Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won the twelfth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, the first true mountain stage of the race, for team Euskatel. Sanchez pulled ahead of the pack during the ascent of the Luz-Ardiden and road out into first with Jelle Vanendart (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on the final ascent of the stage.
Thomas Voeckler got a boost from Pierre Roland to hold onto the yellow jersey through another stage. His lead in the Tour now stands at one minute and 49 seconds over Frank Schleck.
The biggest surprise of the day was a poor performance by reigning champion Alberto Contador, who lost seven seconds to Damiano Cunego, 13 seconds to Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans and Ivan Basso, and 33 seconds to Frank Schleck.
Tomorrow's stage will see the riders take on stage thirteen, an ascent that favors the breakaway specialists who can handle the big climbs.