Tour de France 2012: Stage 12
Bradley Wiggins wears the yellow
By Larysa Pachulski, 4:53PM, Fri. Jul. 13, 2012
The route from Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne to Annonay Davézieux is the longest stage in the Tour this year. It is a total of 226 km (140 miles) with two category-1 climbs and one category-3 climb.
Due to the uphill finish of today's stage, chances are we are looking at another break away finish.
• Our initial break away of 19 riders was established at 18km (11 miles) into the stage. Naturally, it fell apart on the first climb. The order coming over the Col du Grand Cucheron was:
1) Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia)
2) Jean-Christophe Peraud (France)
3) Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine)
4) Cyril Gautier (France)
5) David Millar (Scotland)
Surprised to see Millar in the break away today. Millar is a Tour vet and longtime favorite rider for me and my mother. Not so much for his riding, as for his personality. He loves to complain. After a stage, while other riders are trying to dodge reporters and make a break for the safety of the team bus, Millar will stand around (rain or shine) and talk to any reporter who will listen (all of them) about how hard the stage was for him, because of the weather, because he was injured, because he has the sniffles, etc. So entertaining. For more entertainment, definitely check out his posts on Twitter. (Cyclists love to tweet!)
• David Moncoutie (France) had broken away from the peloton and established a chase on the break away riders, but a crash has injured him quite badly and we can see now that he is crying. Not because of his injuries, but because he will have to abandon the Tour after he had been doing so well only minutes before. Someone hug this man.
• Looks like Tom Veelers (Netherlands) has also just abandoned the Tour. In emotional support of Moncoutie, no doubt.
• Our break away is now on the ascent of the second col. The peloton begins the ascent shortly after and starts to thin out as more and more riders are dropped off the back. It's common for riders who don't specialize in climbing to be dropped off the back of the pack. However, It is uncommon to see riders who do specialize in climbing to be dropped off the back, which is what we are witnessing now. Shape up, climbers! Even Millar is kicking your ass!
• Roll call over the col:
3) Egoi Martinez (Spain)
5) Gautier Millaaaaar!
• Peter Sagan (Slovakia) and Rein Taaramae (Estonia) have attacked the peloton. This could mean bad news for Tejay van Garderen (USA) who is trying to fend off Taaramae, third in line for the white jersey. Apparently, however, this break away means something far worse for team Orica. Their directeur sportif, Matt White, is really concerned about Sags getting ahead of the peloton.
• After the two category-1 climbs, the break away officially consists of only five riders: Gautier, Martinez, Millar, Peraud, and Kiserlovski. The peloton has eased off on the attack of these riders, so it is highly likely that one of them will win today's stage. (Millar …?)
• Team Orica has now moved to the front of the peloton in order to speed up the chase on Sags. What is their deal?
• Their deal is that they do not want Sags to get anymore points toward the green jersey without letting their sprinter, Matty Goss, (Australia) get some points too.
• Sags is caught in the feed zone, in which all riders tend to slow down, so as to better enjoy their Snickers bars and cokes. No seriously, that is the diet of a cyclist. I am also on this diet, umm … as an act of solidarity with the cyclists. They need support, you guys!
• Our break away riders are over the intermediate sprint line:
So Millar is not only still holding on, but it's looking like he might have the legs for a stage win today. If Millar won today's stage, it would be his first in the Tour de France in nine years, and his first since he came back from a doping suspension in 2006. Allez, Millar!
• Our break away is within the last 25 km (15 miles) well ahead of the peloton. They are approaching the final climb. Kiserlovski and Peraud are over the summit first.
• The distance to the finish line is closing in, and yet at 5 km (3 miles) we have yet to see an attack by any of the lead riders.
Martinez makes a small attack, but it doesn't last. Kiserlovski moves up, looking like he might attack. At one point, the break away group is almost at a standstill, as the riders wait for one anther to make a move so that they can counter attack.
Kiserlovski attacks! Millar reacts! Peraud attacks! Millar Reacts! Peraud and Millar are now the only two men left standing. They've gained considerable time on the others who don't look like they have the legs to attack. The two approach the half-mile mark, but neither of them are going full speed. It will be a sprint finish.
At 250 meters to the finish line Peraud attacks, but Millar is faster. He sprints to the finish line earning his first, dope-free win, in nine years.
Jersey Lineup End of Stage 11
Yellow Jersey (best overall): Bradley Wiggins (Britain) Sky
White Jersey (best young rider): Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
Green Jersey (best sprinter): Peter Sagan (Slovakia) Liquigas
Polka Dot Jersey (King of the Mountains): Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden) Astana
Top 10 After Stage 11
1) Bradley Wiggins (Britain) Sky
2) Christopher Froome (Britain) Sky
3) Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Liquigas
4) Cadel Evans (Australia) BMC
5) Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Belgium) Lotto-Belisol
6) Haimar Zubeldia (Spain) RadioShack Nissan Trek
7) Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
8) Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) Astana
9) Pierre Rolland (France) Europcar
10) Thibaut Pinot (France) FDJ-Bigmat