France’s Tony Gallopin produced a superb solo effort to claim the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, a 187.5km trek from Besancon to Oyonnax.
A major subplot of the day was Andrew Talansky. The American rider, suffering from lower-back pain after two crashes earlier in the race, had stopped some 100km into the stage to sit on a crash barrier.
Race organisers announced that Garmin-Sharp had abandoned the Tour, but Talansky refused to give up and fought through the pain to cross the finish line 32.08 behind the stage winner.
Nicolas Roche tried his luck several times in the finale but it wasn’t to be as Gallopin launched a devastating attack with only 2.5km to go and never looked back, completing the course in a winning time of 4 hours, 25 minutes and 45 seconds.
Germany’s John Degenkolb came home second with Italy’s Matteo Trentin completing the podium ahead of fellow countryman Daniele Bennati.
Vincenzo Nibali finished safely to retain the overall leader’s yellow jersey with Australia’s Richie Porte and Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde sitting second and third respectively.