Tour de France 2018

July 7-29, Noirmoutier-En-L'Ïle, France, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 12 of the Tour de France to L'Alpe d'Huez. 

 

For the latest updates, please refresh this page


2018 Tour de France hub page
2018 Tour de France start list

Stage 12 preview, map, and profile

Thomas and Chris Froome face summit meeting at Alpe d'Huez - Preview

Tour de France: Geraint Thomas wins stage 11 at La Rosiere, takes yellow

 


 

 

  1. 11:42:59 CEST

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 12 to L'Alpe d'Huez.

    We've fired up the Cyclingnews blimp and we're at the start in Bourg-Saint-Maurice with 30 minutes to the stage start. 

  2. 11:44:09 CEST

    Riders are currently signing on, with Team Sky on stage as best team.

     

     

  3. 11:44:45 CEST

    Geraint Thomas is wearing the yellow jersey after his stage victory yesterday.

      

     

  4. 11:47:47 CEST

    Thomas spoke briefly on stage.

     

    "It was an incredible day, with winning the stage and taking yellow," he said

     

    "It's a dream come true and has not really sunk in.  I'll just try to enjoy today and the finish on the iconic finish of L'Alpe d'Huez. It's a big, big day." 

     

     

     

  5. 11:48:40 CEST

    He added: 

    "It's a long day, the hardest of the three in  the Alps. It's a big, big finish up L'Alpe d'Huez. I'm sure it'll be exciting to watch."

     

     

  6. 11:51:30 CEST

    The two mountain stages and the Roubaix cobbled stage has taken its toll on many of the riders.

    Lots of GC contenders lost time yesterday, with Rigoberto Uran not starting today. The EF Education team announced the news after other teams had left for the start.

    Click here for our story about Uran. 

     

    Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) relieved to have avoided time loss

     

  7. 11:55:57 CEST

    This third Alpine stage features three famous climbs that will test every rider in the peloton:Col de la Madeleine, Croix-de-Fer and L'Alpe d'Huez.

     

    Between the first and the second giants, race organizers have added the spectacular Lacets de Montvernier that made the highlights of stage 18 in 2015.

     

    La Madeleine, on its northern versant, is the climb of famous failures, since Eddy Merckx lost contact with the top of world cycling in 1977 (his last Tour de France) and finished more than 13 minutes after Hennie Kuiper at L'Alpe d'Huez.

     


    The iconic finish of the 21 curves named after the stage winners is back on the route, three years after the last visit of the Tour. French riders are unbeaten on the now-called Dutch mountain this decade: Pierre Rolland (2011), Christophe Riblon (2013) and Thibaut Pinot (2015).

     

  8. 11:58:16 CEST

    Rolland, the winner in 2011 on L'Alpe d'Huez now has the freedom to target a second victory after EF Education lost Uran.  

     

    "I know every metre of today’s stage. It’s really hard and the finish at L’Alpe makes it even more special. I hope to do something today,” Rolland said at the sign-on. 

     

  9. 11:59:37 CEST

    Peter Sagan is the next to sign on.

    He will struggle to take the intermediate sprint today, it is after 91km, after the Col de la Madeleine.

     

  10. 12:01:25 CEST

    10 minutes to the start and the GC contenders are signing on now. 

     

    Romain Bardet gets a huge cheer, as does the mountains leader Julian Alaphilippe. 

     

  11. 12:02:25 CEST

    "It’s the last and hardest of the three Alpine stages, it’s a big one, the last one before we head to the Pyrenees. We’ll see what happens…” Bardet said, with a smile.

     

     

  12. 12:04:11 CEST

    Bardet is currently eighth overall. This is the top ten GC after stage 11. 

     

    Thomas leads Sky teammate Chris Froome by 1:25. 



    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 44:06:16
    2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:25
    3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:44
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:14
    5 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:23
    6 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:40
    7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:56
    8 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:58
    9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:16
    10 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:16

     

  13. 12:04:40 CEST

    Five minutes to the start! 

     

     

  14. 12:07:22 CEST

    Riders face 175.5km of racing and an 8km neutralised section before the flag drops.

    The opening 27km are flat and so we can expect a fast start as riders fight to get in the break. 

     

    The Col de la Madeleine - 25.3km at 6.2%, then kicks in. 

     

  15. 12:08:36 CEST

    Thomas lines up along side the other jersey wearers and gets a handshake of congratulations from Sagan and yesterday's most aggressive rider Alejandro Valverde.

     

     

  16. 175.5km remaining from 175.5km

    12:09:03 CEST

    We're all set for stage 12. The  peloton is ready to roll. 

     

  17. 12:10:10 CEST

    Here is Thomas in yellow. 

     

     

  18. 12:10:44 CEST

    Here we go! C'est Parti!

     

  19. 12:11:56 CEST

    It's another hot day in France, with temperatures of 28C in the valley and 21C at the finish in L'Alpe d'Huez.

     

     

  20. 12:13:34 CEST

    The riders are trying to ease the pain out of their legs in the neutralised sector. 

     

     

  21. 12:18:32 CEST

    Some riders are packed tight behind the red race director's car, keen to jump away as soon as the flag drops.

    We can see Chavanel, De Gendt and Vichot, some of the usual suspects.   

     

  22. 12:19:07 CEST

    Sagan is at the back of the peloton.

     

  23. 12:21:03 CEST

    This shot from @letour shows the moment Sagan congratulated Thomas on taking the yellow jersey.

     

     

  24. 12:21:31 CEST

    We're 2km from the official stage start. 

     

  25. 12:24:41 CEST

    Here we go! Christian Prudhomme waves the flag and the first attacks are launched.

