Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Tour de France

Tour de France stage 11: Jonas Vingegaard seizes the yellow jersey as Tadej Pogačar buckles

Two-time Tour de France champion cannot follow as Jumbo-Visma breaks open the race.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Jonas Vingegaard pulled off a stunning stage win at the Tour de France on Wednesday to race leader Tadej Pogačar on the Col du Granon and ride into the overall race leader’s jersey.

The Danish rider nabbed the yellow jersey as Pogačar cracked, suffering what may have been a case of hunger knock on the final climb and finishing almost three minutes down.

Second on the stage went to Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), who crossed the line 59 seconds behind Vingegaard. Roman Bardet (Team DSM) was at 1:10, 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) was at 1:38, and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Thomas’ teammate Adam Yates completed a scattered top six.

Pogačar trailed in a staggering 2 minutes, 52 seconds behind in seventh and slumped over his handlebars, exhausted. With time bonuses factored in he slipped to third overall 2:22 back, with Bardet now six seconds ahead of him in the general classification.

“I think it is really incredible. It is hard for me to put words on it,” Vingegaard said at the finish. “This is what I dreamt of always, a stage in the Tour and now the yellow jersey … incredible.”

Also read:

His Jumbo-Visma team was aggressive early on, putting Wout van Aert up the road from the drop of the flag, and then attacking Pogačar repeatedly during the stage. Vingegaard and co-leader Primož Roglič launched several one-two surges, forcing the Slovenian to chase both, and while Roglic subsequently cracked, Vingegaard ended the day with the benefits of that strategy.

“We made a plan from the start of the day. I guess obviously you could see what the plan was,” he explained. “We wanted to make a super-hard race. We thought it was in my favor and in the favor of Primož.

“I took a lot of time today, but I never would have done that without my teammates. I really have to thank all of them. They were all incredibly strong today and I would never have done this without them.”

The decisive move came 4.6 kilometers from the end. Vingegaard admitted that his move was more in hope than expectation, a surge borne out of a determination to try rather than any perceived signs that Pogačar was about to crack.

“On the Galibier, over the top, he was really strong and he dropped everybody else. I was a bit insecure if he was going full or not,” he said. “Then on the last climb I was thinking if I don’t try I am not going to win.

“Of course a second place is a nice result in the GC, but I tried this last year. Now at least I want to try to go for the victory. And that’s what I did today. Luckily it succeeded today and now I have the yellow jersey.

“I will just keep on fighting for yellow to Paris.”

Heading into the high mountains

Stage 11 of the Tour de France was the first really big mountain stage of the race, a daunting 151.7 kilometer epic taking the riders from Savoie to the summit finish of the Col du Granon and scaling two hors categorie ascents along the way.

After an early intermediate sprint, the riders faced the second category Lacets de Montvernier (km 49.9), the first category Col du Télégraphe, the hors categorie Col du Galibier which, at 2,642 meters above sea level is the highest point of this year’s Tour, and then the final climb.

The Col du Granon was used only once before as a stage finish in the Tour, back in 1986 when Bernard Hinault had his last-ever day in the yellow jersey.

With that portent in mind, it was a day which promised a general classification shakeup. That is exactly how it would turn out.

Green jersey Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and longtime rival Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Decuninck) were the first aggressors, clipping away immediately after the drop of the flag and holding a lead of 42 seconds by the intermediate sprint (km 16.5).

Van Aert took first there to boost his lead in the green jersey contest, while behind six chasers mopped up the points from third through to eighth, putting Van Aert’s closest rival Fabio Jakobsen further on the back foot. He was only tenth there, taking a mere six points to Van Aert’s 20.

Those chasers were reeled in soon afterwards but Mattia Cattaneo (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) was able to bridge to Van Aert and Van der Poel at kilometer 29, with 17 others joining two kilometers later.

The additions were Mikaël Chérel (AG2R-Citroën), Nils Politt and Max Schachman (Bora-Hansgrohe), Andrea Bagioli (Quick Step), Simon Geschke and Ion Izagirre (Cofidis), Kamil Gradek and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Easypost), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Mads Pedersen and Tony Gallopin (Trek-Segafredo), Maciej Bodnar and Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech) and Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma teammate Christophe Laporte.

