Live: 2012 Tour de France – Stage 1 – Liege to Seraing
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Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Please, join us for live blogging of Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour de France. Live coverage will begin from 8PM, with full coverage from 10PM.
Stage 1 is a lumpy loop from Liege, through Luxembourg and back to Seraing.
There’s five category four climbs on the menu today but the six or so other small hills across 198kms equals a significant amount of climbing.
Add to this, first week nerves, Belgian roads and weather and this stage is far from easy. Nobody wants to see crashes like last year, especially among General Classification (GC) contenders so let’s hope they all stay safe and focussed.
After conceding nine seconds to Wiggins in yesterday’s prologue, Cadel Evans may look to gain some valuable time on today’s 2.4km, 4.7% uphill finish similar to his efforts on Stage 1 and Stage 4 at last year’s tour.
As good as Evans is against the clock, there’s every chance he may lose up 1-2 minutes minutes to Tour favourite Bradley Wiggins across the 100kms of time trialling in 2012, so every other second where he can grab them counts.
Considering Vincenzo Nibali’s blistering ride at Milan San-Remo, he may also have a crack at today’s stage as pretty much everyone but Wiggins are in the same time trialling boat.
With Radioshack in 1000 broken pieces, and the golden fleece on his back, Fabian Cancellara may also give this one a tickle. But my money is on Simon Gerrans, breakaway companion of Nibali and Cancellara and winner at Milan-San Remo.
Other possible contenders for the stage include Alejandro Valverde, Peter Sagan and if allowed to go for the win, Evans’ team mate Phillipe Gilbert. Alexander Vinokourov may also find some final glory here too.
I’m also interested in seeing how Mark Cavendish pulls up. It’s not too interesting for the green jersey tonight, however, today’s stage resembles ever so slightly the nine times he’ll ride up Box Hill to win the Olympic Road Race – the difference being the Olympic race ends with a 20km or so flat run into the finish.
I’m guessing he’ll tuck in safely and easily with Wiggins finding protection among his team mates.
Tonight, the competitors head out on the roar for real. Please join us for live blogging of Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour de France.
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