2017 Tour de France: Stage 11 live race updates, blog

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    It’ll be yet another chance for the sprinters at the Tour de France with Stage 11 taking the riders over 203.5 kilometres from Eymet to Pau. Join The Roar for live coverage from 11pm (AEST).

    The Tour has had more flat days than many recent editions early on, and today is no different. It’s been Marcel Kittel dominating so far, despite not having the greatest lead outs.

    He has won four of the first ten stage and no one has been able to hold a candle to him. In fact, the only other sprinter who has won a stage is the now eliminated Arnaud Demare, who failed to make the time cut on Stage 9.

    Of course, it’s not just the Frenchman who is out of the race. He is also joined on the sidelines by the disqualified Peter Sagan, as well as Mark Cavendish who crashed out.

    Even with that being said, Michael Matthews, Nacer Bouhanni, Sonny Colbrelli and Kittel’s German counterpart Andre Greipel are all still in the race and struggling to get near the man with four stage wins.

    Today’s route kicks off in Eymet and tracks south, not quite on the coast down to Pau. The peloton are probably just far enough inland to avoid coastal crosswinds which have so often caused havoc during the second week of the Tour de France.

    The interesting thing about this year’s Tour de France is that breakaway’s have simply not been allowed to go. It’s a mixture of poor riding from those making the move and the peloton keeping the pace high, but it’s worth noting today could be considered a transitional stage by the peloton.

    That meaning, a breakaway may be given freedom. Then again, Marcel Kittel is on fire and I can’t see that being the order given to Quick Step.

    It’s pancake flat for the first 142 kilometres, before they reach the intermediate sprint in Aire-Sur-L’Adour. That means there will be only 60 kilometres left on the day, and with the green jersey all but decided it will be interesting to see if Kittel bothers to go for the points.

    The Category 4 Côte d’Aire-sur-l’Adour will be climbed directly afterwards, with the race then going up a 40 kilometre false flat that will be a leg burner.

    It’ll then be a sharp drop off to the finish line, which has a slightly technical run in. A 90 degree turn to the left one kilometre out, then three corners in the final kilometre before a 500-metre straight-ahead sprint.

    Prediction
    Kittel. Seriously, it’s absolutely impossible to tip against the German right now. When he burst onto the scene a few years ago, you knew he was capable of this sort of performance.

    Sure, a lot of sprinters have been ruled out of the race, but Andre Greipel has been blown off the road by him.

    Kittel to make it five from eleven stages.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Stage 11 at the Tour de France from 11pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add your own comments throughout the course of the coverage.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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