Wednesday 18th July 2018

Event of the Day: Stage 11 of the 2018 Tour de France

Our event of the day is Stage 11 of the Tour de France, the first summit finish of this year’s tour. Riders will climb through the French Alps in the second of three mountain stages in successive days. Measuring 108.5 kilometres from Albertville to La Rosière Espace San Bernardo, this is the shortest of the three mountain stages. However, with nearly half of those 108.5 kilometres being uphill, this will be equally as punishing. All eyes are on the dynamic of Team Sky’s Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. Four-time winner Froome went into the tour as Sky’s team leader. However, Thomas, who is a double Olympic champion in the team pursuit, has been given the freedom to race for himself during the first part of the tour. The Welshman is currently in second place, 2 minutes and 22 seconds behind leader Greg Van Avermaet. The Belgian rode an impressive race during Stage 10 to hold onto the yellow jersey. However, he is not a specialist climber so will be expected to surrender his lead over the coming days.

The potential leadership battle between Team Sky’s top two riders could come to the boil should Thomas maintain his lead over Froome for much longer. Reigning champion Froome is 59 seconds behind his teammate. Having played second fiddle to Bradley Wiggins during the British riders 2012 yellow jersey triumph, Froome is no stranger to being a supporting rider. However, he will be desperate to defend his title and make it four Tour wins in four years. Events over the next two days will go a long way to determining which rider will end up with the yellow and polka dot jerseys. Potential Tour defining moments are in store!

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Natwest T20 Blast fixture between Leicestershire Foxes and Lancashire Lightning at the Fischer County Ground, Grace Road. Lancashire are currently second in the table, and a win could see them top the table. A win for Leicestershire meanwhile could potentially see them leapfrog their opponents. More cricket is on display at Queens Sports Club, where Zimbabwe host Pakistan in their third ODI. The tourists currently lead the five-match series 2-0. The hunt for club footballs' most prestigious prize continues across Europe with multiple Champions League qualifying matches. Celtic take a 3-0 advantage into their home game with Alashkert at Celtic Park. Fixtures between Sutjeska Nikšić and FC Astana, Rosenborg and Valur Reykjavík and Zrinjski Mostar and Spartak Trnava are more finely poised, with each host trailing 1-0. In Europa League qualification, FK Željezničar Sarajevo play JK Narva Trans at the Grbavica Stadium in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Football action can also be found at the TCF Bank Stadium in the United States, where Minnesota United host New England Revolution in the MLS. Day 3 of the SkiStar Swedish Open, Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open and Plava Laguna Croatia Open get underway on the ATP World Tour. It’s also Day 3 of the BRD Bucharest Open and Gstaad Ladies Championships on the WTA Tour.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

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