     

     

  26. 12:26:38 CEST

    The peloton is lined out but the attacks are being chased for now.   

     

  27. 12:27:52 CEST

    161 riders are in the peloton. The only non-starter is Rigoberto Uran (EF Education).

     

  28. 12:31:14 CEST

    Missing from the Tour de France peloton are sprinters Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel and leadout man Mark Renshaw.

    They failed to finish stage 11 inside the time limit yesterday. 

    Cavendish rode much of the stage alone but wanted to finish the stage to honour the Tour and the work of his teammates.    

    Click here to read what Cavendish said. 

    Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) gets to the finish line in La Rosiere, but not within the time cuts

     

     

     

  29. 167km remaining from 175.5km

    12:32:41 CEST

    Four riders have a slight lead now but the peloton is chasing them.

     

  30. 163km remaining from 175.5km

    12:36:06 CEST

    Ed Theuns is on the move solo. He's surely hoping others will join him.  

     

  31. 12:40:29 CEST

    We can see the snow covered Alps from the CN blimp. It's going to be a great day of racing. 

     

    However no break has been allowed to get away yet. 

     

  32. 157km remaining from 175.5km

    12:42:39 CEST

    The valley road is fast and wide, making it hard for moves to stay away. 

     

  33. 12:47:03 CEST

    The riders reach Moutiers after a fast descent. Now veteran Sylvain Chavanel is on the attack. 

    Click here to check out his special bronze Wilier disc-brake bike.

     

    Sylvain Chavanel's Wilier Cento10 Pro Ramato

     

     

  34. 12:48:20 CEST

    Chavanel is soon closed down. He shakes his head in disappointment but then jumps in with the latest attackers. 

    This is his 18th Tour de France but he's still hungry to race.

     

  35. 151km remaining from 175.5km

    12:50:25 CEST

    The peloton is splitting under the series of attacks.

     

  36. 12:52:27 CEST

    The riders trying to get away include real stage win contenders and teammates looking to help them or help their GC contenders later in the stage.

     

  37. 12:53:08 CEST

    The riders are 2km from the start of the Col de la Madeleine.

     

    Chavanel goes again! 

     

  38. 12:54:20 CEST

    The sprinters are at the back of the peloton and so is Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). 

     

  39. 146km remaining from 175.5km

    12:58:31 CEST

    As the gradient kicks in, the speed slows but the attacks keep coming.

    Andre Greipel is already distanced behind, as is Arnaud Demare. 

     

  40. 12:59:14 CEST

    Up front Fortuneo is riding for Barguil and drag him clear. 

     

    Tejay van Garderen is on his wheel and others are coming across. 

     

  41. 13:01:37 CEST

    This is the profile of the Col de la Madeleine. It's 25.3km long at 6.2%. 

     

    It is steep at the start and later on in different sections.

     

     

  42. 13:02:07 CEST

    Movistar are on the front now, forcing the pace.

     

  43. 142km remaining from 175.5km

    13:05:54 CEST

    The climb is splitting the attackers.

     

  44. 13:06:50 CEST

    Majka is with Barguil up front. They are joined by Amador of Movistar, van Garderen and others. 

     

  45. 13:07:11 CEST

    Amador pushes on solo. 

     

  46. 13:07:59 CEST

    Team Sky is leading the peloton but the pace is hurting. 

     

    Luke Rowe has been dropped and Wout Poels is also suffering to stay on the tail of the peloton. 

     

  47. 13:08:47 CEST

    Bauke Mollema of Trek is also suffering and off the back.

     

  48. 141km remaining from 175.5km

    13:09:40 CEST

    Jesper Hansen of Astana is in the attack, perhaps to help Fuglsang later in the race.

     

  49. 13:10:28 CEST

    Team Sky has three riders ahead of Thomas and one behind him. 

     

    Froome is just a few places back in the line of riders.

     

  50. 13:12:15 CEST

    Amador has dragged a group of attackers clear but they only lead by 20 seconds or so.

     

  51. 140km remaining from 175.5km

    13:13:59 CEST

    The col de la Madeleine climbs via a series of hairpins. It is a true Alpine climb.

     

     

  52. 13:15:08 CEST

    We can see Serge Pauwels (Di Data) and Robert Gesink (LottoNL) in the attack.

    There are perhaps 30 riders in the attack.

     

  53. 13:17:48 CEST

    Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) is in the front attack. Alejandro Valverde is also in there for Movistar.

    That will worry Team Sky but anger the other breakaways and probably mean the break will struggle. 

     

  54. 137km remaining from 175.5km

    13:18:10 CEST

    The lead of the break is up to 40 seconds.

     

  55. 13:18:58 CEST

    Fortunately for Sky, Poels is back up front and working in the chase. 

     

  56. 13:22:56 CEST

    An attack by Pierre Rolland has split the big attack, He's dragged five other riders clear some 13km from the summit of the climb. 

     

  57. 13:26:52 CEST

    Gianni Moscon and Wout Poels are leading the peloton. 

     

  58. 133km remaining from 175.5km

    13:28:41 CEST

    There are now 8 riders up front but others are coming across the gap. 

     

    The gap to the peloton is 1:30. Kruijswijk is still there but letting the other riders set the pace.

     

  59. 13:29:33 CEST

    However behind, Nibali has lost key teammate Domenico Pozzovivo. He seems to be having a bad day.

     

  60. 13:32:43 CEST

    Rolland kicks away again from the big break. He wants a smaller, more united group, without any passengers.  

     

  61. 129km remaining from 175.5km

    13:36:58 CEST

    The peloton is 1:50 back. Kruijswijk is only 2L40 down in the GC and so could soon be the virtual race leader. 

     

  62. 13:38:50 CEST

    Interestingly Valverde is also there, as is Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha).

