Tour de France 2016 Stage 11 Preview, Carcassonne to Montpellier – 162.5km

The riders face a flat stage to Montpellier today, a day before the iconic Mont Ventoux stage which should light up proceedings tomorrow.

Tour de France 2016 Stage 11 Preview, Carcassonne to Montpellier – 162.5km
Today should be suited to the sprinters / BBC Sport

The Tour de France is back in full swing after Monday’s rest day as yesterday saw Orica-BikeExchange get their first stage win of Le Tour courtesy of Michael Matthews as he finished ahead of World Champion Peter Sagan.

It was previewed as a day for the sprinters; but when an elite group of riders got away on the opening climb, the Port d’Envalira which included Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Sagan, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), the peloton mistimed thier efforts to reel them back in and so Matthews and co had the opportunity to duke it out for the stage win.

It certainly was an opportunity missed for the likes of Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data), Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quickstep), and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) as the stage was perfectly suited for a bunch sprint – but they have another chance today as route into Montpellier is as flat as they come.

Kittel won a close run sprint on Stage 4 but he will be looking for more / BiCycling
Kittel won a close run sprint on Stage 4 but he will be looking for more / BiCycling

Stage 11 has a bunch sprint written all over it

But today should certainly finish in a bunch sprint; and if a breakaway does get away again it will be a serious misjudgement from the peloton yet again.

But for Cavendish and his Green Jersey he will be looking to add another stage victory to his impressive Tour so far, as the road into Montpellier is perfect for his Dimension Data sprint train.

Kittel and Greipel haven’t been as prolific in this year’s Tour so they will want to try and chalk up some wins sooner rather than later, and today’s stage could be an ideal opportunity for those to try and make amends.

In terms of the King of Mountains Jersey there are two climbs for the contenders of that Jersey to try and pick up some vital points; the Cote de Minerve (2.4km, 5.4%) and the Cote de Villespassons (2.3km, 4.5%) will not really be that much of a problem, but it will be an opportunity for some more points.

There is also a sprint in the last quarter of the race at Pezenas so expect the usual suspects to be battling it out for some precious green jersey points.