Philipsen Sprints to Victory in Stage 11 of Tour de France 2023
Race organizer A.S.O. had designed stage 11 of Tour de France 2023 as a 179.8-kilometer ride from Clermont-Ferrand to Moulins. Clermont-Ferrand is situated on the Limagne plain in the Massif Central and the riders would have to battle in somewhat hilly terrain, though the stage profile was still expected to appeal to the pure sprinters in the peloton. Many teams had not yet secured a stage win in this year’s Tour, so significant action was awaited from kilometer zero to form a durable breakaway group.
Andrey Amador (EF Education-EasyPost), Matis Louvel (Team Arkea-Samsic), Daniel Oss (TotalEnergies) initiated an attack shortly after the start and formed a small lead. With 160 kilometers left of today’s stage the front trio had an advantage of 02:20 minutes. No other teams in the main peloton appeared interested in sending riders to the front to join the break.
With 65 kilometers left the front trio was approaching the category 4 Cote de la Croix Blanche climb and they had an advantage over the main peloton of no more than 35 seconds. The roads were slightly wet.
The front trio had no interest in working harder because they knew they would get caught by the peloton. Meanwhile, the main peloton had no interest in reeling in the breakaway group too soon, because this might cause new attacks from the peloton.
On the small climb the front of the main peloton was dominated by the teams of the general classification favorites who were active to position their leaders well for the technically challenging descent and for the sidewinds that were anticipated.
Louvel chose to fall back to the main peloton as the advantage of the breakaway was down to twenty-five seconds. Oss and Amador remained – for now.
In the final fifty kilometers Soudal-QuickStep moved to the front of the main peloton and let strongman Tim Declercq set a fast pace. Alpecin-Deceuninck and Jayco-Alula joined the chase.
Amador was next to quit the breakaway. Oss continued solo.
Oss’ advantage had been reduced to ten seconds with twenty kilometers left of the stage. At the front of the main peloton Jumbo-Visma, UAE Team Emirates, Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, Bora-Hansgrohe, and Soudal-QuickStep were hard at work for their leaders.
Oss was caught with 13.5 kilometers left. Soudal-QuickStep were leading. The DSM team moved to the front. It started raining. Bahrain-Victorious joined the front. The rain had stopped, and the speed was intense as the various Tour de France teams fought hard to set up their sprinters for the sprint finale across the finish line.
With two kilometers left Team Uno-X moved to the front with Alpecin-Deceuninck and Lotto-Dstny. Jumbo-Visma rejoined the action.
With 600 meters left Jayco-Alula launched Groenewegen. Uno-X set up Alexander Kristoff. Groenewegen accelerated, but Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was stronger and took his fourth stage victory in this year’s Tour de France. Groenewegen finished second, while Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) completed the stage podium.
“It’s been an incredible Tour de France for me so far. I can’t believe how well it is all going. We’ve managed to win four times now and I am super happy,” Philipsen told Roadcycling.com shortly after the stage finish.
Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark) remains general classification leader following stage 11. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) is second, seventeen seconds behind Vingegaard, while Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) is third, 02:40 minutes behind the current leader.
Thursday’s stage 12 of Tour de France 2023 will be a 168.8-kilometer ride from Roanne to Belleville-en-Beaujolais. The terrain is hilly and the stage features three Category 3 climbs and two Category 2 climbs. Weather forecasts are predicting dry weather. Look for a long breakaway to compete for the stage victory.
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