Australian Caleb Ewan claimed his second victory in this year’s Tour de France by winning in a close sprint to win stage 11, 167.5 km from Châtelaillon-Plage on Wednesday.
The Lotto-Soudal rider threw his bike over the line to narrowly beat three-time world champion Peter Sagan, who was on trial for leaning over Belgian Wout van Aert in the home stretch and relegated in the last place of the sprint group.
“I tried to get out at the last moment, I got out quite late. It was pretty hectic, ”Ewan said.
“At the end of the day, we’re all really in the heat of the moment and we don’t always think about safety. I’m sure Peter didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Maybe he shouldn’t have done that.
Irishman Sam Bennett, who won the 10th stage on Tuesday and hoped for a victory in Poitiers where his compatriot and friend Sean Kelly won the Tour in 1978, took second place.
Sagan, who was left out of the 2017 Tour de France after nudging Briton Mark Cavendish in a sprint, was also tied 13 points for his dangerous move.
“We accept the jury’s decision. We always aim to win, but in a respectable way, even when the adrenaline is high in a Tour sprint, ”said Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team.
Bennett extended his lead in the points standings to 68 points, bolstering his hopes of securing a first green shirt for Ireland since Kelly in 1989.
Slovenian Primoz Roglic retained the yellow jersey of the leader of the general classification after a quiet day in the main peloton.
He leads defending champion Egan Bernal and Frenchman Guillaume Martin after a lackluster stage where Frenchman Matthieu Ladagnous was the only escape.
Thursday’s 12th stage is a 218 km race from Chauvigny to Sarran.