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It took 99 tries, but a British cyclist has finally won the Tour de France. Bradley Wiggins of Sky Procycling is the 2012 Tour de France winner after the ride to the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Sunday. His winning time was 87:37:47, three minutes and 21 seconds better than teammate and second-place finisher Christopher Froome
Wiggins took over the yellow jersey lead at the conclusion of Stage 7, taking the item of clothing from Fabian Cancellara, who had worn it since capturing victory on the prologue in Liege, and never looking back. Over that span, Wiggins saw his lead eventually stretch to over three minutes while capturing two stage victories. On Stages 9 and 19, Wiggins won those individual time trials.
Peter Sagan won the points competition and wears the green jersey (maillot vert) on the final podium with 421 points, 141 points better than second-place finisher Andre Greipel. He has worn that jersey since the end of Stage 2, taking it away from Fabian Cancellara. Thomas Voeckler is the King of the Mountains and Colorado resident Tejay Van Garderen wears the white jersey as the top youth rider in the race. He defeated Thibaut Pinot by six minutes and 13 seconds.
There were no surprises on Stage 20 of the 2012 Tour de France, the final day of the event. The riders began the day in Ramouillet and finished with a ride through Paris on the Champs-Élysées. In the end, Mark Cavendish won the final stage.
Once in Paris, the cyclists rode eight wraps around the city on the Champs-Élysées. Eleven riders were in the lead for a long portion of those laps, but three broke away with less than seven miles to go. However, that only lasted until the final stretch run to the finish line when Mark Cavendish won the sprint to the end with a final time of 3:08:07. Peter Sagan and Matthew Goss finished in second and third place, respectively, with the same time.
Cavendish has won four times in Paris, all happening in a row since 2009, and now has 23 career stage victories on the Tour.
Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team spoke with the media after his strong finish in Stage 19, in which he placed 7th overall. Garderen dedicated his performance to the victims of the recent shooting tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. The 23-year-old cyclist has adopted Boulder, Colorado, as his second home having spent the early part of his career on the Team 5280 Magazine developmental squad of the Garmin-Sharp cycling team.
Garderen is currently in the lead for the White Jersey, awarded annually to the top young Tour rider. Here is a look at the White Jersey classifications heading into the final leg of the 2012 Tour de France, courtesy of LeTour.com:
|1.||USA||VAN GARDEREN Tejay||9||BMC RACING TEAM||84h 37' 35''|
|2.||FRA||PINOT Thibaut||146||FDJ-BIGMAT||84h 43' 48''||+ 06' 13''|
|3.||NED||KRUIJSWIJK Steven||152||RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM||85h 43' 23''||+ 01h 05' 48''|
|4.||EST||TAARAMAE Rein||81||COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE||85h 54' 07''||+ 01h 16' 32''|
|5.||ESP||IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka||34||EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI||85h 58' 15''||+ 01h 20' 40''|
|6.||ESP||VALLS FERRI Rafael||128||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||86h 04' 12''||+ 01h 26' 37''|
|7.||SVK||SAGAN Peter||57||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||86h 05' 17''||+ 01h 27' 42''|
|8.||GER||NERZ Dominik||55||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||86h 08' 43''||+ 01h 31' 08''|
|9.||NOR||BOASSON HAGEN Edvald||102||SKY PROCYCLING||86h 19' 14''||+ 01h 41' 39''|
|10.||ITA||MALACARNE Davide||28||TEAM EUROPCAR||86h 23' 41''||+ 01h 46' 06'|
The Tour de France comes to an end on Sunday and British cyclist Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky Procycling is set to become the first British general classification winner in the event's history, winning it in the 99th edition. Sunday's Stage 20 is a mere formality for Wiggins, basically providing him with a victory lap through Paris.
Stage 20 starts off in Rambouillet, roughly 120 kilometers outside of Paris, putting the cyclists on a northeasterly path to the City of Light. As always, the race ends at the Champs-Élysées. In between those points, the cyclists will contend with two climbs, both short ones that come in as Categories 4. They are the Côte de Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and the Côte de Châteaufort.
But after those two climbs, the course becomes relatively flat as it enters Paris. This stage finish could result in a fourth victory for Mark Cavendish, the top sprinter in the world. Still, all eyes will be on the man of the day, Bradley Wiggins, once the lap through Paris begins.
Start time: 6 a.m. MT
Estimated finish time: 9:19 a.m. MT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network, 6 a.m. MT. NBC will have a replay at 11 a.m. MT.
The 2012 Tour de France has one ride left in it on Sunday and after Saturday's time trial ride from Bonneval to Chartres Bradley Wiggins showed why he will be the Tour winner on Sunday when the final podium ceremony takes place in Paris. Wiggins was the last rider to start the trial and he finished +1:16 ahead of Chris Froome, who held the lead for only a matter of seconds.
Froome, who is in second place overall, was the penultimate rider to take the course. Froome knocked Luis Leon Sanchez out of first place when he finished 34 seconds ahead of him at the finish line.
Barring a massive crash or an injury, Wiggins will become the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France ... and it only took 99 tries! He now holds a +3:21 lead over Froome and a +6:19 lead ahead of Vincenzo Nibali. Peter Sagan has a 120-plus-point lead in the points competition for the green jersey while Colorado resident Tejay Van Garderen is the best youth rider with over a six-minute lead ahead of Thibaut Pinot.
There should be no surprises on Sunday when these riders make a victory lap around Paris.
Here is the top 20 (full standings):
|1||Bradley Wiggins||01h 04' 13''|
|2||Christopher Froome||01h 05' 29''||+ 01' 16''|
|3||Luis Leon Sanchez||01h 06' 03''||+ 01' 50''|
|4||Peter Velits||01h 06' 15''||+ 02' 02''|
|5||Richie Porte||01h 06' 38''||+ 02' 25''|
|6||Patrick Gretsch||01h 06' 41''||+ 02' 28''|
|7||Tejay Van Garderen||01h 06' 47''||+ 02' 34''|
|8||Vasili Kiryienka||01h 06' 59''||+ 02' 46''|
|9||Rein Taaramae||01h 07' 03''||+ 02' 50''|
|10||Jérémy Roy||01h 07' 18''||+ 03' 05''|
|11||David Zabriskie||01h 07' 25''||+ 03' 12''|
|12||Matthieu Sprick||01h 07' 33''||+ 03' 20''|
|13||Ruben Plaza Molina||01h 07' 37''||+ 03' 24''|
|14||Daniel Oss||01h 07' 40''||+ 03' 27''|
|15||Anthony Roux||01h 07' 47''||+ 03' 34''|
|16||Vincenzo Nibali||01h 07' 51''||+ 03' 38''|
|17||Christian Vande Velde||01h 07' 53''||+ 03' 40''|
|18||Bert Grabsch||01h 07' 56''||+ 03' 43''|
|19||Andréas Kloden||01h 08' 02''||+ 03' 49''|
|20||Jens Voigt||01h 08' 02''||+ 03' 49''|
Saturday's Stage 19 -- the next-to-last leg of the Tour de France -- is a time trial that spans 53.5 kilometers and takes the riders from Bonneval to Chartre. The route is largely flat, with some mild hills here and there. Here's what Jean-Francois Pescheux has to say about it:
"The final round before the finish in Paris. What will come out of this 53.5 km time trial on rather flattish terrain, except the first part on the rolling hills of the Perche region? Personally, I expect gaps of two to three minutes between leaders. Three weeks into the race, 53.5 km are a long way to go in a time trial. This also holds true for the yellow jersey, who will probably come behind specialists such as Martin or Cancellara. Think of the Pauillac time trial in 2010, when Cancellara took the win on a similar course and Menchov, the freshest of all the leaders, propelled himself onto the final podium."
For additional information on this stage, visit the Tour de France website.
Television coverage begins at 6:00 a.m. on the NBC Sports Network.
With the mountains out of the 2012 Tour de France, the cyclists are now heading north to Paris for the finish on Sunday. On Friday, Mark Cavendish, the world's top sprinter, won Stage 18, his second stage victory of the Tour this year.
Cavendish was behind Matthew Goss and Peter Sagan just meters away from the finish line in Brive-la-Gaillarde before he accelerated his way ahead of them and finished several lengths ahead of them. However, the next 13 cyclists all received the same time as Cavendish.
