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Tour de France Stage 11: Wout Van Aert conquers Mont Ventoux for stunning solo win

Belgian champion attacked on second climb of the Provencal mountain to ride away to victory

Wout Van Aert of Jumbo-Visma has won Stage 11 of the Tour de France after launching an attack 11km from the summit of Mont Ventoux on the second ascent of the mountain this afternoon and holding his advantage in the long, twisting descent to the finish in Malaucène. It's the Belgian national champion's fourth career stage win at the race, and the first he has achieved solo. Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates retains the overall lead.

Kenny Elissonde finished second on the 198.9km stage from Sorgues, 1 minute 14 seconds behind the winner and crossing the line just ahead of Trek-Segafredo team mate Bauke Mollema.

Pogacar finished fourth, a further 24 seconds back, in a group of four riders, with EF Education-Nippo’s Rigoberto Uran fifth, Richard Carapaz of Ineos Grenadiers sixth and Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma sixth.

The latter, wearing the white jersey in place of young rider classification leader Pogacar – in yellow, of course as overall leader – had attacked the defending champion on the second ascent of the Ventoux, but was brought back ahead of the finish.

However, to cap a great day for Jumbo-Visma, the Dane moves to third overall behind Pogacar, who now has a lead of 5 minutes 18 seconds over Uran, who jumps to second on GC with Ben O’Connor of AG2R-Citroen losing time today and dropping to fifth.

One of the most eagerly anticipated stages of this year’s race saw Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-Quick Step on the attack, the world champion cresting Mont Ventoux first time round at the head of a group of eight riders.

Elissonde subsequently attacked, before being caught by Van Aert who then launched himself to his stage win, while behind them, Alaphilippe was unable to stay with Mollema, eventually finishing 23rd, more than 12 minutes down on the winner.

Wout Van Aert on Stage 11 of 2021 Tour de France 03 A.S.O., Pauline Ballet

Three riders abandoned the race during the stage – Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin, following an early crash, plus Lotto-Soudal’s Tosh Van der Sande and Clément Russo of Arkea-Samsic.

Mark Cavendish, leading the points classification, made it home safely inside the time limit and all eyes will be on him during tomorrow’s Stage 12 to Nimes, a city where he has triumphed before on the Tour de France and where, if the Deceuninck-Quick Step sprinter crosses the line first tomorrow, he will equal Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 stage wins on the race.

Wout Van Aert on Stage 11 of 2021 Tour de France 01 A.S.O., Pauline Ballet

Reaction to follow.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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