2012 Tour de France - five key stages

With shade over 100 kilometres of time trialling on the route, the 2012 Tour de France breaks with its recent sequence and tips the balance of power away from the climbers and into the hands of the rouleurs. The Tour hasn’t featured two long individual time trials since 2008 and the race hasn’t boasted this many miles against the clock since 2007. Furthermore, the past three editions of the race not only saw the amount of time trialling pared back significantly, but also saw the strategic importance of the time trial reduced to the bare minimum, with the lone long tests banished to the back end of the race, almost as an epilogue to the feature event in the mountains.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.