High altitude drama: Dane Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo) won the eleventh stage of the Tour de France and donned the leader’s yellow jersey on Wednesday at the top of the Col du Granon. The defending winner, the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, suffered a failure in the last five kilometers. He lost almost three minutes and gave up his yellow jersey in the highest altitude finish of this Tour, at 2,413 meters. Failing for the first time in the Tour de France, Pogacar conceded the lead in the general classification to Vingegaard, his runner-up last year, who had never won a stage in the Grande Boucle.
Bardet on the podium
For the stage, Vingegaard beat Colombian Nairo Quintana by almost a minute, second in this stage which was run in very hot weather. Frenchman Romain Bardet took third place and moved up to second place overall, 2 min 16 sec behind the Dane. Pogacar was attacked several times from the Col du Galibier and paid the bill on the very hard final climb (11.3 km at 9.2%), taken for the second time by the Tour.
Early on, the Slovenian had to deal with a succession of starts from his Jumbo team rivals Vingegaard and Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who tried to squeeze him before even the steepest slopes of the Galibier, at a sixty kilometers from the finish.
The yellow jersey reacted each time to this offensive. Up front, Warren Barguil, a member of the breakaway launched at the start of the stage, crossed the summit of Galibier in the lead, the highest point reached by the race this year (2,642 m).
Pogacar falls to third place in the general classification
The Frenchman arrived at the foot of the Granon four minutes ahead of the Pogacar group. Behind him, his Colombian team-mate Nairo Quintana broke away from this group and passed him after the streamer for the last five kilometers, just before Vingegaard launched his decisive attack.
In the provisional classification, Pogacar fell to third place, 2 min 22 sec, before the other big alpine stage leading to Alpe d’Huez on Thursday.