The Tour de France’s Stage 11 saw the cyclists officially leave the Alps, and saw one cyclist being forced to leave the Tour.
British rider Mark Cavendish took the win in Stage 11, but it may have come at a steep price as his Columbia HTC teammate Mark Renshaw has been thrown out of the Tour.
As the 184 km stage entered the final stretches, Cavendish was greatly assisted in a slipstream from Renshaw that allowed him to set up for one last sprint to beat out Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi and American Tyler Farrar to the finish line.
However, before the winning sprint, and with Cavendish gaining speed in his slipstream, Renshaw reached his head out to Julian Dean and clearly headbutted the Kiwi cyclist.
Following the race, officials took swift action and removed Renshaw from the rest of the Tour, citing the deliberate behavior of the cyclist.
As expected, Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck retained the overall lead and the yellow jersey, maintaining a 41-second advantage over the Tour favorite Alberto Contador of Spain.
Schleck will have to keep up his pacing to ensure he can gain much-needed time on Contador before entering the Pyrenees during Stage 14.