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Summary

  1. Chris Froome maintains strong overall lead
  2. Rafal Majka first over Tourmalet and takes convincing win
  3. Dan Martin 2nd, one minute behind Majka
  4. Froome stays 2mins 52secs ahead of van Garderen, 3mins 9secs of Quintana
  5. 4mins 4secs ahead of Contador, and increases lead over Nibali to 7mins 47secs
  6. Stage 11: Pau to Cauterets, 188km

Live Reporting

By Paul Fletcher

All times stated are UK

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See you tomorrow

Well, that is all from me today after another intriguing, hot and breathtaking stage in the Pyrenees. There will be another tomorrow and I'm expecting that one to heavily involve the race leaders.

So get some rest and join me on Thursday.

Riders of Team Sky lead the peleton
Getty Images

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Tomorrow is a big day. Contador is running out of riders rapidly and will need help from Majka desperately. As it stands Froome has not had to do much at all - he's gone all the way to the climb without having to do much. Richie Porte has done most of the work for him."

Richie Porte and Chris Froome
Getty Images

More pain on Thursday?

Tomorrow is the last day in the Pyrenees - 195km from Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille.

That includes a category two climb, two category one climbs and ends with an hors categorie climb up to Plateau de Beille - 15.8km and 7.9%. Easy, I'm sure.

I wonder how Vincenzo Nibali fancies that one? 

A rider climbs in the Tour de France
Reuters

Dan Martin: "To bridge across the group and still get second - I'm very proud of that ride today. My legs are obviously good so we will just keep trying."

Bauke Mollema's late dash off the front has taken him into the top 10 at Vincenzo Nibali's expense.

Hmm.

Yellow jersey

Froome remains in yellow

1. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 41hrs 03mins 31secs

2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing +2:52"

3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar +3:09"

4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +3:59"

5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky +4:03"

6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff -Saxo +4:04"

7. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto +4:33"

8. Robert Gesink (Neth) LottoNL +4:35"

9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant +6:44"

10. Bauke Mollema (Neth) Trek +7:05"

Riders in the Tour de France
Getty Images

Majka dedicates win

Hmm, Nibali lost 50 seconds today. 

Rafal Majka on his win: "I knew this stage would be hard but I like this weather when it is warm and today I had a positive opportunity. I am so happy and this victory is for my team-mates and Ivan Basso."

Ivan Basso, of course, withdrew from the race on Monday after announcing he is suffering from testicular cancer.

Rafal Majka
Getty Images

Waiting to hear exactly how much time Vincenzo Nibali lost today. It won't get any easier for the Italian tomorrow with another day in the Pyrenees.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"A slight sigh of relief for Froome and the team. It's job well done."

It is hard to disagree..

Nibali's tour is going from bad to worse #bbccycling #tdf

Superb effort by @DanMartin86 - what determination to finish second. Sadly it's all over for Nibali - no #MaillotJaune this year #bbccycling

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Dan Martin fought all the way to the line and didn't hold back but was unfortunately unable to chase down Rafal Majka."

Froome safely home

A few riders had a dig off the front of the yellow jersey group in the last minute or so before they hit the line but Chris Froome came home safely and did not lose any time to his major rivals.

In fact, I'd say Vincenzo Nibali was a good 30 seconds or so back. Waiting for that to be confirmed.

Chris Froome
Getty Images

My apologies, Thomas Voeckler was not swallowed up by the peloton. The veteran finishes fifth.

Bauke Mollema made a late surge off the front of the yellow jersey group and that led to problems for Nibali. 

Thomas Voeckler
Reuters

Serge Pauwels of MTN-Quebeka claims fourth. Superb for the wildcard team.

Now, what has happened to Vincenzo Nibali?

Martin claims second

And a cracking ride too from Dan Martin, who finishes second for the second time on this Tour, roughly a minute behind Majka.

Emanuel Buchmann takes third.

Majka wins stage 11

A superb ride today from Pole Rafal Majka, who punches the air as he crosses the line to claim the stage win.

Rafal Majka
Getty Images

It was a terrible day for Vincezo Nibali yesterday and the defending champion seems to have gone again today.

Vincenzo Nibali
EPA

Nibali sliding backwards

Wait.

Richie Porte, who has put a big shift in, slides off the back of the yellow jersey group - as does Vincenzo Nibali.

1km to go

Barring any late attacks, there will be no changes of note in the general classification today. Not sure we will be saying that this time tomorrow (more on that later).

2km to go

Glory beckons for Tinkoff-Saxo's Rafal Majka...

Dan Martin blasts past Serge Pouwels. Second place for the Irishman today. I mean, surely he cannot bridge the two-minute gap with just 3.4km left?

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"People are saying Froome has the yellow jersey wrapped up. But as we saw from some of the riders yesterday, if you have a bad day you can lose so much time on a climb quickly. We've never seen Chris do that but you never know. This is not over."

Chris Froome
Reuters

5km to go

Dan Martin is probably going to catch Serge Pauwels in second, but I don't think he will be getting near Rafal Majka, who is close to the top of the final climb of another hot, tough day in the Pyrenees.

