Malaucene, July 7 (IANS) Belgium’s Wout van Aert won Stage 11 as Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar managed to stick to his overall lead and stay with the yellow jersey at the Tour de France on Wednesday.
This was van Aert’s first mountain stage victory of the Tour. He has won three flat stages of the Tour before.
“I didn’t expect to win this stage before the Tour but yesterday I asked the team to go for the breakaways,” said van Aert, who underwent appendicitis surgery only last month.
“It is one of the most iconic climbs in the world and it is maybe my best victory ever.”
The Belgian covered the 198.9-kilometre distance from Sorgues to Malaucène in five hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds.
“It was really hard to get to this Tour at a proper level and we have had so much bad luck with the team,” van Aert.
“But it is so nice that if you keep motivated, someday it will work out. I can be really proud.”
Stage 11 result
1. Wout van Aert (Belgium/Jumbo-Visma) 5hrs 17mins 43secs
2. Kenny Elissonde (France/Trek-Segafredo) +1min 14secs
3. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands/Trek-Segafredo) Same time
4. Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 38secs
5. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Education Nippo) Same time
Overall leaders after stage 11
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia/UAE Team Emirates) 38hrs 25mins 17secs
2. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Education Nippo) + 5mins 18secs
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark/Jumbo Visma) +5mins 32secs
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecuador/Ineos Grenadiers) +5mins 33secs
5. Ben O’Connor (Australia/AG2R Citroen) +5mins 58secs