Kittel bags 11th stage; Froome leads

Froome and Tour rivals dust down after hectic week

Kittel bags 11th stage; Froome leads

During the 1996 Tour de France Simpson, again, missed out on stage wins after twice finishing second before he was forced to abandon the race following a crash on the descent of the Col du Galibier. Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto-NL Jumbo) continued his impressive form to follow his third place yesterday with second today, while Edvald Boasson-Hagen of Dimension Data took third. It has also restored the smile to the team Bora, beheaded after the exit by the little door of the world champion, the Slovak Peter Sagan (exclusion), and the fall of the climber the Polish Rafal Majka (abandonment). First of all, it's not anything I would ever do, and I was already on my spare bike, so to risk putting my derailleur into Aru's front wheel - it's just insane. "I'm definitely looking to get involved in the sprints because we have got nobody else for them, but I'm looking more to the breakaway days".

"It was a quiet day, no stress at all", said Froome, who like the other riders enjoyed a rest day on Monday.

The Quick-Step Floors rider faced the prospect of seeing victory slip through his fingers after a spirited effort from Poland's Maciej Bodnar. "I personally like to act like I don't have green on my shoulders because you saw a couple of days ago with the GC guys the race can very quickly be over", Kittel said.

"Everyone can be beaten", he said.

"It's savage! If someone blows over those last few hundred metres, there could be some significant time gaps". I always keep the pressure on myself.

Unlike most Tour stages starting in Pau, Thursday's ride will be relatively easy until the midway point, before the Pyrenees really kick in.

The stage will take the peloton back to the slopes where, riding as a domestique in 2012, Froome was made to wait for Sir Bradley Wiggins - a moment where many believe the younger man might have been able to push on and win the race for himself.

"I think we were in the middle of the road at the time so I thought either way I can try and jump".

On Thursday July 13, 1967, Simpson pushed his final pedal stroke on the unforgiving ascent of Mont Ventoux after the rider collapsed in the heat.

Initially expecting to be challenging for stage wins, Bennett said it was somewhat frustrating to look back on his opening day time trial in the Dusseldorf downpour, where he slipped off his bike and ended up 1min 37sec off the pace in 162nd place.

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