Tour de France Stage 12
Heading into the Tour de France a lot of the talk was how decisive stages 12 and 13 could be in the overall GC battle and we have now reached that part of the race. On Thursday we have Stage 12 up the famous Mont Ventoux and then on Friday is the time trial so we are going to see plenty of time separations over the two stages.
Chris Froome stole the show in Stage 11 when he joined up with Peter Sagan and two others to plough away from the peloton who were struggling in the crosswinds. It was a masterstroke by the maillot jaune wearer who extended his lead courtesy of finishing second behind Sagan.
Stage 12 – The Profile
Stage 12 begins with a lengthy flat section but with high winds forecast there could still be splits in the field. There is almost certain to be a breakaway formed and if the winds play havoc with the peloton it could stay away especially if there are Frenchmen around who will be determined to win on Bastille Day.
Shortly after the intermediate sprint which comes on 102.5km the stage will really fire into life. There are short, sharp category 4 and 3 climbs before the beast of Mont Ventoux is tackled. Sadly the heavy winds this climb is famous for has meant that the stage has been shortened by 6km so we’ll now be finishing at Chalet Reynard rather than the summit of the mountain but this is still going to be a very tough climb, most probably into strong headwinds, to end a pivotal stage in the tour.
The Famous Climb up Ventoux
Even though the stage has been shortened we still expect it to be played out much the same as if we were going all the way up Ventoux. The reason for that is because actually the toughest part of the climb is right at the beginning of it where the gradient averages 8.8%.
We expect Team Sky to set the pace up the mountain and those who can go with them will but there won’t be many. The big questions are a) Can Nairo Quintana drop Froome which you would think he has to do to win because Froome will beat him in a sprint and actually looks stronger than the Colombian right now and b) Will Quintana be prepared to attack his rival with the time trial on Friday which could have huge implications in the race.
We see a very small group of GC riders come the end of the race and on what we’ve seen so far it is hard to go against Chris Froome but we’ll have a saver on his former teammate Richie Porte who has been climbing well and probably won’t get chased down if he attacks late as he is so far down on GC now. It wouldn’t be beyond all realism that Froome and Porte form an alliance and the Englishman allows his friend the stage as a gift.
We’re also going to cover the likelihood that the peloton get caught in the winds and the breakaway kicks clear and stays out in front. Picking riders for the breakaway isn’t easy here with the time trial on Friday but we know there will be some Frenchmen who go just because it is Bastille Day. I don’t see Thibaut Pinot getting away though as he’ll be closely marked by anyone with eyes on the polka dot jersey.
This might not be the stage for Romain Bardet or Warren Barguil while Pierre Rolland has looked like he has nothing in the legs so far. It has the feel of a stage for a madman about it so step forward Tommy Voeckler who was seen to get a little frisky in Stage 10 and could easily go on the attack here.
Ilnur Zakarin has been tipped up on our site plenty this year and we respect his underrated climbing ability. He is far enough down on GC to be allowed to go ahead while Jan Bakelants has the power to get away and the climbing skills to stay away should the occasion allow it. We’ll take those three in the hope if the breakaway stays out in front one of them is in it.
Stage 12 Tips
Back C.Froome to win Stage 12 for a 4/10 stake at 3.25 with Skybet
Back R.Porte to win Stage 12 (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 with Ladbrokes (1/4 1-3)
Back I.Zakurin to win Stage 12 (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with Boylesports (1/4 1-4)
Back T.Voeckler to win Stage 12 (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with Boylesports (1/4 1-4)
Back J.Bakelants to win Stage 12 (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with Boylesports (1/4 1-4)
Back them here: