Fresh off his one-day dalliance with the yellow jersey at the end of stage 9, Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) gave his native France more reason to cheer with a brave and impressive late-day solo attack that netted triumph of stage 11 from Besancon to Oyonnax on Wednesday at the Tour de France. Giant-Shimano’s John Degenkolb sprinted out of the bunch for second. Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was third.
Meanwhile, race leader Vincenzo Nibali had a relatively easy day, finishing 20th and maintaining his 2:23 lead over Richie Porte (Sky). Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde is third overall, 2:47 behind the Astana captain.
At the other end of the spectrum was Garmin-Sharp’s former GC hope Andrew Talansky. After a spate of crashes in the Tour’s first week, Talansky couldn’t hold the pace of the bunch Wednesday and nearly dropped out of the race. But after pulling over and conferring with team director Robbie Hunter for several minutes, the rider nicknamed Pit Bull soldiered on alone, crossing the line more than a half hour after Gallopin, but inside the time cut. See stage 11 results here.
No shortage of great scenery during the ride from Besancon to Oyonnax. Photo by Graham Watson
Bet David Lopez Garcia wouldn’t mind jumping in that Team Sky Jaguar for a few miles. Photo by Graham Watson
Trek Factory Racing’s Markel Irizar gets front wheel service from a team mechanic. Photo by Graham Watson
Orica-GreenEDGE’s Simon Clarke hauls a full load of bottles back to the bunch. He needs to get his hands on one of those Tinkoff-Saxo backpacks. Photo by Graham Watson
The sun finally shined down on the Tour, bringing out the fans in force. Photo by Graham Watson
Team Sky’s new GC hope Richie Porte takes his lunch on the go. Each day team staffers line up in designated feedzones, then pass out musset bags loaded with the day’s rider fuel. Photo by Graham Watson
Race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) had a relatively easy day, maintaining his comfortable perch at the top of the overall standings. The next real threat to Nibali comes on Friday when the peloton tackles the hors category Chamrousse climb at the end of stage 13. Photo by Graham Watson
Nibali and the bunch roll under a whole mess of small flags. It’s always impressive to see how towns large and small go all out to welcome Le Tour. Photo by Graham Watson
Garmin-Sharp GC hope Andrew Talansky had a brutal day. A spate of crashes in the first week of the Tour left Talansky wounded and weakened. On Wednesday, he couldn’t hold the wheels of the bunch and spent most of the stage riding alone. Photo by Graham Watson
At the other end of the race, Frenchman Tony Gallopin escaped late in the day to give the host country its second stage win of this year’s race. Photo by Graham Watson
With the broom wagon for company, Talansky soldiered home solo, more than 30 minutes behind the stage winner. But he was still inside the time cut and will be eligible to ride again tomorrow. Photo by Graham Watson
After the stage race leader Vincenzo Nibali took a crack at snapping a few photos. Photo by Graham Watson