Live: 2012 Tour de France – Stage 12 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay
Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Join us for live coverage of Stage 12 of the 2012 Tour de France. At 226 kilometers, the route from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay marks the longest stage in this year’s tour.
Coverage will begin at 7pm AEST, with continued updates throughout the stage.
While this stage isn’t designated as truly mountainous, the peloton will tackle two category one climbs in the first 80 kilometers of the stage.
I doubt there will be any splits or serious attacks, as there are 140 kilometers of mostly flat to downhill terrain leading up to the finish, and anyone who gets away on the climbs will surely be brought back by the main field.
Matt Goss will have to work hard to make it over the two climbs with the field to be in contention for the intermediate sprint points, as he closes in on the lead in the green jersey competition.
Watch for Orica-GreenEdge to do a lot of work early and set up Goss for the intermediate sprint.
The finish suits riders like Peter Sagan, Philipe Gilbert, or Sylvain Chavanel with an uphill slog to the line. The peloton will summit a category 3 climb about 20km before the finish, but if anything, it will help riders like Sagan, Gilbert and Chavanel get rid of the pure sprinters.
It should not serve as a major springboard for an attack on GC because at under 6km in length and averaging 3.4%, it is neither long enough or hard enough.
Sagan has shown that he excels at the type of finish that faces the peloton tonight, and unless last night’s stage took too much out of him, I expect him to be there to contest the finish.
I’ll be surprised if any major changes happen on GC, as there isn’t any difficult terrain late in the stage to split things up. And as I mentioned above, anyone who is a threat and goes too early, will be readily brought back by Sky.
I’ve had a fairly good streak of picking stage winners, so for those of you placing bets, I’d bet on Sagan to win.
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