Bradley Wiggins still wears the yellow jersey with a +2:05 lead over Sky Procycling teammate Chris Froome.
Saturday will offer an individual time trial from Bonneval to Chartres.
Here are the top 10 finishers for Stage 18 (full standings):
|1||Mark Cavendish||04h 54' 12''|
|2||Matthew Goss||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|3||Peter Sagan||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|4||Luis Leon Sanchez||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|5||Nicolas Roche||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|6||Tyler Farrar||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|7||Borut Bozic||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|8||Sébastien Hinault||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|9||Daryl Impey||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
|10||Samuel Dumoulin||04h 54' 12''||+ 00' 00''|
Stage 18 of the 2012 Tour de France spans 220.5 kilometers and takes the riders from Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde. The stage is peppered with climbs, though none are as arduous as some of the big mountain climbs the riders endured in earlier stages.
"Blagnac-Brive-la-Gaillarde: a 222.5 km hop to bring us a little closer to Paris and give leaders the chance to spin their legs before the Bonneval-Chartres time trial. This is obviously a golden opportunity for sprinters to shine again. I have already said that this Tour is not especially sprinter-friendly, since we have always chucked in one or two climbs to scatter the bunch. In fact, everything points to intermediate sprints being more important for the green jersey than the stage finishes. All in all, a race within the race, very strategic and exciting. There are 65 points up for grabs today!"
The NBC Sports Network will once again have the coverage, which begins at 6:00 a.m. MT. For additional information on Stage 18, including a map of the route, visit the Tour's Stage 18 page.
The 2012 Tour de France enters Stage 18 of 20 on Friday, and with the latest results in, it is time to start keeping an eye on the overall classifications. Alejandro Valverde won Stage 17 with a 19-second margin of victory, but with a third-place finish, Bradley Wiggins of the U.K. retains his strong, two-minute lead in the individuals standings.
Wiggins, who is racing for Sky Procycling, started the Tour in second place, but has been in first place since Stage 7. The 32-year-old Wiggins spent the 2009 season with Colorado's now-Garmin-Sharp team before joining Team Sky in 2010.
Here is a look at the top ten players in the top 10, courtesy of LeTour.com:
|1.||GBR||WIGGINS Bradley||101||SKY PROCYCLING||78h 28' 02''|
|2.||GBR||FROOME Christopher||105||SKY PROCYCLING||78h 30' 07''||+ 02' 05''|
|3.||ITA||NIBALI Vincenzo||51||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||78h 30' 43''||+ 02' 41''|
|4.||BEL||VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen||111||LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM||78h 33' 55''||+ 05' 53''|
|5.||USA||VAN GARDEREN Tejay||9||BMC RACING TEAM||78h 36' 32''||+ 08' 30''|
|6.||AUS||EVANS Cadel||1||BMC RACING TEAM||78h 37' 59''||+ 09' 57''|
|7.||ESP||ZUBELDIA Haimar||19||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||78h 38' 13''||+ 10' 11''|
|8.||FRA||ROLLAND Pierre||29||TEAM EUROPCAR||78h 38' 19''||+ 10' 17''|
|9.||SLO||BRAJKOVIC Janez||181||ASTANA PRO TEAM||78h 39' 02''||+ 11' 00''|
|10.||FRA||PINOT Thibaut||146||FDJ-BIGMAT||78h 39' 48''||+ 11' 46'|
The 2012 Tour de France traveled through its last mountain stage on Thursday and it was a tough challenge through the Pyrenees for Stage 17. Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team picked up the victory in 4:12:11, but he would likely have come in second place behind Christopher Froome had the Team Sky rider ended the race differently.
Froome, who is in second place, decided to wait repeatedly for teammate Bradley Wiggins to ride in tandem with him, forcing him to slow down over the last several kilometers. That allowed Valverde to gain the upper hand and take home the victory by 19 seconds.
Colorado resident Tejay Van Garderen finished in eight place, a full 54 seconds behind Valverde. He is still wearing the white jersey as the top youth rider.
Wiggins still wears the yellow jersey with an overall time of 78:28:02, a little over two minutes ahead of second-place teammate Christopher Froome. On Sunday, Wiggins will likely wear the yellow jersey at the final podium at the Champs-Elysees.
Here are the top 10 finishers for Stage 17 (complete standings):
|1||Alejandro Valverde||04h 12' 11''|
|2||Christopher Froome||04h 12' 30''||+ 00' 19''|
|3||Bradley Wiggins||04h 12' 30''||+ 00' 19''|
|4||Thibaut Pinot||04h 12' 33''||+ 00' 22''|
|5||Pierre Rolland||04h 12' 37''||+ 00' 26''|
|6||Jurgen Van Den Broeck||04h 12' 37''||+ 00' 26''|
|7||Vincenzo Nibali||04h 12' 48''||+ 00' 37''|
|8||Tejay Van Garderen||04h 13' 05''||+ 00' 54''|
|9||Christopher Horner||04h 13' 13''||+ 01' 02''|
|10||Daniel Martin||04h 13' 22''||+ 01' 11''|
The 2012 Tour de France has one last mountain stage left to throw at its cyclists, and on Thursday Stage 17 will send the riders through the Pyrenees once more. The course sends them from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Peyragudes, a short 143.5 kilometers.
Thomas Voeckler picked up the Stage 16 victory on Wednesday with a dominating performance in the Pyrenees. He will certainly be one rider to watch as the race develops on Thursday. There are five categorized climbs that will challenge the riders. The first climb comes at the Col de Menté, a 9.3 kilometer climb that comes at the 27.5 kilometer. This is a Category 1 climb and offers a 9.1 percent gradient. The next two climbs come at Col des Ares and Côte de Burs, separated by 20 kilometers.
Port de Bales comes in as an hors catégorie, an unclassifiable climb. The 11.7 kilometer climb comes with a 7.7 percent gradient. The race to the finish features the Plateau de Peyragudes, a 15.4 kilometer climb to the finish line.
Start time: 4:55 a.m. MT
Estimated finish time: 8:59 a.m. MT
TV Coverage: 5:30 a.m. MT, NBC Sports Network
Thomas Voeckler has won his second stage in the 2012 Tour de France with a Wednesday victory on Stage 16 (he won Stage 10 on July 11). The last time a Tour stage ended in Bagnères-de-Luchon was in 2010, and Voeckler won that stage. Voeckler finished the stage in 5:35:02, +1:40 ahead of Chris Anker Sorensen. Voeckler pretty much sealed the race on the ascent up the Col de Peyresourde.
Bradley Wiggins, Christopher Froome and Vincenzo Nibali remain in the top three spots in the general classification, respectively, with Wiggins holding a +2:05 lead over Froome. All three of them finished +7:09 behind Voeckler on this stage.
Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour winner, lost several minutes on this stage and is over eight minutes behind Wiggins. He is effectively out of the yellow jersey competition.
Here is how the top 15 finished on the stage:
|1||Thomas Voeckler||05h 35' 02''|
|2||Chris Anker Sorensen||05h 36' 42''||+ 01' 40''|
|3||Gorka Izaguirre Insausti||05h 38' 24''||+ 03' 22''|
|4||Alexandre Vinokourov||05h 38' 24''||+ 03' 22''|
|5||Brice Feillu||05h 39' 00''||+ 03' 58''|
|6||Jens Voigt||05h 39' 20''||+ 04' 18''|
|7||Daniel Martin||05h 41' 10''||+ 06' 08''|
|8||Simone Stortoni||05h 41' 10''||+ 06' 08''|
|9||Gianpaolo Caruso||05h 41' 10''||+ 06' 08''|
|10||Laurens Ten Dam||05h 41' 13''||+ 06' 11''|
|11||Vincenzo Nibali||05h 42' 11''||+ 07' 09''|
|12||Bradley Wiggins||05h 42' 11''||+ 07' 09''|
|13||Christopher Froome||05h 42' 11''||+ 07' 09''|
|14||Nicolas Roche||05h 43' 09''||+ 08' 07''|
|15||Tejay Van Garderen||05h 43' 09''||+ 08' 07''|
Wednesday's Stage 16 takes the riders from Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon and covers 197 kilometers. This particular route features four major climbs, starting with the Col d'Aubisque, which confronts the competitors about 41 kilometers into the stage. The riders will peak the final climb around the 181.5 km-mark, leading to a descent into the finish line.