Barguil was best-placed of those in the general classification but was little threat to Pogačar’s yellow jersey, having started the day 26th overall, 13 minutes and 33 seconds back. Yet he had another goal in mind.

Barguil takes aim for the stage win

Starting the foothills of the Lacets de Montvernier after 45 kilometers of racing, the leaders were 3.10 ahead of the bunch. Van der Poel was dropped soon after the start of the climb and would retire from the race an hour later.

Latour led Geschke, Barguil and Van Aert across the top, a result that saw Geschke extend his lead in the King of the Mountains classification. The group was 7:20 ahead of the peloton with 80 kilometers remaining.

Bodnar and others were dropped on the Col du Télégraphe as Barguil began the process of thinning things down. He reduced the group to 11 riders while helping to boost their lead over the peloton to nine minutes with three kilometres left to climb.

He rolled over the top second there behind Latour and just ahead of Geschke and Chérel.

Behind, Roglic showed the aggressive intentions of the Jumbo-Visma team by attacking hard. He drove the pace down the descent of the Télégraphe and this created a selection, with Pogačar, Vingegaard, Pierre Laporte and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) going clear with him.

Jumbo-Visma continued firing on the Galiber, with Vinegaard and Roglic taking it in turns to attack the race leader. Pogačar covered each move and put in some digs of his own, with a temporary stalemate then breaking out.

Up front, Chérel played his hand 63 kilometers from the finish but didn’t get far. Van Aert, Geschke, Barguil and Latour then pushed ahead and were joined by Teuns, with Barguil then making his big move seven kilometers from the top.

More attacks on the race leader

The general classification contenders had regrouped behind but Roglic threw down the gauntlet again and made another probing surge, which was counted by Pogačar. Vingegaard marked him and further attacks followed before Roglic was dropped.

Bardet and Thomas also went south, with Pogačar and Vingegaard continuing together before yet another regrouping.

Barguil didn’t have to worry about any stop/start racing and continued a high tempo out front, netting the Souvenir Henri Desgrange prize by crossing the Col du Galibier first. He was 50 seconds clear of closest-chaser Geschke, with Latour at 1:25 and Van Aert close by but deciding to wait for his teammates.

With 30 kilometres remaining the Pogačar group was 4:40 behind Barguil. In addition to the race leader there were four Jumbo-Vismas, namely Vingegaard, Van Aert, Steven Kruijswijk and Sepp Kuss, as well as Ineos duo Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates, Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Ion Izagirre (Cofidis) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic).

Roglic had been dropped and was in a group with David Gaudu and other Groupama-FDJ riders, but Van Aert went back to those and helped them to return.

The yellow jersey group was 5:15 behind Barguil at that point but reduced its deficit on the final climb to 3:35 with 10 kilometers remaining.

The day’s big drama was about to play out.

Vingegaard flies, Pogačar fades

Quintana was feeling good and kicked clear from the yellow jersey group on the concluding climb of the Col du Granon. He caught and passed Geschke, and was 1 minute 52 seconds behind teammate Barguil with just under seven kilometers remaining.

Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates) had been in trouble on the Galibier, but had rallied and was leading the Pogačar group with six kilometers left.

Bardet then kicked things off with a big attack. Vingegaard surged several minutes later, with Majka trying to lead Pogačar up to him but easing back when he realized his team leader was being dropped. Barguil was caught and left by Quintana with 4.4 kilometers remaining; Vingegaard then caught and dropped Bardet, and opened an ever-increasing gap over Pogačar and Thomas.

The yellow jersey had completely exploded and was soon on his own, following a lonely, losing path to the summit. Vingegaard was on a charge and sped past Quintana with four kilometers left, becoming the leading rider on the road. He had also just become the virtual yellow jersey, with Pogačar 40 seconds back at that point and slipping to 1:29 in arrears two kilometers later.

The young Slovenian continued to fade from there, being passed by Gaudu and Yates, and eventually crossed the line a distant seventh, 2:51 behind the new race leader.

It was a huge blow and while the Tour isn’t over, it’s been shaken up in a way very few expected.


Results will be available once stage has completed.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.