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.
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.