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.
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.