BORDEAUX, France — Belgian Rudy Dhaenens nosed out Mathieu Hermans of the Netherlands and Laurent Biondi of France in a final sprint Monday to take the 160-mile 11th stage of the Tour de France bicycle race.
Dhaenens, a 25-year-old sprinter on the Hitachi team, covered the longest stage in the race, from Poitiers to Bordeaux, in a time of 6 hours 12 minutes 40 seconds.
The pack, led by Alfonso Guttierrez of Spain, finished 30 seconds later.
Denmark's Joergen Pedersen came in 106th in the pack, but retained the overall lead for the fifth straight day. Frenchman Joel Pelier trailed Pedersen by 1:03. Irishman Stephen Roche was third, 1:05 back, and five-time winner Bernard Hinault stayed in fourth place, 1:10 behind.
Once again, the riders ran the race at a pace of about 25 m.p.h. and finished 45 minutes before expected.
About 15 miles from the finish, Dhaenens took part in a 13-man break. Aided by teammate and former world road race champion Claude Criquielion, he broke away from the escape group just as it approached Bordeaux.