On today's menu, a 197 km classic succession of great Pyrenean cols: the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin and Peyresourde. As Christian Prudhomme said, a mere four days from the finish, this stage will turn the thumbscrews on the peloton! Moreover, such a course is exactly my idea of a true mountain stage: not with a summit finish, which tends to lock up the race a bit, but an up-and-down course which calls for a mastery of all aspects of cycling.
A map of the stage can be found at the Tour's Stage 16 page.
NBC Sports Network coverage begins at 4:30 a.m. MT.
Team Garmin-Sharp placed two riders in the top 10 of the final results on Stage 15 of the 2012 Tour de France. Christian Vande Velde finished second to stage winner Pierrick Fedrigo, though they both finished the course in 3:40:15. Tyler Farrar finished with the peloton at +11:50 behind Fedrigo.
Garmin-Sharp saw Tom Danielson abandon the race during the early stages of the race and then Ryder Hesjedal shortly after that. The latter won the 2012 Giro d'Italia and wound up with an injury following a crash.
Bradley Wiggins (68:33:21) still wears the yellow jersey and holds a +2:05 lead over Christopher Froome. Peter Sagan holds the green jersey in the points classification with over a 100-point lead. Colorado resident Tejay Van Garderen wears the white jersey as the Tour's best young rider. He holds a +1:54 lead over Thibaut Pinot.
Here is how the top 10 finished:
|1||Pierrick Fedrigo||03h 40' 15''|
|2||Christian Vande Velde||03h 40' 15''||+ 00' 00''|
|3||Thomas Voeckler||03h 40' 27''||+ 00' 12''|
|4||Nicki Sorensen||03h 40' 27''||+ 00' 12''|
|5||Dries Devenys||03h 40' 36''||+ 00' 21''|
|6||Samuel Dumoulin||03h 41' 23''||+ 01' 08''|
|7||Andre Greipel||03h 52' 05''||+ 11' 50''|
|8||Tyler Farrar||03h 52' 05''||+ 11' 50''|
|9||Peter Sagan||03h 52' 05''||+ 11' 50''|
|10||Kris Boeckmans||03h 52' 05''||+ 11' 50''|
The 2012 Tour de France is showing a little light at the end of the tunnel, with Stage 15 starting the final week of the event on Monday morning (for those in the United States).
Bradley Wiggins of England is leading the pack by just over two minutes, and looks to become the first English rider to ever win this prestigious event. Wiggins has been adorned with the yellow jersey for most of the race and certainly isn't looking to relinquish it now..
The 15th stage will be another obstacle in the way for these men, with a 158 kilometer ride waiting before a day off on Tuesday. The journey will commence in the large town of Samatan before coming to an end in Pau, which marks the 64th time the Tour de France has visited the city.
The end of the stage might turn into a furious finish that favors the sprinters, with a considerably flat conclusion to the stage. There are three climbs, but none greater than a Category 3 at Côte de Simacourbe (6.3 percent gradient).
If you want to catch all the action but can't watch on television, you can see it all with a subscription online to Tour de France live.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Time 6:00 a.m. MT
Stage 14 of the 2012 Tour de France was a wild one down the stretch. Luis Leon Sanchez took home the victory, but there were several flat tires in the final run to Foix. Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour winner, was the most notable of riders to suffer punctures on the course.
The NBC Sports Network broadcast reported that French radio learned of tacks being thrown onto the course where those tire punctures occurred. NBCSN eventually had an image of a tire puncture to confirm the tacks.
Peter Sagan finished second in a group of riders who were 47 seconds behind Sanchez. He has likely wrapped up the green jersey for points victory. The peloton was +18:15 behind. Bradley Wiggins finished in the peloton, but he still maintains a +2:05 lead over Christopher Froome for the general classification lead.
Here is how the top 15 finish for the day (full standings):
|1||Luis Leon Sanchez||04h 50' 29''|
|2||Peter Sagan||04h 51' 16''||+ 00' 47''|
|3||Sandy Casar||04h 51' 16''||+ 00' 47''|
|4||Philippe Gilbert||04h 51' 16''||+ 00' 47''|
|5||Gorka Izaguirre Insausti||04h 51' 16''||+ 00' 47''|
|6||Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho||04h 53' 20''||+ 02' 51''|
|7||Sébastien Minard||04h 53' 20''||+ 02' 51''|
|8||Martin Velits||04h 54' 18''||+ 03' 49''|
|9||Eduard Vorganov||04h 55' 20''||+ 04' 51''|
|10||Steven Kruijswijk||04h 55' 22''||+ 04' 53''|
|11||Cyril Fraugautier||05h 05' 22''||+ 14' 53''|
|12||Luis Angel Mate Mardones||05h 08' 44''||+ 18' 15''|
|13||Julien Simon||05h 08' 44''||+ 18' 15''|
|14||Mikael Cherel||05h 08' 44''||+ 18' 15''|
|15||Bradley Wiggins||05h 08' 44''||+ 18' 15''|
The 2012 Tour de France is just two stages away from a rest day, but it won't be an easy two days for the cyclists when they tackle another mountain stage on Sunday. Stating in Limoux and starting in Foix, the riders will travel a total of 191 kilometers.
The riders start this stage riding south before heading in a mostly west direction before making a loop in the Pyrenees near the border with Basque country in Spain. At the 30th kilometer, the cyclists will deal with the Col du Portel, a Category 2 climb that averages a 6.3 percent gradient over 5.3 kilometers. It isn't until much later in the stage at the 126.5 kilometer that the riders will deal with the Category 1 Port de Lers, a Category 1 climb that on for 11.4 kilometers with a seven percent gradient.
But the hardest one is saved for last. At Mur de Péguère, there will be a 9.3 kilometer climb with an average gradient of 7.9 percent, but at some points even higher. As Steephill.tv has in its preview:
Mur de Péguère (profile) is very narrow (video), about the width of a golf cart path, and gets very steep, hitting a maximum grade of 18% (photo). This is where a rider like Vincenzo Nibali (3rd overall + 2:23) could make an attack. Race leader Bradley Wiggins prefers a steady climb so he could be put into a spot of bother here.
Once the cyclists near Foix they will have a flat ride to the finish line.
Start time: 4:20 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:11 a.m. MT
TV: NBC Sports Network, 6:00 a.m. MT
Bradley Wiggins' 12th place finish in Stage 13 was enough to keep him in first place in the 2012 Tour de France.
Wiggins is followed by fellow Brit and Sky Procycling teammate Christopher Froome, with Italian Vincenzo Nibali in third place.
Here are the current overall standings:
|1||Bradley Wiggins||59h 32' 32''|
|2||Christopher Froome||59h 34' 37''||+ 02' 05''|
|3||Vincenzo Nibali||59h 34' 55''||+ 02' 23''|
|4||Cadel Evans||59h 35' 51''||+ 03' 19''|
|5||Jurge Van Den Broeck||59h 37' 20''||+ 04' 48''|
|6||Haimar Zubeldia||59h 38' 47''||+ 06' 15''|
|7||Tejay Van Garderen||59h 39' 29''||+ 06' 57''|
|8||Janez Brajkovic||59h 40' 02''||+ 07' 30''|
|9||Pierre Rolland||59h 41' 03''||+ 08' 31''|
|10||Thibaut Pinot||59h 41' 23''||+ 08' 51''|
|11||Andreas Kloden||59h 42' 01''||+ 09' 29''|
For additional details on the stage, including maps and route information, visit the Tour de France website. If you want even more analysis be sure to check out the embedded video from SB Nation Studios.
Stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France saw an exciting sprint finish that ended with Andre Greipel beating out Peter Sagan by a matter of inches. Alexandre Vinokourov and Michael Albasini had led the race until the final 10 kilometers or so, but eventually the peloton caught up with them. Luis Leon Sanchez made an attack to pull ahead of the lead group with about 2.5 kilometers to go, but eventually race leader Bradley Wiggins emerged out in front.
Still, Greipel, Sagan and Hagen were the three riders in the lead down the final meters and Greipel edged out a victory.
In the race leads, Wiggins still leads the general classification by +2:05, Peter Sagan holds the points lead (296 points) and Tejay Van Garderen is the race's best young rider.
