Thursday, July 15, 2010


It was a stage perfectly designed for a massive bunch sprint to the finish line.  And it delivered.

After over 200 kilometers of riding, the front of the peloton accelerated to over 30 mph over its last five kilometers.  All the contenders for the Green Jersey or a day's sprint glory lined up their teams.   The cyclists jostled for position for themselves or for their designated finish man.

At the line, it was Great Britain's Mark Cavendish who used the advantage of a great lead-out and again clearly  out-pedaled his rivals to claim his third stage win in a week during this Tour de France.

Without a doubt, Cavendish deserves the Stage 11 victory.  However, he will be without the services of his lead-out man Mark Renshaw when the next bunch sprint opportunity occurs.  Renshaw was overly aggressive during the final kilometer of the sprint and head-butted a competitor in his effort to make a way for Cavendish amid heavy traffic. Tour de France officials expelled Renshaw from the race for his actions.

Sprinter Alessandro Pettachi of Italy placed ahead of Thor Hushovd again today, giving him enough points to wrest the Green Jersey from Hushovd.  Robbie McEwen is now third and Cavendish is 4th in the contest for the maillot vert.  This battle within the Tour will likely not be settled until the Champs Elysees in Paris.

No change in the General Classification standings.  All the top 10 finished where they started the day.  It looks like the contest for the Yellow Jersey will not be tested until Sunday--the first day in the Pyrenees mountains.

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