STAGE 11: Vatan – Saint Fargeau

Thursday, July 15



DISTANCE: 192km



WHAT’S THE COURSE LIKE?

The penultimate flat stage before the race begins to head south and hit the Alps proper. With just two fourth category climbs on the menu today, it’s almost certain to come down to a bunch sprint.



Today is the half-way point on this year’s race, and fittingly, we are in the middle of France. Heading into rural Burgundy, St. Fargeau is also the smallest ville étape on this year’s route.  



Stage 11 map and profile>>>




WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?

After a half-hearted go-slow in protest at yesterday’s radio ban, the peloton gets its beloved earpieces back today.



In theory, this should give the inevitable break that bit more freedom, but with precious green jersey points at stake, the sprinters’ teams will do everything in their power to make sure it comes down to a bunch gallop.



Mark Cavendish’s win yesterday in Issoudun means that he is now just six points away from the green jersey of Thor Hushovd. With more points available today, the competition for the points competition is heating up so look out for Columbia and Cervélo keeping control of proceedings at the head of the main field.



MEN TO WATCH

Mark Cavendish
– With three stage wins to his credit, it’s hard to see anybody getting the measure of the Manxman if it does come down to a bunch sprint today. He says he’s not targeting green, but don’t be fooled, he wants the jersey back.



Thor Hushovd – The Norwegian has staked his claim as Cavendish’s main rival in this year’s Tour. If he’s sprinting well, he can take second behind Cavendish, but in a head-to-head sprint, the Manxman has the upper hand.



Tyler Farrar – The American Garmin rider was third into Issoudun yesterday and looks to be getting to grips with sprinting in the unique environment of the Tour de France. Could cause an upset if he times his effort right.



Sylvain Chavanel – The Frenchman has earmarked a stage in this year’s race that he’d like to win, but he won’t say which. Could it be this one?



CW’S TIP TO WIN

Mark Cavendish to take his fourth stage win this year, equalling last year’s record.



WHO’S WEARING THE JERSEYS?


Yellow – Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R-La Mondiale)


Green – Thor Hushovd (Cervélo Test Team)


Polka-dot – Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)


White – Tony Martin (Team Columbia-HTC)

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 LINKS

Tour de France 2009 – the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.

STAGE REPORTS



Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win



Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire


stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out




Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance



Stage six: Millar’s brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs



Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage



Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second



Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage



Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador



Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint



Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial

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Tour de France 2009 News Index>>




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EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS



Garmin-Slipstream’s HQ before the Tour



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TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS



Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson



Team presentation by Andy Jones



Team presentation by Graham Watson

TOUR GUIDE

Tour de France 2009 – the hub

Tour de France 2009: Who’s riding

Tour de France 2009: Team guide

About the Tour de France

FEATURES

Tour de France 2009: Who will win?

Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules

Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France anti-doping measures explained

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Cycling Weekly’s rider profiles

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