Here is how the top 15 finished on Stage 13 (full standings here):
|1||Andre Greipel||04h 57' 59''|
|2||Peter Sagan||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|3||Edvald Boasson Hagen||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|4||Sébastien Hinault||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|5||Daryl Impey||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|6||Julien Simon||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|7||Marco Marcato||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|8||Philippe Gilbert||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|9||Peter Velits||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|10||Danilo Hondo||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|11||Vincenzo Nibali||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|12||Bradley Wiggins||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|13||Janez Brajkovic||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|14||Kevin De Weert||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
|15||Christopher Froome||04h 57' 59''||+ 00' 00''|
Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain is holding the lead after 12 completed stages of the 2012 Tour de France, with a +2:05 buffer. Wiggins was thought to be a serious contender heading into the race, and now has a firm grip on the yellow jersey.
Heading into Stage 13, Wiggins appears to be the undeniable favorite even after a crazy spectator burned him on the arm during Friday's action.
On Saturday, the Tour de France will continue to provide a major challenge. The stage will begin in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux and finish in Cap d'Agde after a tough 217 km. It will be a picturesque day for anyone viewing the affair whether in person or on the television, with a majority of the day having the Mediterranean in the background.
The only major mountain is the Mont-Saint-Clair, which is only 23 kilometers from the finish. The end of the stage does feature a sprint, something to watch as the riders come into the home stretch.
If you can't be near a TV and would like to catch all the action, you can watch it all with a subscription on Tour de France live.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Time: 6:00 a.m. MT
Garmin-Sharp has had a tough time as a team in the 2012 Tour de France, but on Friday David Millar won Stage 12 in a short sprint to the finish line. He and Jean-Christophe Peraud were locked in basically a dead heat as they entered the final kilometer, but eventually Millar took over the sprint ahead of Peraud and pulled ahead of him right as he crossed the finish line.
The peloton finished nearly eight minutes behind the top five finishers. Matthew Goss and Peter Sagan led way for the peloton, but Sagan was upset that Goss had crossed in front of his line.
Bradley Wiggins still wears the yellow jersey and maintains +2:05 lead on his nearest competitor.
Team Garmin-Sharp has seen Ryder Hesjedal, the 2012 Giro d'Italia winner, and Tom Danielson were both lost to the race several stages ago, preventing them from having any cyclist who could challenge for the general classification lead.
Here is how the top of the race finished (NBC Sports Network results):
1. David Millar, 5:42:46
2. Jean-Christophe Peraud, s.t.
3. Egoi Martinez, +0:05
4. Cyril Gautier, s.t.
5. Robert Kiserlovski, s.t.
6. Matthew Goss, +7:53
7. Peter Sagan, s.t.
8. Sebastien Hinault, +7:54
9. Cadel Evans, s.t.
10. Luca Paolini, s.t.
After Thursday's grueling high mountains stage from Albertville to La Toussuire, the 2012 Tour de France moves to a medium mountains stage. The 226 kilometer course runs from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay Davézieux, serving as the gateway to the southern France portion of the race.
Friday's Stage 12 features three climbs, but the first two come fairly early on in the day. At the 34th kilometer, the cyclists face the Col du Grand Cucheron, a Category 1 climb that last 12.5 kilometers and offers a gradient of 6.5 percent. The second peak comes at the 80.5 kilometer mark at the Col du Granier. This is also a Category 1 climb, but while it is just 9.7 kilometers long, it does come with an 8.6 percent gradient.
At the 207.5 kilometer the cyclists reach the Côte d'Ardoix, just a Category 3 climb. There will be a slight uphill finish to the stage at Annonay, but it registers as little more than an inconvenience.
Bradley Wiggins still wears the yellow jersey since capturing it over the weekend. He maintains a lead just over two minutes ahead of Christopher Froome. It is likely he will once again keep the maillot jaune.
Start time: 3:00 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 8:48 a.m. MT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network has once again moved up its live coverage to an early start time and will begin at 4:30 a.m. MT.
Bradley Wiggins didnt' win Stage 11 of the Tour de France on Thursday, but he's still the leader of the overall individual time classification.
Wiggins holds a 2:05 lead on the second place rider, Sky Procycling teammate Christopher Froome. Here is the current top 10:
|1.||WIGGINS Bradley||SKY PROCYCLING||48h 43' 53''|
|2.||FROOME Christopher||SKY PROCYCLING||48h 45' 58''||+ 02' 05''|
|3.||NIBALI Vincenzo||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||48h 46' 16''||+ 02' 23''|
|4.||EVANS Cadel||BMC RACING TEAM||48h 47' 12''||+ 03' 19''|
|5.||VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen||LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM||48h 48' 41''||+ 04' 48''|
|6.||ZUBELDIA Haimar||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||48h 50' 08''||+ 06' 15''|
|7.||VAN GARDEREN Tejay||BMC RACING TEAM||48h 50' 50''||+ 06' 57''|
|8.||BRAJKOVIC Janez||ASTANA PRO TEAM||48h 51' 23''||+ 07' 30''|
|9.||ROLLAND Pierre||TEAM EUROPCAR||48h 52' 24''||+ 08' 31''|
|10.||PINOT Thibaut||FDJ-BIGMAT||48h 52' 44''||+ 08' 51''|
Pierre Rolland captured victory on Stage 11 in the 2012 Tour de France on Thursday. From Albertville to La Toussuire - Les Sybelles, Rolland was on the top of his game and won his second career Tour stage. He did fall off his bike while making a turn on a descent, but he was able to recover from that misstep and wound up winning by 55 seconds ahead of Thibaut Pinot and Christopher Froome, both stage winners already this year.
Rolland was sixth and second, respectively, on the first two categorized climbs of the day, but he took first place on the final two, the last one being the summit finish at La Toussuire.
Bradley Wiggins maintains the yellow jersey after coming in sixth place. At 48:43:53, Wiggins holds a +2:05 lead over Froome. Cadel Evans lost precious time on this stage and has a +3:19 gap to overcome. Tejay Van Garderen moved into seventh place but is nearly seven minutes off the pace.
|1||Pierre Rolland||04h 43' 54''|
|2||Thibaut Pinot||04h 44' 49''||+ 00' 55''|
|3||Christopher Froome||04h 44' 49''||+ 00' 55''|
|4||Jurgen Van Den Broeck||04h 44' 51''||+ 00' 57''|
|5||Vincenzo Nibali||04h 44' 51''||+ 00' 57''|
|6||Bradley Wiggins||04h 44' 51''||+ 00' 57''|
|7||Chris Anker Sorensen||04h 45' 02''||+ 01' 08''|
|8||Janez Brajkovic||04h 45' 52''||+ 01' 58''|
|9||Vasili Kiryienka||04h 46' 07''||+ 02' 13''|
|10||Frank Schleck||04h 46' 17''||+ 02' 23''|
|11||Cadel Evans||04h 46' 17''||+ 02' 23''|
|12||Tejay Van Garderen||04h 46' 17''||+ 02' 23''|
The 2012 Tour de France continues in the Alps on Thursday when Stage 11 runs from Albertville to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles (148 km). Thomas Voeckler surprised on Wednesday with a stage victory, but the general classification leaders didn't change. Bradley Wiggins still holds a +1:53 lead over Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour de France champion.
Stage 11 will require a good start from the eventual stage winner since it is unlikely distance will be made up later on. For roughly the first 13 kilometers of the race, the stage is flat, but at that point the course becomes a non-stop series of climbs and descents.
The first two climbs come at La Madeleine (40 km) and La Croix de Fer (93 km), both listed as hors categorie, meaning they are unclassifiable. That comes a result of being over 20 kilometers in length and having a gradient greater than six percent.
Le Mollard is the third climb, a Category 2, awaiting the riders at the 113th kilometer. It's 6.8 percent gradient is second on this stage to only La Croix de Fer's 6.9. This one lasts just 5.7 kilometers.
The final climb, a Category 1, is a race to the finish at La Toussuire. After 18 grueling kilometers, expect a dedicated climber to claim this stage victory in the Alps.
Start time: 5:05 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:33 a.m. MT
TV: NBC Sports Network has moved up its coverage by an hour, which now begins at 5:00 a.m. MT.
