The Latest: Majka wins bumpiest Pyrenees stage of Tour
CAUTERETS, France (AP) — The Latest from the 11th Stage of the Tour de France (all times local):
On the bumpiest day of riding in the Pyrenees, Rafal Majka of Poland has won with a daring solo effort, giving his Tinkoff-Saxo team its first stage win at this year's Tour de France.
The 25-year-old Majka surged away on the ascent of the Tourmalet, the toughest of six climbs on Stage 11. He rode alone over the high-mountain pass, at an altitude of 2,115 meters (6,939 feet), and clung on to his lead for nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles) to win at Cauterets.
The teammate of 2007 and 2009 champion Alberto Contador is a recognized climber after winning the polka dot jersey for climbing at his first Tour in 2014, when he also won two stages.
Behind him, race leader Chris Froome was looking to conserve energy and stay safe after his stage win Tuesday that put the leader of the Sky team in firm control of the race.
A tough day of mountain riding up six ascents under the sun is proving too much for some at the Tour de France, with organizers announcing that six riders have dropped out well before the finish at Cauterets.
The Lampre-Merida team has lost Rui Costa, its leader from Portugal, on Stage 11. French team AG2R La Mondiale is down two riders, Johan Van Summeren and Ben Gastauer.
Organizers say German rider Dominik Nerz, leader of the Bora-Argon 18 team, and Astana's Rein Taaramae, from Estonia, have also abandoned, and a crash ended the Tour of Italian rider Daniele Bennati of the Tinkoff-Saxo team.
At the start Wednesday in Pau, 183 riders set off on the 188-kilometer (117-mile) trek.
One of Chris Froome's rivals has complained that the British rider's team is being overly aggressive in protecting the Tour de France leader.
Steve Morabito, a rider on the FDJ team, says "some punches and elbows were thrown" as Froome's teammates with Sky positioned themselves at the front of the peloton for the last climb on Stage 10. Froome handily won that stage in the Pyrenees, putting him in control of the race for Wednesday's Stage 11, which was another trek through the mountains straddling France and Spain.
In a video posted on the team's Twitter feed, Morabito said FDJ "had a spot at the front" at the foot of the long climb to the La Pierre-Saint-Martin ski station and that Sky riders "were very aggressive in repositioning themselves."
He complained that the tactics weren't "very fair," saying "that's not my vision of cycling." Morabito, who isn't a contender for victory, appealed for "a bit of calm," noting that the Tour is only in its second week.
Sky riders led Froome up the first portion of Tuesday's ascent before he accelerated to win.
After crushing his top opponents a day earlier, Chris Froome is wearing the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey and the pack has set off for a tough 11th stage over six mountain climbs.
More Pyrenean punishment looms in Wednesday's stage over the famed Tourmalet pass and five lesser ascents along a 188-kilometer (117-mile) loop from Pau to Cauterets in deep southern France.
Froome's dominant performance — like when he won the Tour in 2013 — has revived suspicions about doping that has plagued cycling. The British rider says he is clean, and he has never tested positive for doping.
Froome leads Tejay van Garderen, the American leader of the BMC team who is second, by 2 minutes, 52 seconds.