Lotto’s Caleb Ewan from Australia clinched his second stage victory in this year’s Tour de France on Wednesday’s stage 11 in a sensational sprint finish, winning by only one third of a wheel.
“It was very, very hectic,” said Ewan after the win.
“I knew to keep calm and wait for the right gap to open – and it did, quite late.”
Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic arrived with the leading group and kept his 21-second lead on the overall standings.
Tuesday’s stage winner Sam Bennett, who originally finished third, was promoted to second after Peter Sagan was relegated to last and punished for 13 sprint points for swerving from his line and blocking the late surge of Wout van Aert.
“There wasn’t a gap and if you use your elbows to open it up, I think it’s completely against the rules,” Van Aert said.
“It’s already dangerous enough, and I was really surprised and shocked at the moment that I felt something,” the Belgian rider added.
Seven-time green jersey winner Sagan thus is left 68 points behind Bennett in the best sprinter’s battle as the latter collected 47 from the 167.5km ride from Chatelaillon-Plage to Poitiers to extend his lead.
Thursday’s stage 12 will travel 218 kilometers from Chauvigny to Sarran in central France, with four categorized climbs awaiting the riders.