The 2012 Tour de France resumed on Wednesday with Stage 10 running from Mâcon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. At the end of the 194.5 kilometer course, Thomas Voeckler came away with the win at 4:46:26. Voeckler was one of five riders in contention for the victory, but it was he and Michele Scarponi who escaped from the other three riders.
Voeckler and Scarponi battled the last meters, but Voeckler was able to edge ahead of him by three seconds. Jens Voigt made a late charge, but he was seven seconds behind when all was said and done.
There were no changes in the general classification after this stage. Bradley Wiggins still wears the yellow jersey and maintains a +1:53 lead over Cadel Evans, last year's Tour winner. Voeckler wears the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey.
Off to the Alps on Thursday!
Here are the top 10 finishers for Stage 10 (full results here):
1. Thomas Voeckler, 4:46:26
2. Michele Scarponi, +0:03
3. Jens Voigt, +0:07
4. Luis Leon Sanchez, +0:23
5. Dries Devenyns, +0:30
6. Sandy Casar, +2:44
7. Egoi Martinez, s.t.
8. Pierre Rolland, s.t.
9. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, s.t.
10. Dmitriy Fofonov, 2:52
The 2012 Tour de France resumes Wednesday with a challenging climb that will cover 194.5 kilometers. Stage 10 will take the riders from Mâcon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
The riders will climb gradually for the first 73 kilometers or so, and then they'll begin to face some serious hills. Here's a bit of what Jean-Francois Pescheux has to say about the task ahead for the riders:
Back to the mountains. On paper, the Grand Colombier is a monster. In my opinion, it is the toughest mountain in France, with sections at 12%.
For more information on Stage 10, visit the Tour's website.
The NBC Sports Network will begin coverage of this stage at 6:00 a.m. MT.
The 2012 Tour de France riders enjoy a rest day on Tuesday, but there is still plenty to analyze regarding the field when it comes to the green jersey (malliot vert), which is given to the leader of the points classification. Riders earn points for their order of finish at the end of each stage, with adjustments made for penalties, course difficulty and starting position, and SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe has broken down the field after Stage 9.
After breaking down each of the remaining stages, Chris Fontecchio of Podium Cafe makes his call. He believes Edvald Boasson Hagen will make a push and that Matt Goss will stay near the top, but nothing can pull his confidence away from "Tourminator" Peter Sagan. Even so, he acknowledges that the landscape can change in an instant:
The race looks over. It feels over. But the cold, hard reality of the points competition is that the guy you're crushing by 122 points? He's two stage wins and two intermediate sprints behind you. Two days where he is out front and you aren't. With eleven stages to go, that guy isn't finished.
The 2012 Tour deFrance continues as the riders have now completed Stage 9 of 20. And through the first nine stages, the US teams are looking for a break to get back into the competition. The American group BMC Racing Team sits at sixth place currently, 17 and half minutes behind the leading Radioshak-Nissan team, but Colorado-based team Garmin-Sharp has fallen almost an hour and a half behind the leader.
After a major crash in Stage 6, Garmin-Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters admitted the team no longer competed for the General Classification championship, but was instead focusing on stage wins and smaller achievements.
Here is a look at the full standings, courtesy of LeTour.com:
|1.||LUX||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||117h 36' 25''|
|2.||GBR||SKY PROCYCLING||117h 37' 50''||+ 01' 25''|
|3.||BEL||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP||117h 49' 50''||+ 13' 25''|
|4.||ITA||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||117h 52' 31''||+ 16' 06''|
|5.||RUS||KATUSHA TEAM||117h 52' 48''||+ 16' 23''|
|6.||USA||BMC RACING TEAM||117h 53' 57''||+ 17' 32''|
|7.||ESP||MOVISTAR TEAM||117h 59' 04''||+ 22' 39''|
|8.||KAZ||ASTANA PRO TEAM||117h 59' 12''||+ 22' 47''|
|9.||FRA||AG2R LA MONDIALE||118h 00' 53''||+ 24' 28''|
|10.||FRA||FDJ-BIGMAT||118h 03' 17''||+ 26' 52''|
|11.||FRA||COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE||118h 03' 50''||+ 27' 25''|
|12.||FRA||TEAM EUROPCAR||118h 09' 29''||+ 33' 04''|
|13.||BEL||LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM||118h 13' 05''||+ 36' 40''|
|14.||NED||VACANSOLEIL-DCM||118h 14' 27''||+ 38' 02''|
|15.||ESP||EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI||118h 15' 23''||+ 38' 58''|
|16.||FRA||SAUR-SOJASUN||118h 20' 40''||+ 44' 15''|
|17.||DEN||TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK||118h 21' 50''||+ 45' 25''|
|18.||NED||RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM||118h 22' 33''||+ 46' 08''|
|19.||ITA||LAMPRE - ISD||118h 26' 57''||+ 50' 32''|
|20.||AUS||ORICA GREENEDGE||118h 27' 08''||+ 50' 43''|
|21.||USA||GARMIN-SHARP||119h 02' 07''||+ 01h 25' 42''|
|22.||NED||TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO||119h 22' 45''||+ 01h 46' 20''|
The cyclists in the 2012 Tour de France receive a well-deserved day off on Tuesday following a prologue and nine stages of riding through Belgium and France to start this year's competition. On Monday, Bradley Wiggins captured a stage victory with a time trial victory on the course from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon. He outpaced his competition by 35 seconds and more. Christopher Froome finished in second while Fabian Cancellara came in third place, 57 seconds behind.
Cancellara had the lead for a good portion over the final stretch of sendoffs for the riders, but Wiggins went at the end since he wore the yellow jersey. Knowing the time he needed to beat, Wiggins didn't hesitate. He now holds not only a stage victory but also the yellow jersey for a third straight day. He has a 1:53 over Cadel Evans.
Here are the top 10 finishers for the stage (full results here):
|1||Bradley Wiggins||51' 24''|
|2||Christopher Froome||51' 59''||+ 00' 35''|
|3||Fabian Cancellara||52' 21''||+ 00' 57''|
|4||Tejay Van Garderen||52' 30''||+ 01' 06''|
|5||Sylvain Chavanel||52' 48''||+ 01' 24''|
|6||Cadel Evans||53' 07''||+ 01' 43''|
|7||Peter Velits||53' 23''||+ 01' 59''|
|8||Vincenzo Nibali||53' 31''||+ 02' 07''|
|9||Denis Menchov||53' 32''||+ 02' 08''|
|10||Andreas Klöden||53' 33''||+ 02' 09''|
The 2012 Tour de France has one more stage to complete before the cyclists enjoy a much-needed rest day on Tuesday. These guys certainly need it after the last several stages have resulted in major crashes, scrapes and a variety of other injuries. On Stage 9, the riders will tackle the shortest stage of the Tour, just 41.5 kilometers, for an individual time travel from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon.
Emerging from the mountains, this time trial should be a breath of fresh air for the cyclists. While there are no categorized climbs, the stage does contain some minor hills. Can Fabian Cancellara win the second time trial of the Tour de France? He captured the time trial prologue in Liege and held on to the yellow jersey until this past Saturday. While he won't be taking back the maillot jaune, Cancellara can certainly do well on this stage for his second victory.
Bradley Wiggins (38:17:56) still leads Cadel Evans in the general classification by 10 seconds. Don't expect those two to move off the top of the leaderboard.
Start time: 1:45 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:31 a.m. MT
TV: NBC Sports Network resumes the weekday broadcast at 6 a.m. MT
After seven categorized climbs, French cyclist Thibaut Pinot captured victory on Stage 8 in the 2012 Tour de France. Pinot overtook Fredrik Kessiakoff, who led for a long stretch of kilometers, in the final several kilometers and never let up, winning a stage as the youngest racer in this year's Tour. Cadel Evans launched a late attack, but he wasn't able to overcome the 20-plus second difference. The chase eventually caught up with Evans, but he finished in second.
Pinot races for FDJ-BigMat and down the final stretches of the race team manager Marc Madiot could be seen from the team's race car encouraging and yelling at Pinot to keep his pace.
Bradley Wiggins still remains in first place with a 10 second lead over Cadel Evans.
Here are the top 10 finishers for the day (times from NBC's coverage immediately after race ended):
1. Thibaut Pinot, 3:56:10
2. Cadel Evans, +0:26
3. Tony Gallopin, s.t.
4. Bradley Wiggins, s.t
5. Vincenzo Nibali, s.t.
6. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, s.t.
