TdF Daily | Stage 11 | Richard Carapaz and Ben Healy go all-in on the breakaway

EF Education-EasyPost teammates put in a gritty performance on the hardest stage of this Tour so far

July 10, 2024

Today, Ben Healy and Richard Carapaz went for the breakaway.

Today, Ben Healy and Richard Carapaz went for the breakaway.

The two EF Education-EasyPost riders knew that the break was their chance to win today’s stage of the Tour de France. So, they threw down attack after attack on the roads out of the start town of Évaux-les-Bains. They took turns lining out the pack on every climb, accelerating as the road dragged up through fields and woods, and then dropping them like MotoGP racers on the wet, grimy descents until they broke clear. Richie got away first and then Ben bridged up to him. That took almost two hours of full-on racing over rolling terrain, as the Tour de France headed south over the low mountains of the Massif Central.

The finish was on top of the ski station in Le Lioran after 211 kilometers and well over 4,000 meters of climbing. With four of the six categorized climbs packed into the final 50 kilometers, Ben and Richie hoped that the peloton would hesitate and save their strength for a yellow-jersey showdown, while one or the other of them stole ahead to seize the stage.

It didn’t work out. On the road, the GC teams raced flat-out from the start to the finish. Ben and Richie forced the pace at the front of their group of ten but couldn’t gain more than a few minutes. As their gap went down on the final climbs, they went for a flier together, breaking clear with Oier Lazkano on the Col de Néronne and Puy Mary. Ben had the most strength left of the three and tried solo when Richie started to falter, but couldn’t hold off the combined force of the GC favorites’ teams and was caught.

That was not the result we were after today, but the Tour de France is a game played by 22 teams and we executed our plan well today. Ben and Richie rode their hearts out. They raced with grit and panache.

It’s still a long way to Nice!

Hear from our riders and sports director Charly Wegelius from after today’s stage.

Ben Healy

We raced our race and we did what we said we wanted to do in the morning. You can’t control what the peloton does sometimes. We never gave up. UAE were very eager to show what they could do today. There are more days to come. If I have the legs I had today for the rest of the Tour, then I’m sure I’ll have another opportunity.

Neilson Powless

We wanted Richie and Ben in there and they got in there. It’s unfortunate that UAE were pulling so hard from the very beginning. You could already tell that they were trying to shut down as many big moves as they could. We still gave it a good crack!

Charly Wegelius, sports director

They rode the dream stage, the whole team. I don't often say it, but I'm pretty confident in saying that if the breakaway was allowed to go, Ben would or could have won the stage. The race circumstances were what they were. The breakaway took a long time to go. They had a short period of time on easier roads, in which they kept the break close and basically went and caught them, because they wanted to win the stage and they wanted to take time bonuses and so on. We can't do anything about that, but the riders rode literally the dream stage. It was a stage-winning performance by them, even though it doesn't show on the results sheet. It’s the Tour. There are other teams and other circumstances, but the riders are literally doing every single thing that we ask them to do on the highest possible level and one of these days it'll click for sure.

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