GC pair safely navigate tricky finale

09 Sep 2020

GC pair safely navigate tricky finale

Tour de France stage 11: Châtelaillon-Plage › Poitiers, 167.5km

Egan Bernal retained second overall at the Tour de France following a technical finish to stage 11 which saw Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) win a bunch sprint.  

Bernal and Richard Carapaz were guided through a testing end to the stage by their teammates and were well positioned to tackle narrow, winding roads and changing wind conditions. 

The early part of the stage saw a much easier pace than stage 10's incessant accelerations and constant battling for position, with the sprinters' teams doing much of the work to bring back the early break. 

However, as the kilometres dwindled and the finish in Poitiers loomed, the pace increased significantly and Dylan van Baarle, Michal Kwiatkowski and Luke Rowe were key in ensuring the team's GC duo avoided any incidents to maintain their positions overall. 

Luke Rowe

“The day can be as easy as it wants, but at the end of the day, when a Tour de France stage is up for grabs it’s going to be a hectic final.

“It was definitely an easier throughout the day, then a hectic final,  but we passed it smoothly. I think we saved a lot in the final, we rode it smart, we ducked and dived, hid from the wind a bit then hit the front at the right time, another day ticked off. 

“I think Egan has more confidence in this type of stage now, he doesn’t really say anything, he just follows me and that 100% trusts, makes my job easy. W hen he doesn’t question it he just follows and sometimes I think if I went one way and the race went the other way he’d still follow! 

“It’s nice when he has that full confidence and full trust, and he’s an ex-mountain biker, he can handle his bike, he’s not a one dimensional rider, he’s got that mountain bike pedigree - the full package.”
Tour de France overall standings:

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 46:15:24
2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +21"
3. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +28"
4. Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +30"
5. Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic) +32"
15. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +3:42"