7. Chris Froome, s.t.
8. Denis Menchov, s.t.
9. Haimar Zubeldia, s.t.
10. Frank Schleck, +0:30
Stage 8 of the 2012 Tour de France could certainly be a back-breaker for many riders on Sunday. The route takes them from Belfort to Porrentruy, a 158 kilometer ride through the Jura Mountains. This stage also moves the race into Switzerland for one day, as the latter part of the course features a border crossing.
The riders face seven climbs, which increase in difficulty as they appear. The first climb comes at Côte de Bondeval, a Category 4 just 20 meters into the start of the day. At the 32nd kilometer, Côte du Passage de la Douleur challenges the riders on a Category 3 climb. The next four climbs are all listed as Category 2 challenges, coming in at 6.1 percent and higher.
The final climb comes at Col de la Croix. The 3.7 kilometer climb comes at the 141.5 kilometer and offers a 9.2 percent gradient. This is a Category 1 climb. The final 10 kilometers leading into Porrentruy will be a flat ride for the cyclists, but don't expect a sprint finish.
Bradley Wiggins picked up the yellow jersey on Saturday, but will he be able to hold it for more than just one night?
Start time: 5:00 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:11 a.m. MT
TV: NBC will have live coverage beginning at 6:00 a.m. MT
In a surprise victory on Stage 7 of the 2012 Tour de France, Chris Froome took home the best time on the uphill climb to the finish line. Dealing with a last stretch of climb that began at 14 percent and reached over 20 percent, he pulled ahead of 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans over the final 100 meters for the victory.
Bradley Wiggins finished just two seconds behind Froome to finish in third place. That will be good enough to put him in the yellow jersey, taking it away from Fabian Cancellara. Cancellara had worn the maillot jaune since he won the prologue one week ago. Evans is in second place and behind by 10 seconds.
Here are the top 10 finishers for Stage 7:
1. Chris Froome, 4:58:35
2. Cadel Evans, +0:02
3. Bradley Wiggins, s.t.
4. Vincenzo Nibali, +0:07
5. Rein Taaramae, +0:19
6. Haimar Zubeldia, +0:44
7. Pierre Rolland, +0:46
8. Janez Brajkovic, s.t.
9. Denis Menchov, +0:50
10. Maxime Monfort, +0:56
After Friday's crash-filled Stage 6 that saw 22-year-old Peter Sagan capture his third victory so far, the 2012 Tour de France begins its week-long stretch of mountain stages. Stage 7 runs 199 kilometers from Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges.
In the eastern portion of the country, the cyclists travel southeast to reach close to the Swiss border, though they'll be closer to it on Sunday during Stage 8. But Stage 7 offers three categorized climbs. The first two are both classified at Category 3, taking place at Col de Grosse Pierre (112 km) and Col du Mont de Fourche (150.5 km). Both are 3.1 kilometers long and come in at a 6.4 percent gradient.
The last climb is the race to the summit at La Planche des Belles Filles. This is one of just three summit finishes during this Tour. Starting at the 193rd kilometer, cyclists first face a 13 percent gradient that transitions to 11 percent at point during the middle and then 14 percent at the finish line. Overall, the average gradient is 8.5 percent.
Fabian Cancellara still wears the yellow jersey on Saturday, but it is likely we will finally see a new maillot jaune leader and a major change in the overall standings behind the new leader.
Start time: 6:10 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:13 a.m. MT
TV Coverage: Head to NBC to catch live action beginning at 6 a.m. MT.
Team Garmin-Sharp's general classification chances took a huge hit on Friday when a crash knocked Ryder Hesjedal from ninth overall to No. 108. Three other Garmin riders were involved. In the aftermath of that disaster, team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said they're no longer thinking about winning the GC.
Vaughters, who hoped Hesjedal would contest Bradley Wiggins and defending-champion Cadel Evans for the overall title, said the team strategy has changed.
"We're not racing the GC whatsoever," Vaughters said. "We'll be hunting stage wins, Most Aggressive, King of the Mountain. But the GC is done."
Hesjedal, who is 13:38 behind leader Fabian Cancellara, may not be able to start Saturday's stage due to injuries suffered in the crash.
After a major crash in the final 20 km of Stage 6, Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal has dropped from No. 9 in the overall standings to No. 108. Hesjedal finished Stage 6 just 10 spots from last place, having been one of the principle riders in the late-stage crash, with a time of 4H 50' 24".
Hesjedal was not the only Colorado-based rider to go down, though. Tom Danielson of Garmin-Sharp also took to the pavement and has since dropped from the race. Here is Danielson, briefly after the crash:
As the French text from above notes, Danielson was already riding with an injured shoulder for three days. He will join Wouter Poels, Davide Vigano and Mikel Astarloza as the four riders to leave in Stage 6.
With just about 15 miles left in Stage 6 of the 2012 Tour de France, a massive crash in the peloton caused a significant backup in the race, as riders were strewn across the ground with injuries or searching for the missing parts on their bikes. This split the peloton in to two groups, the second being more than three minutes behind when it emerged. But it was Peter Sagan who pulled out the victory in the sprint to the finish on Friday. This is his third stage win in this Tour, capturing Stages 1 and 3 earlier.
With about one mile left in the race, Garmin-Sharp's David Zabriskie was overcome by the chase riders, not having enough energy to make one last push to stay ahead of his competitors. At that point, Sagan, Andre Greipel and Matthew Goss -- all riders who have been battling for victory over the last several days -- made their run to the finish. Greipel, who won the previous two days, couldn't hold off Sagan.
Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal was one of the cyclists involved in the crash, and after being in the top 10 for the last few days he is now almost certainly out of contention for the yellow jersey.
Here are the top 10 finishers for Stage 6 (times according to NBC Sports Network at conclusion of race):
1. Peter Sagan, 4:37:00
2. Andre Greipel, s.t.
3. Matthew Goss, s.t.
4. Kenny Van Hummel, s.t.
5. Juan Jose Haedo, s.t.
6. Gregory Henderson, s.t.
7. Alessandro Petacchi, s.t.
8. Luca Paolini, s.t.
9. Daryl Impey, s.t.
10. Brett Lancaster, +0:04
The 2012 Tour de France continues on Friday with Stage 6's ride from Épernay to Metz, the last flat stage before a weekend that enters the medium mountains. The 207.5 kilometer route will challenge the cyclists with just one categorized climb, a Category 4 that comes in at a 3.8 percent gradient. The riders will meet the Côte de Buxières at the 145th kilometer.
The intermediate sprint comes right before it at the 135.5 kilometer. Overall, this is another stage that favors the sprinters. Andre Greipel has won the past two stages and is certainly going to challenge for a third one. Matthew Goss, who made a late run on Stage 5, should also be considered a favorite to win this stage. And let's not leave out Mark Cavendish, the world's top sprinter. These guys are familiar names, of course, since they've all been fighting each other over the last several days.
Start time: 4:15 a.m. MT
Expected finish: 9:12 a.m. MT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network will be at it once again with live coverage at 6:00 a.m. MT.
André Greipel took Stage 5 of the Tour de France on Thursday, but the top of the overall standings didn't change, as Fabian Cancellara retained the yellow jersey. Ryder Hesjedal is the lone Garmin-Sharp rider in the top 10 of the general classification -- he is 18 seconds off the pace. The next Garmin-Sharp rider to appear in the standings is Christian Vande Velde, who is in 57 place.
The current top 10 is listed below. Full standings can be found at this link.
|1.||CANCELLARA Fabian||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||24h 45' 32''|
|2.||WIGGINS Bradley||SKY PROCYCLING||24h 45' 39''||+ 00' 07''|
|3.||CHAVANEL Sylvain||OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP||24h 45' 39''||+ 00' 07''|
|4.||VAN GARDEREN Tejay||BMC RACING TEAM||24h 45' 42''||+ 00' 10''|
|5.||BOASSON HAGEN Edvald||SKY PROCYCLING||24h 45' 43''||+ 00' 11''|
|6.||MENCHOV Denis||KATUSHA TEAM||24h 45' 45''||+ 00' 13''|
|7.||EVANS Cadel||BMC RACING TEAM||24h 45' 49''||+ 00' 17''|
|8.||NIBALI Vincenzo||LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE||24h 45' 50''||+ 00' 18''|
|9.||HESJEDAL Ryder||GARMIN-SHARP-BARRACUDA||24h 45' 50''||+ 00' 18''|
|10.||KLÖDEN Andréas||RADIOSHACK-NISSAN||24h 45' 51''||+ 00' 19''|
Andre Greipel legged out a second straight victory in the Tour de France 2012 with a Stage 5 win on Thursday. With the breakaway of four riders 100 meters away from the finish line, Greipel and Matthew Goss were able to catch up with that group and burst out in front. Goss was the first to move ahead of the original breakaway, but Greipel powered through and pulled out the victory.
