Live: Tour de France – Stage 14 – Limoux to Foix
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Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Stage fourteen of the 2012 Tour de France between Limoux and Foix sees a return to the medium mountains. Please join us for live blogging from 8:30 pm AEST with full coverage starting at 10:00pm. Comments will be added to the bottom of this post as the race progresses.
Three medium mountains break the monotony of tonight’s 191 km stage, with the category one Mur de Perguere providing the most interest.
This is the second attempt the organisers have made to have this climb included in the race, after it was removed from the Tour route in 1973 due to rider protests.
While the official story is that the descent was deemed to be too dangerous, rumours continue to persist that it was because the riders thought it was too steep to climb.
Whatever the reason, it is a nasty little beast. Over all it is a 9.3 kilometre climb with an average gradient of 7.9 per cent, but the sting in its tail is the double-figure gradients over the last three kilometres. Although it is the last climb of the day, it will have little bearing on the final result, with 40 kilometres still to ride to the finish line.
Starting out with the category two Col du Portel, the day looks to be set up for a breakaway. Can Michael Albasini or Simon Gerrans salvage something from this stage? It has been lean pickings for Orica-GreenEdge and it is time that these two riders in particular, stood up and displayed some of the form they had earlier in the year.
While Albasini showed last night that he might be ready to assert more of an influence, Gerrans has been especially disappointing and hasn’t had the legs he would have hoped for.
The intermediate sprint bobs up at 99 kilometres and then it is straight onto the Port de Lers, a sticky little climb of 11.4 kilometres over a seven per cent gradient. The Mur de Perguere comes straight after followed by a mostly down hill run into the finish.
While it is not a stage that will re-configure the general classification, the fight for sprint and king of the mountain points will be on in earnest, while a stage victory beckons for any rider daring enough to take his chances.
Join us tonight for all the action.