The peloton faces its last relatively flat stage in the 2011 Tour De France before the high mountains start to really separate the men from the boys. There are two more flat stages and a time trial left after Wednesday, but six of the next ten stages will go through the Pyrenees and Alps, where the Tour has historically been decided. Stage Eleven provides the pure sprinters with one last chance to gain some ground before they fall back in the serious mountains of the race.
Many think Mark Cavendish will exact revenge following his stage ten loss, but no matter what it will be a mad dash to the finish once the cyclists make it through some early modest hills. The stage contains two categorized climbs, including a Category 3 at the 28.5 kilometer mark and a Category 4 at the 135.5 kilometer mark. The first climb is 3.6 kilometers to 4.9%, while the second climb is 4.2 kilometers to 3.8%.
For Levi Leipheimer and Team Radioshack will look to keep Andreas Kloden in his current eighth position before the mountains beckon. While Thomas Voeckler has a sizable lead at this point, the mountains can make a dramatic difference.
Stage eleven will start at 5:00am pacific on VERSUS. NBCSports.com will continue to provide a live online stream via subscription service.
We'll be here for the entire race providing news updates and stage previews and recaps, particularly as they relate to Bay Area cyclist Levi Leipheimer. For more in-depth discussion on the 2011 Tour De France, head over to Podium Cafe. For more general Tour coverage, head over to the SB Nation story stream.