In the final kilometers of the stage, Garmin-Sharp's Tyler Farrar started a crash that took out several riders, delaying part of the peloton by just a bit.
Here are the top 10 finishers for the day:
1. Andre Greipel, 4:41:30
2. Matthew Goss, s.t.
3. Juan Jose Haedo, s.t.
4. Mark Cavendish, s.t.
5. Samuel Dumoulin, s.t.
6. Tom Veelers, s.t.
7. Oscar Freire, s.t.
8. Alessandro Petacchi, s.t.
9. Sebastien Hinault, s.t.
10. Yohann Gene, s.t.
The 2012 Tour de France continues on Thursday where it left off on Wednesday after Stage 4: in Rouen. Thursday's Stage 5 will be a 196.5 kilometer ride to Saint-Quentin, making it a northeasterly route. There are no categorized climbs on this stage, but it will be a rolling ride for the cyclists.
Once again, this will be a stage for the sprinters. The intermediate sprint, where the riders will be competing for points, comes at the 109th kilometer in Breteuil. At the end of the stage, expect another sprint for the finish line. Andre Greipel, who won on Wednesday, certainly could be in line to win another stage, but keep an eye out for Mark Cavendish, one of the top sprinters in the world. Peter Sagan, the current points leader and wearing the green jersey, is also another contender.
Fabian Cancellara (20:04:02) still wears the yellow jersey for the general classification lead, holding a seven-second lead over Bradley Wiggins and Sylvain Chavanel. Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal is in ninth place with an 18-second gap ahead of him.
Start time: 4:30 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:13 a.m. MT
TV: NBC Sports Network has coverage beginning at 6:00 a.m. MT
As the United State celebrates Independence Day on Wednesday, the 2012 Tour de France pedals on from Abbeville to Rouen. This 214.5 kilometer course pits the cyclist against a plain level on Stage 4.
This is one of the longest stages in this year's Tour, with a start along the Alabaster coast of Normandy before heading inland at Fécamp for the interior of France at Rouen. Fécamp will be the site of the intermediate sprint and transition into the last of four Category 4 climbs.
There is a bit of a rise toward the end of the course, but it flattens out near the end, which means we should have another sprint finish. Mark Cavendish has already won a sprint finish on Monday. Can he make it two on Wednesday?
Start time: 4:10 a.m. MT
Expected finish: 9:24 a.m. MT
TV: NBC Sports Network, as always, begins its coverage at 6:00 a.m. MT.
Peter Sagan, 22, has won his second stage in the 2012 Tour de France, capturing Stage 3 on Tuesday. This was his 15th overall win of the season. He won Stage 1 in Belgium on Sunday. Sagan finished the stage in 4:42:58.
The peloton was all placed at one second behind Sagan as a result of a crash coming down the final kilometer of the race.
Fabian Cancellara kept the yellow jersey and has posted a time of 14:45:30. He still holds a seven-second lead over Bradley Wiggins and Sylvain Chavanel. Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal is still 18 seconds behind, but now he is in eighth place.
Here is the top 10 for Stage 3:
1. Peter Sagan, 4:42:58
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen, +0:01
3. Peter Velits, +0:01
4. Fabian Cancellara, +0:01
5. Michael Albasini, +0:01
6. Cadel Evans, +0:01
7. Nicolas Roche, +0:01
8. Samuel Sanchez, +0:01
9. Bauke Molema, +0:01
10. Vincenzo Nibali, +0:01
The 2012 Tour de France has left Belgium and spends the remainder of the stages in France. Tuesday's Stage 3 is a 197 kilometer ride from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer on the English Channel coast. This will be the first mountain stage the riders will contest, as there are six categorized climbs, including the uphill race to the finish line.
Unlike Stage 2, which favored the sprinters, don't expect Mark Cavendish, Monday's winner, to win his 22nd stage victory. This one will be for the endurance riders. Four of the climbs are Category 4 while the other two are Category 3 and reach 8.2 percent and 9.4 percent gradients. The final one to Boulogne-sur-Mer, though, is the toughest of the Category 4s, holding a 7.4 percent grade on a 0.7 kilometer climb.
Did we mention that the final four climbs come in the final 16 kilometers? This will certainly be a grueling test early in the race.
Fabian Cancellara (10:02:31) wears the yellow jersey for the general classification since taking it after the prologue. Garmin Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal remains in 10th place with an 18-second gap to overcome.
Start time: 4:30 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:21 a.m. MT
TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network will have live coverage beginning at 6:00 a.m. MT
Mark Cavendish has won his 21 stage on the Tour de France by taking Stage 2 (Visé to Tournai) on Monday. He defeated Andre Greipel by part of a wheel, crossing the finish line in 4:56:59. But the riders behind him all received the same time for the stage.
Cavendish and Greipel came down the final sprint to the finish line in a heated battle, one trying to take advantage of the other. Behind them Matthew Goss was looking to break out in front of them, but there was no room. Instead Cavendish pushed forward and came away with the victory.
The yellow jersey standings remain the same with Fabian Cancellara (10:02:31) keeping the jersey for another day (he first took it after winning the prologue). Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal remains in 10th place, an 18-second gap ahead of him.
Here is how the top 10 finished for Stage 2:
1. Mark Cavendish, Sky Procycling, 4:56:59
2. Andre Greipel, Lotto-Belisol Team, s.t.
3. Matthew Goss, Orica Greenedge, s.t
4. Tom Veelers, Team Argos-Shimano, s.t.
5. Alessandro Petacchi, Lampre-ISD, s.t.
6. Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale, s.t.
7. Yauheni Hutarovich, FDJ-Bigmat, s.t.
8. Juan Jose Haedo, Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, s.t.
9. Mark Renshaw, Rabobank Cycling Team, s.t.
10. Tyler Farrar, Garmin-Sharp, s.t.
The 2012 Tour de France continues on Monday with its final stage in Belgium. This 207.5 km Stage 2 runs from Visé to Tournai on flat ground. There is one climb at Côte de la Citadelle de Namur, a Category 4 at the 82.5 kilometer mark, but the course becomes a downhill race after that, for the most part.
The intermediate sprint comes at the 153rd kilometer, but all eyes will really be on the sprint to the finish line at Tournai. This stage does favor the sprinters, which means we could certainly be looking at Mark Cavendish taking the victory on this stage.
With two stages of the Tour finished, Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan have each won a portion of the course, but Cancellara (5:05:32) still has the yellow jersey and a seven-second lead over his nearest competitors, Bradley Wiggins and Sylvain Chavanel. Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal is in 10th place with an 18-second gap to overcome.
Start time: 4:35 a.m. MT
Expected finish time: 9:22 a.m. MT
TV Info: NBC Sports Network will have live coverage beginning at 6:00 a.m. MT
Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale captured Stage 1 of the 2012 Tour de France by crossing the finish line in 4:58:19. This was his 14th victory of the year. Many might remember his dominance during the first several stages of the Amgen Tour of California back in May.
Fabian Cancellara, the yellow jersey wearer, did well down the final 20 kilometers of the race to finish in second on Stage 1. He maintained the maillot jaune because he was awarded the same time as Sagan. Boulder, CO's, Team Garmin-Sharp place two riders in the top 10 with Dan Martin and 2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal taking eighth and ninth places.
For almost the entire course on Sunday there was a group of six riders leading the front, but the peloton overcame several crashes to catch up in the final kilometers.
Cancellara maintains a seven-second lead over Bradley Wiggins and Sylvain Chavanel at 5:05:32. Hesjedal is in 10th place, trailing by 18 seconds.
