Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sprint duels to give way to climbers

LAVAUR, France — Mark Caven­dish nearly lost a shoe in the final stretch but won the rainy 11th stage of the Tour de France in a mass sprint Wednesday, beating Andre Greipel of Germany at the line to seize the leading sprinter's green jersey.

French rider Thomas Voeckler kept the race leader's yellow jersey after the 104.1-mile trek from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur. Voeckler finished 75th in the stage but with the same time as the winner.

Cavendish made the most of the last stage designed for sprinters before the race reaches the Pyrenees to claim his 18th stage win at the Tour, his third in this year's race. He won in 3 hours, 46 minutes, 7 seconds.

"It's incredible to have the green jersey. It's the most beautiful jersey in the world," said Cavendish, who finished second in sprint points the last two years. He took the green jersey from Philippe Gilbert and now leads Jose Joaquin Rojas by 16 points.

Cavendish's day was almost ruined when he hit the front wheel of Frenchman Romain Feillu's bike.

"There were 10 of us close together and my shoe banged into his front wheel," he said. "My foot technically came out of the shoe; I had to reach down and slide the ratchet and redo it with 600 meters to go. I was lucky there were no swerves in the peloton. It could have been quite dangerous."

Voeckler said he expects to lose his yellow jersey during today's stage, which takes the riders on the first of a three-day trek across the Pyrenees with a punishing 131-mile ride over the legendary col du Tourmalet and finishing on top of Luz-Ardiden. The mountain stage is likely to be a key moment of the race.

Three-time champion Alberto Contador, who has been hampered by crashes this year, trails third-place Cadel Evans of Australia and Andy Schleck of Luxembourg by 1:41 and 1:30, respectively, heading into the climbs.

>>Fast facts

Tour de France

Wednesday: Stage 11, 104 miles from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur. British sprinter Mark Cavendish beat Germany's Andrei Greipel by more than a bike length. Cavendish now wears green jersey for best sprinter.

Yellow jersey: France's Thomas Voeckler leads Luis Leon Sanchez by 1 minute, 49 seconds.

Today: 131 miles from Cugnaux to Luz-Ardiden peak

TV: 6:30 a.m., Versus

Sprint duels to give way to climbers 07/13/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

    Bucs

    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings

    Bucs

    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 6:05: Cash gave both CF Kevin Kiermaier and SS Adeiny Hechavarria a day off, noting they have been playing pretty much everyday. ... That also gave them a chance to look more at two of their younger position players, OF Mallex Smith and INF Daniel Robertson. ... Cash said he was happy for Beckham that he …

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue

    Tennis

    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)