     

     

  63. 13:40:34 CEST

    Valverde lost time yesterday after his attack but is still 11th on GC at 4:28. 

    Zakarin is 13th at 4:58. 

    Both could climb back into the top ten today if this move stays away.

     

  64. 128km remaining from 175.5km

    13:43:19 CEST

    The race is 7.5km from the summit of the Madeleine. They are about to hit the steep final part of the climb.

     

  65. 125km remaining from 175.5km

    13:50:26 CEST

    Several riders have dropped back to Kruijswijk and Valverde asking them to drop back. The likes of Barguil and Rolland know that Team Sky will chase them and so limit the chances of the break to stay away.

     

  66. 13:52:09 CEST

    Geraint Thomas looks relaxed in the peloton as he climbs the Madeleine. Indeed he looks better than Froome, who is on his wheel.  

     

  67. 13:53:17 CEST

    Bardet, Dumoulin, Nibali and other GC riders are sat in the wheels of Team Sky. 

     

    The pace is steady, with Froome taking a bite of some solid food, most likely a rice cake.   

     

  68. 13:53:56 CEST

    After the early panic and high speed, Luke Rowe is back up front and doing some vital work for his Team Sky leaders.

     

     

  69. 13:56:00 CEST

    We've updated our Situation box. It has all the names of the riders in the break and the time gaps.

     

  70. 13:58:20 CEST

    Amongst the break of the day is Julian Alaphilippe. He will no doubt try to sprint for maximum KOM points very soon. 

    His big rivals Warren Barguil is also there.  

     

  71. 13:59:02 CEST

    It's also interesting to see that Mikel Nieve is also in the move. He was caught and passed just 300 metre from the finish yesterday. 

     

  72. 13:59:49 CEST

    Serge Pauwels is also there and ready to sprint for the maximum of 20 points.

     

  73. 122km remaining from 175.5km

    14:01:31 CEST

    Team Sky seems to have eased off the chase, with other riders catching the peloton. 

    UAE and Bahrain riders are also on the front now.

     

  74. 14:02:34 CEST

    The riders in the break can see the summit now. 

     

  75. 14:03:05 CEST

    Here we go! Barguil accelerates. 

     

  76. 14:03:27 CEST

    Alaphilippe and Majka are with him, the others too.

     

  77. 14:03:54 CEST

    Alaphilippe kicks hard. 

     

  78. 14:04:40 CEST

    He crosses the summit first, ahead of Barguil and Pauwels.

     

     

  79. 14:05:08 CEST

    Alaphilippe scored 20 points and so extends his lead in the polka-dot jersey. 

     

  80. 119km remaining from 175.5km

    14:07:01 CEST

    The peloton reaches the summit 2: 45 after the attack.

     

    They seem to think the race is under control. 

     

  81. 14:08:09 CEST

    Some teams take on food over the top. Team Sky fed 500 metres before the summit. 

     

    It is so warm that capes and gillet are not needed today.

     

  82. 14:11:27 CEST

     Susan jumping in to take LIve for a while. The gap has jumped to 2:51, with 114.5 to go, and the gruop is descending in many small groups. 

  83. 14:13:37 CEST

    Three riders have taken a lead from the front group, but they are moving too fast for us to figure out who they are.

     

  84. 14:16:04 CEST

    Alaphilippe now has 81 points in the mountain ranking, with Pauwels second at 61 points and Barguil third with 55. And we still have a few climbs to go today.

     

  85. 14:22:31 CEST

    With the gap at 3:05, Kruijswijk has now taken the virtual lead in the race.

     

  86. 14:22:55 CEST

    Let's make that 3:26 with 102.3 km to go!

     

  87. 14:23:32 CEST

    WE now have two riders in the lead, Alaphilippe and Mühlberger.

     

  88. 14:25:21 CEST

    Tony Gallopin has just abandoned the race, the third AG2R rider to go. He had been trailing very far behind much of the day.

     

  89. 14:26:05 CEST

    Alaphilippe has picked up a feed bag and is happily unpacking it. He gives the moto TV cameraman his can of Coke.

     

  90. 14:27:24 CEST

    Muhlberger also passes his cola along.

     

  91. 14:30:15 CEST

    Rolland uses the feed zone to attack from the front group, which is not always an acceptable thing to do. It looks as if Alaphiliippe and Mühlberger are back in the group.

    Meanwhile Froome pulls t the side of the road for a nature break.

     

  92. 14:33:34 CEST

    Rolland has a lead of about 20 seconds over the large group.

     

  93. 14:36:16 CEST

    Rolland has started his way up the fearsome looking switchbacks of the Lacets de Montvenier.

     

  94. 14:37:33 CEST

    The gap has shot back up, with the peloton at 3:49 with 94 km to go.

     

  95. 14:40:16 CEST

    Rolland now has 25 seconds in hand over the chasing group, with the peloton at 3:50.

     

  96. 14:42:42 CEST

     Rolland moving smoothly on his way to the summit. He has been up this road before. 

  97. 14:43:54 CEST

    And, as expected, Rolland hits the top and takes the mountain ranking.

     

  98. 14:44:22 CEST

    Alaphillippe and Pauels jump to take the next points on this Cat. 2 climb.

     

  99. 89.5km remaining from 175.5km

    14:47:33 CEST

    Sagan is hanging on to the back of the peloton, which is now 4:02 back.

     

  100. 14:50:02 CEST

    Rolland making his descent with an ever-larger gap. As bad as Uran's DNS was for this team, it means that Rolland now has the freedom to go for stage wins. 

     

  101. 14:54:38 CEST

    Kruijswijk is still the virtual leader in the race, as the Sky-led peloton crossed the summit 4:10 after him.

