Wout van Aert claimed the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday with a scintillating solo victory over the double ascent of Mount Ventoux- known as the Giant of Provence.
The 25-year-old Belgian claimed the 198.9km stretch between Sorgues and Malaucène in five hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds.
Kenny Elissonde was second and Bauke Mollema was third.
“I’m lost for words,” said the Jumbo Visma rider after his win. “It’s one of the most iconic climbs in world cycling. Maybe this is my best win yet.”
Defending champion Tadej Pogacar finished the stage in fourth place and maintained the yellow jersey of the overall leader.
“I know that I’m not the best climber in the peloton," added Van Aert. “But I chose my day. I first rode the Ventoux when I was ten and it was the first real climb that I did.
“Winning a mountain stage in the Tour is not something I would have expected a few years ago.”
The 12th stage takes the riders 159.4km between Saint-Paul Trois-Chateaux and Nimes.