Australian rider Caleb Ewan claimed his first Tour de France victory in Wednesday's stage 11, while Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe continued to have the yellow jersey on back ahead of grueling mountain stages.The Lotto Soudal rider surged past Groenewegen in a mass sprint to prevail by a few centimeters, with Italian Elia Viviani taking third place."I can’t believe it. I've been so close in the four last sprint I've done. But my team never lost faith in me and I never lost faith in my team," Ewan, 25, said after the win."Luckily I had the legs to finish it off. This is a childhood dream come true. There's no other race that I've wanted to win as a kid. The Tour de France is something so distant from Australia, something we watch on TV... it's fantastic," added Ewan, who is riding the Tour for the first time.
France's Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall leader's yellow jersey, as he and defending champion Geraint Thomas didn't take any risk in the transitional stage prior to tough ones in the mountain, arriving safely in the main pack.There were no major changes in the overall standings but twice runner-up Nairo Quintana was involved in a pile-up some 30 kilometers from the finish.Slovakia's Peter Sagan, the sprint green jersey owner, finished fourth.Stage 12 on Thursday will start in Toulouse, with 209.5 kilometers ahead toward Bagneres-de-Bigorre.