    Meanwhile, Rolland rolls over the intermediate sprint line.

     

  102. 14:56:58 CEST

    Handing things back to Steve Farrand, who will conquer the last two climbs with you!

     

     

  103. 82km remaining from 175.5km

    14:59:52 CEST

    Pierre Sagan rolls through the intermediate sprint at the back of the peloton. He doesn't score any points today but will keep his lead in the green jersey competition whoever wins the stage and takes points.  

  104. 15:01:12 CEST

    Ooof. The peloton has just hit the start of the Col de la Croix de Fer, seeing the sign that says 29km to climb. This is going to hurt.

     

  105. 15:01:31 CEST

    The peloton is 4:20 down on Rolland.

     

  106. 15:03:15 CEST

    Valverde and Kruijswijk have quickly joined Rolland. 

     

    They know they have to push the pace now if they want to fight for victory on L'Alpe d'Huez.

     

  107. 15:09:27 CEST

    This is a great shot from Tim de Waele of the riders on the Lacets de Montvernier.

     

     

  108. 15:13:33 CEST

    The Alps are proving difficult for the big-name sprinters.

     

    The latest to throw in the towel is double stage winner Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL). 

     

  109. 15:15:51 CEST

    This is the profile of the 29km Col de la Croix de Fer.

    It has a easier middle section but climbs up to 2067m. 

     

  110. 15:19:02 CEST

    Other riders have joined the trio up front to form a break of 11 riders. However others have now sat up and been caught by the peloton. Alaphilippe is one of them. 

     

  111. 15:21:10 CEST

    For now Geraint Thomas has stayed protected in the peloton. He sits behind four teammates, with Froome in front of him. 

     

     

  112. 15:23:48 CEST

    Today we will see who is strongest at Team Sky and so the team leader. 

    To fully understand the Team Sky leadership dilemma, read Barry Ryan's excellent preview for the stage. 

    Click here for the special feature. 

     

    Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

     

  113. 15:26:33 CEST

    Rik Zabel, Andre Greipel and Marcel Sieberg are now last in the race, 18 minutes behind the leaders. 

    They face their own race against time and against L'Alpe d'Huez to avoid missing the time cut.     

     

  114. 15:27:24 CEST

    Yesterday Zabel finished outside the time cut but was shown clemency after suffering a mechanical and losing time. 

     

  115. 72km remaining from 175.5km

    15:29:12 CEST

    Up front, Kruijswijk has accelerated clear to shake up the attack.

    The peloton is 4:15 down but will surely pull most of not all of this before the finish.  

     

  116. 15:31:56 CEST

    Kruijswijk is the virtual race leader thanks to being just 2:40 down on Thomas at the start.

     

     

    Btu he faces 70km of riding out front alone.

     

  117. 15:36:05 CEST

    We're hearing that Andre Greipel and Rik Zabel have both also retired. 

     

    This third mountain stage is terrible for the big-build sprinters who have to haul their muscles over the mountains.

     

  118. 15:36:46 CEST

    Tony Gallopin of AG2R has also retired. That leaves Bardet with just five teammates for the rest of the race. 

     

  119. 15:38:18 CEST

    Pawel Poljanski (Bora) has also retired.

     

  120. 65km remaining from 175.5km

    15:41:56 CEST

    Kruijswijk has talked to his team car and has put his chain on the big ring for the flatter plateau of the climb. 

     

    He leads by 5:40 now. He's not holding back.

     

  121. 15:43:42 CEST

    Team Sky is riding tempo at the head of the peloton, with Wout Poels doing a lot of the work on the front for now.

     

  122. 15:49:19 CEST

    According to the Tour de France tracking data, Fernando Gaviria and leadout man Max Richeze are at the back of the race, some 20 minutes back. They also risk finishing outside the time limit today. 

     

  123. 15:50:28 CEST

    Domenico Pozzovivo is also suffering at the back of the race. The Italian climber was in trouble from the very start of the stage.

      

     

  124. 15:52:46 CEST

    As we await for the stage to explode, why not get up to date with the Thomas-Froome rivalry within Team Sky via our latest podcast. 

    Click here to listen to Editor Daniel Benson and Sadhbh O'Shea analyse what happened and what could happen today and in the rest of the Tour.  

     

  125. 15:53:59 CEST

    As was feared, Gaviria is also out of the Tour. He has stopped mid-way up the Croix de Fer. 

     

    There are few sprinters left in the Tour now. 

     

  126. 58km remaining from 175.5km

    15:56:00 CEST

    The only real sprinters left in the Tour are Sagan, Kristoff, Damare, Colbrelli and Degenkolb. 

     

    They all have a great chance of success on Friday in Valence but their teams will have to control the break and attacks. 

     

  127. 15:56:40 CEST

    Classics rider and Greipel's Lotto teammate Marcel Sieberg is also out of the Tour. 

     

  128. 58km remaining from 175.5km

    15:57:41 CEST

    Poels has eased up after giving his all on the climb setting the pace. 

     

    Movistar has upped the pace. They're taking the race to Team Sky again.   

     

  129. 57km remaining from 175.5km

    15:59:12 CEST

    Kruijswijk is 3.5km from the summit now. The GC peloton is 6:00 back. 

     

    The GC fight is about to come alive!

     

  130. 16:01:08 CEST

    AG2R and Movistar have taken over at the front of the GC peloton. They seem to be trying to isolate Froome and Thomas from their teammates. 

     

  131. 16:02:58 CEST

    Kruijswijk is above the tree line now, suffering in the thin air close to 2000m. 

     

  132. 16:03:47 CEST

    Behind Marc Soler is giving it his all to set up Landa and Quintana. 

