Straight off the first rest day of the 106th Tour de France, the peloton of 169 riders came into Toulouse for a fast city sprint for stage 11. Team KATUSHA ALPECIN worked to put sprinter Jens Debusschere in the right position and that hard work paid off with the team sprinter earning a strong fifth-place result on stage 11.
Debusschere: “The team did great. They put us there in the last descent which was really tricky with all of the corners and roundabouts. But they put us in front where we could save a lot of energy. Then it was up to me in the last 1.5k and I was on Sagan’s wheel. I couldn’t really hold it, but in the end, I could do a good sprint after the last corner. I’m happy with the performance maybe we can do even better next time.”
Today’s sprint was won by Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal with a time of 3:51:26 (43.30k/hr) for the 167k course which started in the location of the rest day, Albi.
Second- and third-places went to Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Elia Viviani of Deceuninck-Quick Step, with all of the front group earning the same time. There was no change on the general classification with the yellow jersey still on the back of Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-Quick Step. The Frenchman leads by 72-seconds to defending champion Geraint Thomas of INEOS.
Thursday puts the peloton in the mountains for stage 12, taking on 3 rated-climbs including the 13.2k category 1 Col de Peyresourde and then the Horquette d’Ancizan, which tops out some 30k from the finish but offers a long descent into Bagnères-de-Bigorre. The stage is a long one at209.5k.