Robbie Hunter wins stage 11
Fabian Cancellara almost nicked it on the line
Stage 11’s 180km flat run from Marseille to Montpellier was prime territory for a long breakaway, and indeed a group of five got away early, including David Millar who was hoping to contend for the stage victory.
The Scot’s chances were ruined, however, by the Astana team, who kept the tempo high on roads with strong crosswinds splitting the peloton. The biggest name to lose precious time was Moreau, who missed the sudden increase in pace after having crashed earlier and having had to change his shoes having damaged a cleat. His AG2R team mates struggled in vain to ride the French National Champion back to the peloton.
Approaching the final kilometre, a tricky right hand bend caught out half a dozen riders. Tom Boonen was forced to a stop although he didn’t crash. The Liquigas squad led the charge up the final straight, but Barloworld’s Robbie Hunter sensed victory and seized the chance for his first Tour stage win. A frustrated Fabian Cancellara, who’s having a fantastic ride in this year’s Tour, was a fraction short of taking his third stage victory.
Robbie Hunter was clearly overjoyed with his win. “I’m really proud to represent a team supported by an important South African company: now we deserve more respect; we are a greatly professional team, and I’m sure we’ll become one of the best teams all over the world in the next few years”.