     

    Bardet is also up front as they try to crack Team Sky.

     

  133. 16:04:13 CEST

    Thomas looks in control, even eating a gel. 

     

  134. 16:05:06 CEST

    Also in the GC group are Dumoulin, Martin, Nibali and Fuglsang.

     

    But Adam Yates is distanced. 

     

  135. 16:07:21 CEST

    Tanel Kangert of Astana is dropped, most team leaders are now alone. However Team Sky have  Kwiatkowski, Froome, Thomas and Bernal in the 15-rider GC group.

     

     

  136. 55km remaining from 175.5km

    16:09:09 CEST

    Kruijswijk is first to the summit of the Col de la Croix de Fer. 

     

    The Dutchman could go on to win the stage and even take the yellow jersey today. He should at least move up and become a serious podium challenger. 

     

  137. 16:10:59 CEST

    We've counted 17 riders in the GC group. 

     

    Jungels is still there, while Dumoulin has Geschke with him. 

     

  138. 16:11:51 CEST

    Castroveijo is at the back after riding tempo. 

     

    Team Sky will be hoping he can stay on for the descent and the valley road to help Sky. 

     

  139. 16:12:31 CEST

    Soler has blown and so Landa is on the front Movistar. He seems unsure what to do and speaks on his radio. 

     

  140. 16:13:42 CEST

    Barguil is second to the summit of the Croix de Fer, ahead of Nieve and Majka, some 3:10 back on Kruijswijk.

     

  141. 16:15:09 CEST

    Kwiatkowski takes a musette for Team Sky and gives the bars and gels to his team leaders as they near the summit. 

    Amador is back helping Landa on the front.  

     

     

  142. 16:15:42 CEST

    The GC leaders reach the summit 6:00 down on Kruijswijk.

     

  143. 46km remaining from 175.5km

    16:20:31 CEST

    Kruijswijk is on the flatter road after the junction with the Glandon. He has to fight the stiff breeze blowing up the valley along the Grand Maison reservoir.

     

    It could cost him a lot of time.

     

  144. 40km remaining from 175.5km

    16:24:08 CEST

    Nibali drops back to his team car for some final feeding. He seems ready for the L'Alpe d'Huez show down.

     

  145. 16:31:01 CEST

    The GC peloton is still 6:00 behind Kruijswijk.

    In the middle, at 5:00 are Valverde, Zakarin, Rolland, Gesink, Gaudu and Navarro.

     

     

     

  146. 35km remaining from 175.5km

    16:35:41 CEST

    As the road kicks up at Le Revier d'Allemont, part way on the descent to Bourg d'Oisans, Team Sky up the pace with Castroveijo. 

     

    That's why he had to fight to stay on earlier.  

     

  147. 27km remaining from 175.5km

    16:40:50 CEST

    The Lotto team car cleverly comes up alongside Kruijswijk on the exposed dam to protect him from the strong side wind. Every second counts in a heroic solo attack like this.

    He still leads the GC group by 5:30.

     

  148. 16:42:34 CEST

    L'Alpe d'Huez starts with 13.8km to go. Kruijswijk faces another 13km on the valley road to the foot of the climb.

     

     

     

  149. 16:44:15 CEST


    Fausto Coppi was the first to win on the climb with 21 bends in 1952 and his name is on the first hairpin sign. 

     

    The series of wins by Zoetemelk, Kuiper and Winnen later gave it the name of “Mountain of the Dutch” before the Italians and the likes of Bugno and Pantani started shining there.

    Bernard Hinault was the first Frenchman to win there in 1986.

    In 2011, Pierre Rolland took over the helm, and in 2013 for the first ever double climb of the monument, the blue, white and red flag was again flying high thanks to Christophe Riblon.

    The French series continued in 2015 with the victory of Thibaut Pinot.

     

  150. 16:45:47 CEST

    This is the profile of L'Alpe d'Huez. 

     

     

  151. 21km remaining from 175.5km

    16:49:11 CEST

    Kwiatkowski is helping with the work on the front as they gradually pull back seconds on Kruijswijk. 

    The gap is 5:00 now as they sweep up Majka, Barguil and Nieve. 

     

  152. 16:50:30 CEST

    Nobody is left out front from the break except for Kruijswijk.

     

     

     

     

  153. 16:51:44 CEST

    Coppi won the first time to L'Alpe d'Huez and today marks the 30th time a stage finishes in the Alpine ski resort.

     

    Nobody has won up here with the yellow jersey at the exception of Lance Armstrong (ITT 2004) who was later stripped off his results.

     

  154. 16:52:03 CEST

    Could it be Thomas' day to make history? 

     

  155. 16:53:00 CEST

    The 1952 finish won by Coppi was the first mountain top finish of the Tour and also the first shown on television.

     

  156. 16km remaining from 175.5km

    16:54:24 CEST

    Kruijswijk's lead is down to 4:30. He's suffering now and will have dig very deep to stay away and win the stage.

     

    Behind him there will be a huge fight amongst the other GC riders. 

     

  157. 15km remaining from 175.5km

    16:56:52 CEST

    Here we go! 

     

    Kruijswijk turns left and can see the first ramps of L'Alpe d'Huez ahead of him.

     

  158. 16:58:01 CEST

    He checks his pockets are empty, takes a big drink and starts to dance on the pedals. 

     

    This early section is at over 9%.

     

  159. 13km remaining from 175.5km

    17:00:49 CEST

    The peloton also hits the start of the climb to L'Alpe d'Huez. 

    They are 4:10 down on Kruijswijk.  

     

    Sky has Castroviejo, Kwaito and Bernal to pace Thomas and Froome.

