Tour De France Stage 12 Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne - Annonay Daveziux

14/07/2012   |   Posted by jeremy

Stage 12 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne   -  Annonay Daveziux  226km

Stage 12 was the longest one of the race, with two big category 1 climbs in the first half, a rolling second half, plus a bit of a kick at 200km in the form of a category 3 climb that after such a long day could threaten to split the peloton up a bit.

The first man over the first climb of the day, The Col du Grand Cucheron ,was Robert Kiserlovski of Pro Team Astana. By the time the riders reached the second big climb of the day, The Col du Granier a five man breakaway had formed. This group included David Millar of Garmin-Sharp. They had already pulled out a lead of 46 seconds over the main field as they went over the summit.

The intermediate sprint was not really a sprint at all, as the breakaway group rolled over the line with David Millar at the head to take the win without challenge. 11 minutes later though the yellow jersey group did sprint for the line, albeit for 6thplace and downwards. This battle was won by Matt Goss of Orica Greenedge.

The majority of the rest of the stage was flat and the riders were content to roll along in the heat of the day. This would allow themselves a bit of recovery time after yesterday’s gruelling mountain stage, until they reached the last climb of the Cote D’Ardoix.

The breakaway group now had a 12 minute lead over the yellow jersey group. Mark Cavendish was doing a great job without complaint in his new role of super domestique, carrying water from the team cars up to the riders who needed it.

The crowds were as usual very enthusiastic at the sides of the road with young and old alike waving flags, having picnics and generally taking in the carnival like atmosphere. It’s when you see these people you can understand why the French are such a cycling mad nation. With very small children being taken to watch the races and cheer on the riders, they become conditioned to it. It’s like it has been bred into them.

 From my own perspective having ridden in France a lot, they certainly make sure that the cyclist is given respect, well most of the time anyway. That certainly isn’t the case if you’ve ever tried to ride around the Arc de Triomphe and down the Champs-Elysees in Paris. This can be a little unnerving but still great fun and I would recommend it to anyone.

Over the last summit of the day Robert Kiserlovski made it a hat trick of wins and was uncontested as the group pushed on towards the finish with around 12km to go. They had the advantage as the run in to the finish was quite tricky with turns and roundabouts ahead. With 4km to go they started to weigh each other up. First one would break, look back to see if there had been a reaction then slow. This was repeated several times.

 They had slowed right down in their game of cat and mouse as they knew the peloton was far behind them. Millar and Jean-Christophe  Peraud of AG2R  La Mondiale made a jump on the other three and made it stick, With 200 meters to the line Peraud went for it and from there it was a head to head. Millar pulled ahead and crossed the line with a triumphant fist in the air to take his fourth ever Tour stage win.

When the peloton arrived 6 minutes later there was a sprint for the line between Matt Goss and Peter Sagan. Goss crossed the line first, with Sagan complaining as he went over that Goss had moved across into his racing line. The commissar’s agreed with him and their finish positions were switched.

Another great day at the Tour with an unexpected win for David Millar. Let’s hope he can do this sort of work when it comes to the Olympics.







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Team Sky

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