Tour de France 2014: Tony Gallopin wins stage 11
Frenchman Tony Gallopin, of Lotto-Belisol, won stage 11 of the Tour de France from Besancon to Oyonnax.
Gallopin broke away with about 1.5km to go and stayed clear with German John Degenkolb claiming second place in a sprint ahead of Italian Matteo Trentin.
The top of the general classification leaderboard remained unchanged.
Astana's Vincenzo Nibali keeps the yellow jersey as the overall leader - two minutes and 23 seconds ahead of Team Sky's Richie Porte.
|Rob Hayles - BBC Sport commentator|
|"It was an amazing day's racing. I think it is fair to say that Tony Gallopin has a contract now for the rest of his life. Each day the French riders in this Tour look like they are growing in confidence. Peter Sagan though has thrown it away yet again, he just didn't look confident with his sprinting. He is so strong, but that may be part of the problem. He is using it all out on the road."|
Garmin-Sharp team leader Andrew Talansky, who won the Criterium du Dauphine last month and had been considered an outside contender for the Tour before its start, came close to being eliminated however.
The American, suffering with an injured back, was left behind by the peloton with about 80km to go and stopped by the roadside for several minutes to discuss the possibility of abandoning with Garmin-Sharp manager Robbie Hunter.
Talansky continued in tears and, encouraged by shouts from the team car and spectators, completed the rest of the 187.5km (116.5 miles) course alone, finishing inside the time limit, but 32 minutes and five seconds after the victorious Gallopin.
He is now more than 47 minutes adrift of Nibali overall.
Cannondale's Peter Sagan had seemed well set as the day's racing reached its final kilometres, but a stage win, to add to his huge lead in the green jersey standings, continues to elude the Slovakian.
After a game attack by Irish Tinkoff-Saxo rider Nicolas Roche had been swallowed up, Sagan was in a three-man group that caught leader Gallopin with less than five kilometres to go.
|What to expect on stage 12|
|"This could be an interesting day in the battle for the green points jersey. It might be a day when the Cannondale team of Peter Sagan try and control the race, go hard up the final climb to try and get rid of the sprinters to cement their man's lead."|
Tinkoff-Saxo's Michael Rogers and Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Michal Kwiatkowski both eased off the pace however, allowing Gallopin to attack again, re-establish his lead and claim his first Tour de France stage win.
Gallopin told ITV4: "It's unbelievable. Two days ago I was in yellow and it was the best day of my life. Then the next day I lost it and I was suffering.
"I saw they were not organised in the group, I went again and they were saying 'go go go' over the radio to me."
Porte, Team Sky's leader after 2013 champion Chris Froome's withdrawal on stage five, said that it was a day in which he had "a lot to lose and not much to gain", adding that he was looking forward to the first mountain stage on Friday.
Stage 11 result
1. Tony Gallopin (France / Lotto-Belisol) 4:25:45
2. John Degenkolb (Germany / Giant) same time
3. Matteo Trentin (Italy / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
4. Daniele Bennati (Italy / Tinkoff - Saxo)
5. Simon Gerrans (Australia / Orica)
6. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain / Movistar)
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium / BMC Racing)
8. Samuel Dumoulin (France / AG2R)
9. Peter Sagan (Slovakia / Cannondale)
10. Kevin Reza (France / Europcar)
General classification after stage 11
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 46:59:23
2. Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) +2mins 23secs
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 47secs
4. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +3mins 01secs
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra/Lotto-Belisol) +3mins 12secs
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ) +3mins 47secs
7. Tejay van Garderen (US/BMC) +3mins 56secs
8. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra/AG2R) +3mins 57secs
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Belkin) +4mins 8secs
10. Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel/Lotto-Belisol) +4mins 18secs