     

  160. 17:01:42 CEST

    According to ‏@ammattipyoraily, Kruijswijk can lose 18 sec per 1 km on the climb to the finish.

     

  161. 17:02:40 CEST

    Castroviejo stops after doing his turn on the front. Also spat out are ten Dam, Barguil and Majka.  

     

  162. 11.5km remaining from 175.5km

    17:04:25 CEST

    Kruijswijk is trying to limit his losses. He looks okay but his lead is down to less than 4:00.

     

     

  163. 17:05:44 CEST

    Kwiatokowski moves off the front. His job is done. 

     

    It's up to Bernal now. Will anyone of Sky's rivals try to attack. Watch out for Quintana.

     

  164. 17:06:18 CEST

    Behind Zakarin and Jungels are suffering.

     

  165. 17:08:52 CEST

    Landa eats a gel and seems fresh. Behind him are Bardet, Dumoulin, with Martin at the back. 

     

    Valverde is dropped and takes a bidon.   

     

  166. 17:09:25 CEST

    Martin has lost the wheel. He's suffering but has not cracked for now. 

     

     

     

  167. 10km remaining from 175.5km

    17:09:50 CEST

    Kruijswijk leads by 3:20 now.

     

  168. 17:10:25 CEST

    Roglic is there and looks strong, spinning his legs.

     

  169. 17:10:57 CEST

    Dumoulin grabs a bottle of water to poor over his head. It has been a hot, intense day out there.

     

  170. 17:12:52 CEST

    Here we go! Nibali attacks! 

     

  171. 17:13:23 CEST

    Bernal is trying to close the gap for Thomas and Froome.

     

  172. 17:14:03 CEST

    Dumoulin is at the back of this exclusive group.

     

  173. 17:14:23 CEST

    The Dutchman is suffering but Nibali is pulled back. 

     

  174. 17:14:58 CEST

    Nibali's surge seemed like a move to test his rivals.

     

  175. 8.5km remaining from 175.5km

    17:15:35 CEST

    Quintana attacks!

     

  176. 17:16:58 CEST

    He opens a gap but Bernal closes the gap again.

     

    Behind it is now Fuglsang who suffers and is distanced. 

     

  177. 8km remaining from 175.5km

    17:17:37 CEST

    Kruijswijk leads by 2:30. He is no longer virtual race leader.

     

  178. 17:18:38 CEST

    Bernal is doing a hugely important job for Sky today. He's earned his place in the eight-rider Sky squad for the Tour today.

     

  179. 17:19:51 CEST

    Behind Bernal are Thomas, Froome, Bardet, Nibali, Quintana, Landa, Roglic, Dumoullin and Fuglsang, who has got back on.

     

  180. 17:21:13 CEST

    Bardet attacks! 

     

  181. 17:21:57 CEST

    He followed Landa but the Spaniard eased up. 

     

    Quintana is struggling. 

     

  182. 17:22:43 CEST

    Bardet is spinning his gear as Bernal leads the chase.

     

  183. 17:23:14 CEST

    Quintana is distanced.

     

  184. 6km remaining from 175.5km

    17:24:25 CEST

    Bardet has his jersey open and is going deep. But the others can see him just 100m ahead.

     

  185. 17:25:27 CEST

    Bardet gets a huge cheer as he passes Dutch corner. 

     

  186. 17:26:05 CEST

    The police tried to control the fans but there are flairs going off and idiots running alongside the rider.

     

  187. 17:26:07 CEST

    The police tried to control the fans but there are flairs going off and idiots running alongside the rider.

     

  188. 17:26:09 CEST

    The police tried to control the fans but there are flairs going off and idiots running alongside the rider.

     

  189. 17:26:36 CEST

    Quintana is already 30 seconds down.

     

  190. 5km remaining from 175.5km

    17:27:23 CEST

    Kruijswijk leads by just 1:15. Bardet has carved out a 100m lead.

     

  191. 17:28:29 CEST

    Bardet is trying to take on Sky but Thomas and Froome have not reacted yet.

     

  192. 17:29:11 CEST

    We're coming up to the steepest part of the Alpe. 

     

  193. 17:29:34 CEST

    When Bernal moves off the front what will Sky do?

     

  194. 17:30:05 CEST

    Thomas is on the front now.

     

  195. 17:30:54 CEST

    He leads Froome, Nibali, Roglic, Landa and Dumoulin are with him.

     

  196. 17:31:25 CEST

    Everyone else is distanced. 

     

  197. 4km remaining from 175.5km

    17:32:17 CEST

    Froome accelerates across to Bardet.

     

  198. 17:32:43 CEST

    Nibali crashes hard, seemingly into a spectator.

     

  199. 17:33:10 CEST

    Two police motorbikes blocked Froome's attack and blocked the road. Crazy.

     

  200. 3.5km remaining from 175.5km

    17:33:54 CEST

    Froome has passed Kruijswijk. He leads the race. 

     

  201. 17:34:28 CEST

    Dumoulin drags Thomas and Bardet back up to Froome. 

     

  202. 17:35:29 CEST

    Nibali seems to have been distanced. He's back on the bike but is distanced.

     

  203. 2.5km remaining from 175.5km

    17:36:18 CEST

    Froome, Thomas, Bardet and Dumoulin are tired and still together. 

    They're spread across the road.

     

  204. 17:36:41 CEST

    They're waiting for Nibali!

     

  205. 17:37:23 CEST

    But Bardet attacks. He didn't seem to understand or didn't want to understand.

     

  206. 2km remaining from 175.5km

    17:37:51 CEST

    Froome goes after Bardet.

     

  207. 17:38:13 CEST

    Dumoulin and Thomas there too and Dumoulin attacks!

