Australia's Caleb Ewan won a stage of the Tour de France for the first time ©Getty Images

Australia’s Caleb Ewan claimed his first stage victory as Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall leader's yellow jersey at the Tour de France today.

The Lotto–Soudal rider triumphed on the 11th stage, a flat 167 kilometres journey from Albi to Toulouse, to clinch his maiden Tour win.

Ewan gradually reeled in Jumbo–Visma's Dylan Groenewegen before passing the Dutchman on the line in a photo finish.

Elia Viviani of Italy came through to take a distant third ahead of Slovakia’s Peter Sagan and Belgian Jens Debusschere.

Deceuninck–QuickStep's Alaphilippe maintained his lead in the battle for the general classification, while defending champion Geraint Thomas of Britain finished safely in the peloton to stay second.

Ewan completed the stage, which was expected to be dominated by sprinters, in a total time of 3hr 51min 56sec.

Caleb Ewan triumphed after pipping Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen on the line ©Getty Images
Caleb Ewan triumphed after pipping Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen on the line ©Getty Images

The Australian's victory came after his usual lead-out man Jasper de Buyst crashed into a ditch on the approach to Toulouse.

Ewan becomes the 13th rider to have won stages at the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España.

"I can't believe it," said Ewan. 

"I have been close in the last four sprints I have done.

"My team never lost faith in me and I never lost faith in myself."

Alaphilippe remains the one to catch in the overall standings and leads Thomas, riding for Team Inoes, by 1min 12sec.

Thomas' team mate Egan Bernal is third, a further four seconds adrift.

Tomorrow's 12th stage will see the riders tackle a mountainous 209.5km trek from Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre.