Peter Sagan may have claimed yesterday’s stage win from Carcassonne to Montpellier, but it was Chris Froome who again took the plaudits with a daring ride to second.
The Team Sky rider – seeking his third Tour win and second in succession – spotted the late attack by Sagan and Pole Maciej Bodnar inside the final 15km, and went along with them, aided by team-mate Geraint Thomas.
Froome was beaten to the line by Sagan, but still added what could be a crucial six seconds to his lead, and he’s now ahead of Adam Yates by 28 seconds.
Having performed a similar surprise to win Stage Eight’s downhill finish, Froome’s attacking game seems to be paying off.
The Colombian and his Movistar team criticised the Tour organisers for what they judged an unnecessarily dangerous stage to Montpellier, with high winds causing a number of problems for riders.
Citing the wind and the number of towns they had to pass through, 25-year-old Quintana and his team will need to regroup quickly if they are to fight for the Yellow Jersey.
The high winds are set to continue on Stage 12, with the organisers deciding to cut the much-lauded and uber-challenging climb to Mont Ventoux.
Today’s stage will now finish six kilometres down the mountain but it’s still one that should favour Froome and Quintana with an hors climb.
The question is however, with Froome in such a confident and bold mood on this Tour, when will Quintana show his hand?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.