     

  208. 17:38:36 CEST

    Bardet and Froome are distanced. Nibali is 30 seconds back.

     

  209. 1.5km remaining from 175.5km

    17:39:26 CEST

    Froome and Bardet manage to close the gap.

     

    Four riders to fight for the stage win.

     

  210. 17:40:17 CEST

    Dumoulin leads the quartet.

     

  211. 1km remaining from 175.5km

    17:41:01 CEST

    Quintana is also chasing but will not catch the four. Nibali is back at 50 seconds.

     

  212. 17:41:23 CEST

    Landa joins Froome, Thomas, Bardet and Dumoulin.

     

  213. 17:41:45 CEST

    Who will lead out into the final corner?  

     

  214. 17:42:04 CEST

    Landa jumps first, Nibali is close now.

     

  215. 17:42:23 CEST

    Landa leads it out.

     

  216. 17:42:40 CEST

    Thomas is fastest.

     

  217. 17:42:59 CEST

    Thomas drops his rivals and wins the stage!!

     

  218. 17:43:24 CEST

    The boos ring out over L'Alpe d'Huez.

     

  219. 17:43:57 CEST

    Dumoulin takes second, Bardet is third.

     

  220. 17:44:22 CEST

    Nibali was just behind the five, some 15 seconds back. 

     

  221. 17:44:44 CEST

    Quintana finished 45 seconds behind.

     

  222. 17:45:24 CEST

    Dan Martin loses 1:45.

     

  223. 17:46:23 CEST

    Thomas was best into and out of the final corner. He gained several metres and kept going all the way to the line.

     

    He won by 2 seconds and took a 10-second time bonus. 

     

  224. 17:49:28 CEST

    As the Tour exits the Alps, Thomas has extended his overall lead. He also won at L'Alpe d'Huez in yellow.    

     

  225. 17:49:55 CEST

    This is the stage result and GC after today. 

     

    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 5:18:37
    2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:02
    3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:03
    4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:03
    5 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:07
    6 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:13
    7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:13
    8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:42
    9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:47
    10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:53



    General classification after stage 12

    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 49:24:43
    2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:39
    3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:50
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:37
    5 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:46

     

  226. 17:53:29 CEST

    What a stage. It also included a moment of fair play by Nibali's rivals after he was brought down with 4km to go. 

     

     

  227. 17:54:12 CEST

    We will have a full stage report, photos and all the big rider reaction soon on Cyclingnews.

     

  228. 17:54:56 CEST

    Thomas in on the rollers before the podium ceremony. 

     

  229. 17:55:18 CEST

    Nibali is anti-doping and so has yet to speak about his crash.

     

  230. 17:55:58 CEST

    This is the top ten on the GC. 

     



    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 49:24:43
    2 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:39
    3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:01:50
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:37
    5 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:46
    6 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:07
    7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:13
    8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:03:43
    9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:13
    10 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:11 

     

  231. 17:59:34 CEST

    This is a screen grab of Thomas winning the stage.

     

     

  232. 18:00:38 CEST

    Thomas stopped past the finish with his head down, trying to recover. He smiled and started to celebrate when his carer hugged him.  

     

  233. 18:02:00 CEST

    Race organiser ASO has a lot to explain regarding Nibali's crash.. The police motorbike seemed involved, as were the spectators along the road. 

     

    There were no barriers at that point. 

     

  234. 18:03:40 CEST

    At 2.7km to go Dumoulin, Thomas, Froome and Bardet seemed to agree to wait for Nibali. But soon after Bardet attacked.

     

  235. 18:05:12 CEST

    Thomas waves in celebration from the podium and then throws the flowers to the crowd.  

     

  236. 18:07:34 CEST

    Thomas also pulls on the yellow jersey again.

     

    He now leads Froome by 1:39, with Dumoulin at 1:50. 

     

  237. 18:13:41 CEST

    Nibali has spoken briefly at anti-doping. He said he was chasing Froome when the road ahead of him narrowed. 

     

     

  238. 18:15:15 CEST

    Nibali said: "There were two police motorbikes but there weren’t any barriers at that point. When Froome attacked, I went after him sand felt good. Then we were slowed up and I went down. I don’t know what happened." 

     

  239. 18:16:13 CEST

    Asked how he managed to chase, Nibali said: 

    "I managed to get up and chase because I felt good, my form is good. I’d attacked to test the others. I also wanted to attack again." 

     

  240. 18:16:43 CEST

    Asked if he hoped to be given back the time lost, like Froome on Mount Ventoux, he said: 

     

    "I don’t know because then Froome was in yellow. These things happen because there’s a lot of people and the road narrows." 

     

  241. 18:18:29 CEST

    Nibali took it well but it seems that the presence of the police motorbikes sparked the problems. 

     

    They ride close to the peloton and to close to Froome to protect him but this time they seemed to make the situation worse.

     

  242. 18:20:18 CEST

    Geraint Thomas was the fastest today on Alpe d'Huez today, with a time of 41:15.

     

    That's 4: 35 sec slower than Marco Pantani's record and not fast enough to enter the Top 100 fastest Alpe d'Huez ascents.

     

  243. 18:21:21 CEST

    A total of 138 riders have finished the stage, with the last coming in at 34:29 down on Thomas.

     

  244. 18:23:04 CEST

    There are sone more finishers but they're close to the time cut.

     

  245. 18:29:30 CEST

    We have the first images from the finish. This is Thomas roaring to the line to win in yellow. 

     

    Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) sprints to the win on Alpe d'Huez

     

  246. 18:35:28 CEST

    Thomas seems to struggle to believe he's won the stage in yellow.  

     

    Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) wins on the Alpe d'Huez

     

  247. 18:37:30 CEST

    It seems that Rein Taaramae is the last rider out on the road but he will finish outside the 41:26 time limit.

