Stage 12 - Thursday, July 14: Briançon - Digne-les-Bains, 187 km

After the difficulty of the previous day, stage 12 will seem like a gentle roll over a couple of cat 2 climbs and some smaller cols after two intermediate sprints early in the stage. The King of the Mountains jersey competition will most likely feature on this day, and after his stage victory on a similar stage at the Tour de Suisse, Davitamon-Lotto's Axel Merckx may well feel he's in with a chance of picking up a Tour stage win. The riders then say goodbye to the Alps as they head over a couple of flat stages, where the Pyrenees await them, ready to split the field even more.

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