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.