling Today by A LeadOut
The Tour de France 2022 stage 11 is the biggest rendez-vous for the grand contenders since the start of the race in Copenhagen 12 days ago. So, where do we stand now?
The situation prior to the stage 11
Magnus Cort took a well deserved win on stage 9. His exceptional show of form since the start also indicates that this is not the last we will hear from him until Paris. As for the general classification we did have a stalemate, with all the principal concerned and their teams, preserving themselves for the next two big days.
Ben O’Connor, from whom big things were expected, had to leave the race due to his injuries and to give himself time to heal to have a better La Vuelta, that he is schedule to start.
Jack Haig was another potential podium who had to leave the race following a heavy crash for the second consecutive edition.
Dani Martinez and Jakob Fuglsang, are the two biggest name to have completely faded out of contentions.
Off by around 3 minutes, Primoz Roglic and Alexandr Vlasov remains very much in contention although they have some grounds to make.
While Jonas Vingegaard remains Tadej Pogacar‘s biggest threat, Team Ineos Grenadiers management of three men at less than 2 mins from the leader is much awaited. Prior to La Bastille’s day, Romain Bardet and David Gaudu have been having a more than decent Tour de France so far, with both only 1 minute and 38 second away from the top.
Enric Mas is also showing some muscles that makes a Top 5 finish possible Many will also be rejoicing to see Nairo Quintana still very much in contention at this point in the race with a deficit of only 2 minutes and 13 seconds.
Finally, it will be interesting to see Bora-Hansgrohe‘s approach to Lennard Kamna being only 11 seconds from the Maillot Jaune with Vlasov slightly in the background.
Classifications of riders within 5 minutes of the general lead.
|1||T. POGACAR||UAE TEAM EMIRATES||37h 11′ 28”|
|2||L. KÄMNA||BORA – HANSGROHE||+ 00h 00′ 11”|
|3||J. VINGEGAARD||JUMBO – VISMA||+ 00h 00′ 39”|
|4||G. THOMAS||INEOS GRENADIERS||+ 00h 01′ 17”|
|5||A. YATES||INEOS GRENADIERS||+ 00h 01′ 25”|
|6||D. GAUDU||GROUPAMA – FDJ||+ 00h 01′ 38”|
|7||R. BARDET||TEAM DSM||+ 00h 01′ 39”|
|8||T. PIDCOCK||INEOS GRENADIERS||+ 00h 01′ 46”|
|9||E. MAS||MOVISTAR TEAM||+ 00h 01′ 50”|
|10||L. SANCHEZ||BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS||+ 00h 01′ 50”|
|11||N. POWLESS||EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST||+ 00h 01′ 55”|
|12||N. QUINTANA||TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC||+ 00h 02′ 13”|
|13||P. ROGLIČ||JUMBO – VISMA||+ 00h 02′ 52”|
|14||A. VLASOV||BORA – HANSGROHE||+ 00h 03′ 12”|
|15||A. PARET PEINTRE||AG2R CITROEN TEAM||+ 00h 03′ 31”|
|16||D. CARUSO||BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS||+ 00h 03′ 40”|
|17||A. LUTSENKO||ASTANA – QAZAQSTAN TEAM||+ 00h 04′ 58”|
Although Tadej Pogacar looks impeccable on his own, he has a very weakened team around him. George Bennett and Vegard Stake Laengen have both gone home after testing positive. Rafal Majka, his best lieutenant, also tested positive but was allowed to continue thanks to a low viral load. Marc Hirschi and Mikel Bjerg have looked far from their best by trailing at back of the peloton, leaving only Brandon Mcnulty and Marc Soler as the last fully fit warriors for Pogacar. This is a situation that Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers will look to exploit.
Tour de France 2022 – stage 11
Hell for the sprinters, night mare for the rouleurs, dream for the climbers and zero hour for the general Top 10 contenders. Indeed any rider who dreams of finishing among the best in this year’s tour will be allowed no mistake as any slip-up will be disastrous.
The peloton will start the Tour de France 2022 stage 11 in Albertville at noon for nearly 152 km of total chaos. The first 15 km will be an opportunity for any riders like Fabio Jakobsen or Jasper Philipsen provided they still have some hope, to deny Wout Van Aert of the full 20 points.