Here is the top 10 for Stage 1:
Peter Sagan, Liquigas-Cannondale, 4:58:19
Fabian Cancellara, Radioshack-Nissan, s.t.
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky Procycling, s.t.
Philippe Gilbert, BMC Racing Team, s.t.
Bauke Mollema, Rabobank Cycling Team, s.t.
Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team, s.t.
Robert Gesink, Rabobank, s.t.
Dan Martin, Garmin-Sharp, s.t.
Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Sharp, s.t.
Dries Devenyns, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, s.t.
The 2012 Tour de France continues in Belgium on Sunday with a 198-kilometer ride from Liege to Seraing. The Tour began in earnest with a prologue time trial through Liege on Saturday, with Fabian Cancellara capturing the yellow jersey. He dominated the stage with a finishing time of 7:13, seven seconds better than Bradley Wiggins and Sylvain Chavanel.
Liege and Seraing are not far apart, but the course on Sunday sends the cyclists far out to the southeast before completing a nearly circular clockwise ride to Seraing. There will be five Category 4 climbs on this stage. They come at the 42nd, 49th, 94th, 139th and 198th kilometers on the course. The riders will also face an intermediate sprint at the 116-12 kilometer
Boulder's Garmin-Sharp did well on the first day with 2012 Giro d'Italia victor Ryder Hesjedal placing 14th with a time of 7:31. Teammate David Millar tied his time, putting them in a group of four riders with that finish.
Start time: 4:05 a.m. MT
Expected finish: 9:18 a.m. MT
TV: NBC Sports Network begins its coverage at 6:00 a.m. MT. NBC will have a recap show at 2:00 p.m. MT.
The 2012 Tour de France has its first yellow jersey (maillot jaune) wearer in Fabian Cancellara, who finished the prologue in Liege, Belgium, in 7:13. That crushed his nearest competitors, Bradley Wiggins and Sylvain Chavanel, by seven seconds.
Chavanel held the lead for much of the prologue, but Cancellara outpaced Chavanel's halftime ride by one second and extended it by another six seconds by the time he crossed the finish line.
Garmin-Sharp had a good start to the Tour. Ryder Hesjedal, the 2012 Giro d'Italia winner, finished in 15th place at 7:31, the same time as teammate David Millar came in. Tyler Farrar was three second behind at 7:34, good for 30th place. For full results, check out letour.fr.
Tejay Van Garderen, the fourth-place finisher, has the white jersey as the race's top youth rider. He is 23 until August.
Here is how the top 10 played out:
1. Fabian Cancellara, Radioshack-Nissan, 7:13
2. Bradley Wiggins, Sky Procycling, +0:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, +0:07
4. Tejay Van Garderen, BMC Racing Team, +0:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky Procycling, +0:11
6. Brett Lancaster, Orica Greenedge, +0:11
7. Patrick Gretsch, Team Argos-Shimano, +0:12
8. Denis Menchov, Katusha Teama, +0:13
9. Philippe Gilbert, BMC Racing Team, +0:13
10. Andriy Grivko, Astana Pro Team, +0:15
The 2012 Tour de France gets underway Saturday with the Prologue, a short individual time trial that will determine who wears the yellow jersey for the opening day of the race
The Prologue spans 6.4 kilometers in the city of Liege, Belgium:
At the end of the 6-km long route, marked out in the city-centre of Liège, the Yellow Jersey will reward the master of an athletic feat. Pure power will be the best strategy on the course’s long straight stretches. And the Belgian public, who is always present for the Tour, will definitely encourage the riders to achieve excellence.
You can find all of the start times at this link.
Prologue Date & Time: Saturday, June 30, 6:00 a.m. MT
TV: NBC Sports Network
SB Nation Denver is your source for 2012 Tour de France updates on Team Garmin-Sharp, and be sure to visit cycling blog Podium Cafe as well. You can also catch up on results and storylines from the 2012 Giro d'Italia here.
The 2012 Tour de France is just several hours away from starting its prologue in Liege, Belgium, and if you want to catch all the action but are not near a TV, there will be live online streaming of this portion and the entirety of the race through NBC Sports.
NBC Sports offers Tour de France Live, its online streaming service for the race, with two options to subscribe to it. Pay a one-time fee of $29.99 for live streaming of the Tour or dole out $4.99 per stage if f you will be able to watch on TV. The former option offers on demand video of the Tour through Aug. 31 -- should you want to relive their favorite racer's or team's moments.
There are also options to buy Tour de France Live through separate apps on the iPad, the iPhone and Android.
The 2012 Tour de France kicks off on Saturday with a prologue in Liege, Belgium, and remains in Belgium for the first couple of stages. Beyond that the race heads to the English Channel and gets close to Paris, but it won't be until the end of the race when the cyclists ride into Paris.
The race, once it reaches Rouen, turns to the eastern portion of the country, which means trips through the Vosges, the Jura and the Swiss Jura to start. Then the riders head into the Alps for six stages while the big push comes in the Pyrenees for 11 stages. There will be a total of 25 stages that involve mountains in some form or fashion.
The last few stages of the race turn north to Paris, with the final stage running from Rambouillet to Paris' Champs-Élysées. That will likely be a victory ride for whatever rider is wearing the yellow jersey that morning.
Here is a map of the course (via letour.fr):
SB Nation Denver is your source for 2012 Tour de France updates on Team Garmin-Sharp, and be sure to visit cycling blog Podium Cafe as well. You can also catch up on results and storylines from the 2012 Giro d'Italia here.
According to the latest odds from Bovada, Bradley Wiggins is the favorite to win the 2012 Tour de France, which gets underway on Saturday, June 30.
Garmin-Sharp's Ryder Hesjedal is among the favorites as well, at 22/1.
Here is a list of the 15 riders with the best odds per Bovada:
Bradley Wiggins 7/5
Cadel Evans 2/1
Vincenzo Nibali 20/1
Chris Froome 22/1
Denis Menchov 22/1
Jurgen Van Den Broeck 22/1
Ryder Hesjedal 22/1
Frank Schleck 28/1
Robert Gesink 28/1
Samuel Sanchez 33/1
Alejandro Valverde 40/1
Pierre Rolland 50/1
Tony Martin 50/1
Jani Brajkovic 66/1
Levi Leipheimer 66/1
SB Nation Denver is your source for 2012 Tour de France updates, and be sure to visit cycling blog Podium Cafe as well. You can also catch up on results and storylines from the 2012 Giro d'Italia here.
With the 2012 Tour de France beginning on Saturday, the cycling world can turn its gears back towards the sport itself for the season's biggest race. While injuries and suspensions have weakened the field a bit, they have also opened up opportunities for a variety of contenders to potentially take the title.
Australian cyclist Cadel Evans looks to defend his title after winning for the first time in 2011, a victory that came after two previous second-place finishes. Many believe that his biggest challenger could be British rider Bradley Wiggins, who had numerous stage race victories earlier in the season.
The field won't include some key players, though, including former Tour de France winner Alberto Contador and 2011 runner-up Andy Schleck. Contador has been suspending for doping and Schleck is recovering from a pelvis injury.
The race starts on Saturday in Liege, Belgium, passing through Switzerland before ultimately being completed on July 22 on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, France.
SB Nation Denver is your source for 2012 Tour De France updates, and be sure to visitcycling blog Podium Cafe as well. You can also catch up on results and storylines from the 2012 Giro d'Italia here.
John Henderson of the Denver Post is reporting that the Denver-based cycling team, Garmin-Barracuda, has changed sponsors and likewise changed names. The team is averaging over one name change per year, and the latest change comes as the Barracuda sponsorship drops from the title in favor of the tech company Sharp.
The new name, Garmin-Sharp, will accompany new team uniforms, to be unveiled before the Tour de France. The team has already announced its Tour de France roster and will otherwise not change: Despite dropping from the team name, Barracuda will not end its sponsorship of the club. It remains a so-sponsor of the team, as reflected by the new website logo at their homepage, SlipStreamSports.com:
SB Nation Denver is your source for 2012 Tour De France updates, and be sure to visit cycling blog Podium Cafe as well. You can also catch up on results and storylines from the 2012 Giro d'Italia here.
Garmin-Barracuda (formerly Garmin-Cervelo), the Boulder, CO, based cycling team, has released its roster of riders and directors for the 2012 Tour de France.
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