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
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.