The rush to get into the break away that we have seen for the past days will, on its side continue. The flat terrain will advantage the rouleurs compared to the pure climbers. The latter will step up once the Lacets de Montvernier (2nd category 3.4 km at 8,2 %) is faced.
Otherwise, a proper group with the best climbers will be cresting over the Col du Telegraphe after 83.8 km. Despite being one of the famous climb in France, the Col du Telegraphe with its 11.9 km of ascent at 7.1% is ‘only’ classified as first category.
From this point, the race physiology will completely change. Pure sprinters will be hanging on to dear life to make the time-cut. Break-away riders will be hoping to have enough of a gap to challenge for stage victory. Most importantly, the main group’s pace will be taken up by either or both o Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers with the aim of completely isolating Tadej Pogacar from his very diminished UAE Team Emirates.
Col du Galibier – Souvenir Henri Desgrange
After reaching the summit of the Telegraphe, the riders will dive into a very short descent of 5 km before starting to climb the Galibier. The legendary climb is with its 17.7km at 6.9% is classified as Hors Categorie. while the second part of the climb is punishing with gradient constantly over 8%, the main highlight of the Galibier, remains it being the highest point of the whole Tour de France.
As such, even though a stage victory might not be assured, climbers will rush to reach the summit of the highest point of the tour for glory awaits there. Indeed, the Souvenir Henri Desrange rewards the first rider to pass over it with not only 20 crucial points for the Maillot À Pois fight but also with a €5000 cash prize.
Col du Granon Serre Chevalier
After reaching the summit of the Galibier, the riders will descent furiously for 33km prior to reaching the foot of the final climb. It does not take much to realise how hard the last climb will be. 11.3km long with an average of 9.2%, the Col du Granon is of course an Hors Category effort. The gradient never goes lower than 8.2 % while the mid section contains 3 km always 10%.
It will take something very special from a very special rider to deny the main group from battling this one out.
Thibaut Pinot has the form and ability to end the day in Polka dot and maybe even resist to the finish. However, he would maybe want to save his everything for the Queen Stage ideally scheduled tomorrow, 14th July, France Republic day.
The past 4 Souvenir Henri Desranges has been won by a Colombian and Dani Martinez in a break represent the best chance of keeping it home.
With Guillaume Martin gone, Team Cofidis have the other cards to play in a break, among which are Victor Lafay, Ion Izagirre, Antony Perez and current Polka dot Jersey Simon Geschke.
With the form shown on the Tour de Suisse and already down by over 44 minutes, Jakob Fuglsang could seize the chance that he will be allowed to try a do something spectacular.
Finally, if the break away do indeed manage to keep the main GC contender away from striking distance, Guilio Ciccone is the man. Recovering from a sickness he suffered at the start of the tour, the Italian has shown that he can be the best of climbers on his day by claiming an impressive mountain top finish in the Giro.
Stage 11 predictions
★☆☆☆☆ Thibaut Pinot; Guilio Ciccone
In the very unlikely scenario that the break away makes it, those 2 remains the best climbers that would be allowed to showcase their climbing at the front of the race
★★☆☆☆ Romain Bardet
The Frenchman has been excellent this year prior to succumbing to a stomach bug at the Giro. He was a late addition to the Tour, with the aim of going for stages. With no pressure on, he was quietly grown in the shadows and could surprise many.
★★★☆☆ Jonas Vingegaard
He will be constantly on the line of sight of Tadej Pogacar. He will have to completely blow up Pogacar if he wants to win the stage and maybe even get into yellow. As hard as it seems, it is not impossible. He did do it on the slope of the Mont Ventoux last year!
★★★☆☆ Adam Yates
Not as good as his twin in his best days, he could still conclude the big work that Ineos Grenadiers is expected to put in the stage.
★★★★☆ Tadej Pogacar
The logical big favourite of the stage and the final win. He is getting stronger and stronger every year. However, the current situation his Team is in, means that he will have to chase down all his threats by himself, but as majestic as he is, he cannot neutralise all attacks on his own.
★★★★★ Primoz Roglic
The Maillot Jaune is expected to be isolated at one point and will have to choose his battles. As much as he would not want him back in close contention, Pogacar will realise that allowing Primoz Roglic, already 3 minutes down from him, to escape will be the lesser of evils that could happen to him. From then on, it will be up to the very friendly Team Jumbo Visma rider to fight through pain and seize his chances.
An exclusive post for Cycling today by A LeadOut