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Glance: Key stages of the 2012 Tour de France

Glance: Key stages of the 2012 Tour de France

Prologue. Saturday June 30. The 6.4 km (4 miles) individual time trial around Liege, Belgium will be the occasion for Tour favorites Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans to show their early form. Also a chance for podium outsiders like World Champion time-trialist Tony Martin, Levi Leipheimer and Robert Gesink to start to put vital seconds into rivals who are less well versed in the race against the clock, known as cycling's "Race of Truth."
Stage 7. Saturday July 7. A 199 km (124 miles) medium mountain stage from Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges mountains of eastern France. The super-steep final climb up La Planche des Belles Filles will be one of the first big tests of form for the climbers. The 5.9 km climb averages a 8.5 percent gradient, but patches topping out at a staggering 20 percent.
Stage 11. Thursday July 12. The 148 km (92 miles) route takes riders over two beyond-classification Alpine peaks (Col de la Madeleine and Col de la Croix de Fer) and finishes atop the 1st category La Toussuire. The imposing 18 km climb at 6.1 percent is remembered as the mountain where Floyd Landis famously bonked in the 2006 Tour de France, finishing 10 minutes behind the stage winner and losing the yellow jersey. He infamously made up almost all the lost time in a staggering comeback the next day for which it was later proven he doped to win.
Stage 16. Wednesday July 18. 197 km (122 miles) from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon in the Pyrenees. Two beyond-classifcation climbs (Col d'Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet) and two first category climbs, Col d'Aspin and Col de Peyresourde. A stage known as "The Circle of Death" since it first featured in the Tour de France in 1910. The 9.5 km, 6.7 percent Col de Peyresourde comes 16 km from the finish, leaving little chance for anyone dropped on the final climb to catch back on.
Stage 19. Saturday July 21. An exceptionally long 53.5 km (33 miles) individual time trial from Bonneval to Chartres. The last chance for any riders who suffered in the mountains to make up time. After three weeks of high-intensity racing, racers will have to dig deep into their last reserves of stamina, strength and concentration on the Tour's penultimate stage. Likely to be a final showdown between Wiggins and Evans for the coveted yellow jersey.


Updated : 2021-05-06 10:06 GMT+08:00