     

  248. 18:40:41 CEST

    Geraint was stunned to win in L'Alpe d'Huez and in the yellow jersey. 

     

    "This is just unbelievable, can we just go to Paris now? I said yesterday this race is made for me now, today I can be happy for sure now," he said in the flash interview post stage.

     

     

  249. 18:41:42 CEST

    He insisted Froome is still team leader when asked how long he can stay in yellow.

     

    "Maybe the next few days I can keep the jersey but this race is so hard. You never know how your body reacts," he said.

     

    "Like I said, I'm still riding for Froome, he is still the man, he knows how to ride for three weeks. Legend is a word that gets used a lot but he's the man. He's probably the best ever.

     

    "I'm just going to enjoy it. Alpe d'Huez man, speechless."

     

  250. 18:42:44 CEST

    Taaramae finished the stage but is in tears after missing the time cut.

     

  251. 18:44:39 CEST

    It seems that Luke Durbridge of Mitchelton-Scott is the last rider to finish inside the time cut.

     

    He was penalised but finished in 39:27. He will be safe for another day.

     

  252. 18:45:50 CEST

    Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana) was also outside the time limit.

     

  253. 19:10:29 CEST

    We've kept live open today to follow the post-stage news. 

     

    We've just heard from Barry Ryan who was waiting for Nibali at the x-ray truck, that the Italian has a suspected fractured vertebra. He is going to hospital in Grenoble for more examinations.

     

  254. 19:13:20 CEST

    To read our full race report and see our growing photo gallery from the stage, click here.

     

    Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) leads Geraint Thomas in the final kilometer of l'Alpe d'Huez

     

  255. 19:36:28 CEST

    For more information on Nibali's suspected fractured vertebrae, click here.

     

    Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)

     

  256. 19:43:21 CEST

    Thanks for joining us for full live coverage and post-stage coverage of the stage. 

     

    Click here for our full stage report and photo gallery. 

     

    We'll have more news and interviews on line very soon from L'Alpe d'Huez.

     

    We'll be back on Friday or full coverage of stage 13 as the Tour de France leaves the Alps and heads to Valence.

     

     

  257. 19:57:09 CEST

    We're back to bring you more post-race coverage of stage 12 of the Tour de France.

  258. 20:18:02 CEST

    If you missed out on the action of stage 12 at the Tour de France, you can also watch the highlights video, a brief summary of the stage, here.

     

  259. 20:20:28 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali's continued participation in the Tour de France is in severe doubt as he sustained a suspected fractured vertebra when he crashed a little over 4 kilometres from the summit of stage 12.

     

    The Bahrain-Merida rider struck a police motorbike that appeared to slow on a narrowing road in the finale of the stage. Despite the incident, Nibali remounted and gamely limited his losses, reaching the summit in 7th place on the stage, just 13 seconds down on winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).

     

    Read Barry Ryan's full report on Nibali's current condition here.

     

  260. 20:28:28 CEST

    Kruijswijk is our Zwift Rider of the Day for his valiant solo attack.

    Read about it here and vote!

  261. 21:01:10 CEST

    Movistar hemorrhage more time at the Tour de France

    Landa, Quintana and Valverde dig deep but lose out on Alpe d'Huez
     

    You can read the full story here.
     

  262. 21:15:20 CEST

    Geraint Thomas spoke to the press after his Alpe d'Huez victory, about his overall lead and the leadership status between himself and Chris Froome at Team Sky during this Tour de France.

     

    When it came to reports that an individual on the side of the road attempted to hit Froome, and more reports of the Team Sky rider being spat at on the final climb, Thomas said, "Boo if you want, but don't touch the riders."

     

    You can read Daniel Benson's full story here.

     

  263. 21:18:00 CEST

    Meanwhile, Movistar's trio of Mikel Landa, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde dug deep today, but they still lost more time in the overall classification.

     

    Landa finished fifth place today, and you can read Sadhbh O'Shea's full report on the Movistar team here.

     

  264. 21:49:04 CEST

    Romain Bardet put his best foot forward on Alpe d'Huez today and says he has no regrets about the way it turned out with Geraint Thomas taking the win ahead of Tom Dumoulin, and himself in third.

     

    "There was a very strong Sky team today. I did the maximum I could, and I don't have any regrets," Bardet said upon emerging from anti-doping, where a scrum of cameramen jostled for position around him. "I tried my all-out effort from distance. I didn't think we'd come in a group to the finishing straight. I'd made my main efforts before that, but it was a good stage for me all the same."

     

    Read Barry Ryan's full story here.

     

  265. 21:56:53 CEST

    Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that Vincenzo Nibali has abandoned the Tour de France, following his crash on Alpe d'Huez today. More to follow...

     

  266. 22:11:06 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali has been forced to abandon the Tour de France due to injuries he sustained in a crash inside five kilometers from the finish of stage 12 to Alpe d'Huez.

     

    Doctors have confirmed that Nibali has sustained a fracture to his T10 vertebra.

     

    Read the developing story here.

     

  267. 22:20:17 CEST

    "The scan has confirmed what we feared," Bahrain-Merida team doctor Emilio Magni told Tuttobiciweb.

     

    "There's a fracture of the T10 vertebra. It's a non-displaced fracture but it's clear Vincenzo can't ride his bike again for at least 15 days."

     

  268. 22:36:17 CEST

    That's it for our coverage of the Tour de France stage 12. Expect a quieter day tomorrow as the race heads back to flatter ground with a 169.5km stage from Bourg d'Oisans to Valence.


    Expect the few sprinters left in the race after three vicious stages in the Alps to battle for the win.

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