Hats off to all of them.

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Mountain memories

Mrs B, having completed the Joux Plane - very proud of her! #bbccycling

Mrs B, having completed the Joux Plane - very proud of her! #bbccycling

You should not forget the best climbs in the UK - Ringos by Aberdare #bbccycling

You should not forget the best climbs in the UK - Ringos by Aberdare #bbccycling

Bit closer to home but a fairly decent lung buster near Llanwrtyd Wells last year #bbccycling

Bit closer to home but a fairly decent lung buster near Llanwrtyd Wells last year #bbccycling

#bbccycling I hit 86kph coming down Tourmalet 2 years ago - it's definitely a little tense at that speed...

6km to go

The group of seven that we had out in front for some considerable time is severely splintered now. Thomas Voeckler has been swallowed up by the yellow jersey group. Team Sky are on the front of that one, with Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas in front of Chris Froome.

Chris Froome in the yellow jersey
Reuters

One last dig from Dan Martin, who is now out on his own in third having dropped Emanuel Buchmann.

But I don't think he will be troubling leader Rafal Majka, who is two minutes clear with 7km left to go. 

Falling out of love with the Tour?

Chris Froome might have struggled to weave his way through the crowds at some points during Tuesday's final climb and we have seen fans by the roadside today, but at least one person has been disappointed with the turnout so far.

Veteran Sunday Times journalist David Walsh was on BBC Radio 5 earlier today and I thought he had some very interesting things to say...

Fans at the Tour de France
Getty Images

I've been coming to mountain stages for 33 years. I have never seen a crowd so small on a stage like Tuesday's. The crowds were unbelievable sparse. Have the French fallen out of love with their own race? I certainly believe they have. The mountains are were you get the hardcore fans and yet there weren’t that many. I used to dread the drive down from a mountain stage because it took so long with fans blocking the road as they walked home. On Tuesday it took us 20 minutes.

David WalshSunday Times journalist

9km to go

So we end today with a category three climb up to Cauterets. All looking good for Rafal Majka, who remains more than a minute clear of Serge Pauwels.

It has been a superb ride by the 25-year-old, who is closing in on his third stage win at the Tour after two in 2014. 

Tricky little finish

Funny finish to today's stage. It's a 6.4km climb at 5% but the last 2km are almost flat. On the drive up this morning, we were joking that there could be a bunch sprint with lead-out men. There won't be, though, because not only does this climb come immediately after the descent from the leg-shredding Tourmalet, there is a section of switchbacks with 3km to go with an average gradient of 10%. It will be very hot on the road by the time the riders reach that point and it could provide an opportunity for a puncheur to jump clear. The last mile or so would then be a question of head down, mouth open, ignore the burning sensation in your lungs and try not to black out.

Matt SlaterBBC Sport at the Tour de France

As Rob Hayles was saying earlier....

Cows almost take out a rider at the Tour de France! #TDF2015

Cows almost take out a rider at the Tour de France! #TDF2015

This scares me...

Top recorded speed on the descent to Luz-Saint-Sauveur: Valverde (MOV) at 93.38km/h. #TDF2015 #TDFdata

Alejandro Valverde
AP

12.5km to go

So, Pole Rafal Majka is one minute clear of MTN-Quebeka's South African Serge Pauwels.

Behind Pauwels are Dan Martin and Emanuel Buchmann - but they surely now have too much to do?

The yellow jersey group seem happy with their work for the day and trail by nearly six minutes.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"If you're wondering why the yellow jersey group haven't brought back the riders out front, it's because the highest-placed rider out there is Dan Martin and he's 26th, so is not threat to the yellow jersey."

Meanwhile, back in parliament...

It seems that everyone is glued to the performance of Chris Froome and co. This image of French politician Regis Juanico was taken during a session of "questions to the government" in which the members can ask questions regarding the policy of the French government.

Regis Juanico
EPA

20km to go

For obvious reasons, it took the riders some time to get up the Tourmalet but they have been speeding along since then.

Serge Pauwels and Dan Martin are trying to chase down leader Rafal Majka.

All safe so far in the yellow jersey group. The big contenders are all there. 

Rafal Majka
EPA

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The gap to the peloton is still decent! Majka looks good, but if the chasers catch up, I fancy Dan Martin #bbccycling #TDF2015

Warren Barguil, who was involved in a crash yesterday, is trying to catch up with the yellow jersey group. The Giant-Alpecin rider is descending at 50 miles per hour.

Yep, me too.

On the buses!

I wonder if Chris Froome is tempted to hitch a ride on the Team Sky bus instead of cycling up the mountains! 

That is one tidy bus! You can follow our driver Claudio on Instagram too at claudiolucchini. #AllezTeamSky #TDF2015

That is one tidy bus! You can follow our driver Claudio on Instagram too at claudiolucchini. #AllezTeamSky #TDF2015

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"A few riders are having to get through some cows on the road. Hitting a dog can be catostraophic for a rider, but hitting a cow - I dread to think."