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Tour de France 2014: Stage 12


Wlcome to live coverage of stage 12 of the Tour de France from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne.

Welcome to stage 12 of the Tour de France and we are around 20 minutes away from the start here in Bourg-en-Bresse. We have clear blue skies as the riders continue to sign on.

Ligne du départ fictif à Bourg en Bresse sous un soleil sans nuage ! #tdf #francetvsport #twittcyclos

The big news is that Andrew Talansky has called an end to his Tour de France. The American battled bravely to finish yesterday's stage but his injuries have proved too much. Read the full report on Talansky's abandon here.

Here is what the riders will face today. It could be a chance for the breakaway so succeed once again or one of the last chances for Peter Sagan to take victory.

Just before the racing gets underway, a quick recap of how things finished yesterday. Tony Gallopin went on the attack and held off the charging sprinters to add stage victory to his day in yellow. You can see the stage gallery and read the full report here.


Here is a look at the top 10

1 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 4:25:45
2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
4 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
5 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge
6 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
10 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar

RT @radiotour_en: Jersey holders on the front line #TDF

@letour Thu, 17th Jul 2014 11:58:06

185km remaining from 185km

And we're off. The riders take off from Bourg-en-Bresse. They have 5.9km of neitralised riding before they hit the start proper.

Aside from Andrew Talansky we have had no other non-starters today. There are still 178 riders remaining in the race from the 198 that began in Leeds.

After only 2km of racing we've had our first attack of the day Bartosz Huzarski. He's got a small five-second gap on the peloton. It's a long way to go on his own, and he'll be hoping a few more join him in his adventure.

That little foray by Huzarski has been nullified and it's all back together again. The peloton aren't hanging about and they're zipping along at 52kph at the moment.

175km remaining from 185km

Another solo attack. This time it's from Garmin-Sharp's Sebastian Langeveld and he has 10 seconds on the peloton after 10km of racing.

Langeveld has been joined by four other riders, Gregory Rast (Trek Factory Racing), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Seche Environment) and David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endrua). They've got 20 seconds on the peloton now after 13.5km.

Today is unlikely to have too much of an impact on the general classification, but - just in case - here is a look at how it stands. Vincenzo Nibali still has a comanding lead over Richie Porte ahead of the first Alpine stages.


1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 46:59:23
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:02:23
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:47
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:01
5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 0:03:12
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) 0:03:47
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:56
8 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:57
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:04:08
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:04:18

It looks like these five riders will form the day's break. Their lead has gone up to 1:05 after 19km.

Garmin-Sharp have Langeveld in the break today, but they lost their leader Andrew Talansky who decided not to start the stage. The 25-year-old had suffered two heavy crashes int he first week and the injuries proved too much for him. Cyclingnews' Barry Ryan caught up with Talansky's directeur sportif Charly Wegelius ahead of today's stage.


""We made the decision late last night. It was important for him to be able to talk face to face with his teammates over breakfast this morning. It was a very painful decision for him, but it’s for the best," said Wegelius. "We sat and spoke with him and went over all of the different scenarios that could be left for him in the Tour, and the state of his health. He had a rest day and his body didn’t react the way he wanted so unfortunately it was time to make a calculation."


"He’s disappointed but of course he’ll bounce back. It’s a scenario he’s lived for a few days. It’s painful what he went through and we were hoping for a better reaction from his body during the rest day but you could see yesterday that he was really struggling with it.

"One door closes and many more open. There are eight riders on the bus and each one of them, if they find themselves in the right position, they can win a stage of the Tour. For them it’s a big chance."

.@gregory_rast, @SimoClarke, @sebaslangeveld, @delacruz_sbd, @vachonflorian l'écart est de 2'25''/Gap is 2'25'' #TDF

@letour Thu, 17th Jul 2014 12:32:55

159km remaining from 185km

The peloton have sat up a touch, although they're still powering along at 49kph. The gap to the five leaders has extended to 3:05 and they're making their way towards the intermediate sprint, which arrives in around 13km.

Today could be the last chance for Sagan to take a stage victory. He has finished in the top 10 in all but three of the stages this season, with a frustrating three seconds places. Yesterday he went on the attack but sat up when the others refused to help him chase Gallopin. He reportedly threw his bike when he arrived for the podium presentation.

Sagan has an almost unassailable lead in the points classification and extended his advantage over Bryan Coquard (Europcar) yet again yesterday. Here is how the points competition looks after yesterday:


1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 301 pts
2 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 164
3 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 157
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 127
5 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol 111
6 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 110
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 100
8 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 95
9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol 87
10 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 76

146km remaining from 185km

As the escapees his the 39km mark, their advantage has grown to 5 minutes. Gregory Rast is the best placed of the five riders but, as he is 1 hour 20 minutes behind Vincenzo Nibali, Astana will not be too worried about him or his fellow escapees.

Tony Martin has had a very sucessful Tour de France so far and it could be his best yet if he wins the time trial next week. His contract was due to run out at the end of this season, but it has been reported that he has signed a two-year extension to stay with Omega Pharma-QuickStep. You can read the full article here.

Remember you can watch all of our Tour de France videos and more here on our YouTube page and make sure to subscribe so you don't miss a thing.

If you want to give us your race predictions, tell us what you think of the action in today's or give us your thoughts on the whole race then you can tweet us on @Cyclingnewsfeed @SadhbhOS or use the hashtags #TDF #cyclingnews and we will post some of your tweets here.

133km remaining from 185km

Florian Vachon took the full points at the intermediate sprint and it was Marcel Kittel who won the sprint fromt he peloton. With Peter Sagan mopping up 5 points to bring his total to a whopping 306. The peloton has now increased the speed as we close in on the first mountain. The gap now stands at 3:54.

My joker today is Alexander Kristoff. Took it easy yesterday, saving energy. Should be able to stay near the front on today's climb. #TDF

@mrconde Thu, 17th Jul 2014 13:12:39

@Cyclingnewsfeed @SadhbhOS Can't see Nibali losing it, with Valverde and Van Garderen in 2nd and 3rd. Porte tends to have a bad day.

@SeanDudley29 Thu, 17th Jul 2014 13:15:00

125km remaining from 185km

The leaders have now crested the first climb of the day the fourth category Col du Brouilly. De la Cruz was the first over, taking the only available point at the top. The five escapees have an advantage of 3:55 on the peloton

Very sorry about the lack of updates, we had an issue with our servers but it's all back and working.

For those of you who haven't been folowing us on twitter, here is a recap of what's been going on. The riders have now passed the second climb of the day, where De La Cruz took full points again. However, the NetApp-Endure rider slipped out on a corner on the descent and took Langeveld with him. It looks like De La Cruz's race could be over.

87km remaining from 185km

Langeveld is back on his bike and back with the other escapees. There os four of them and they have 4:56 on the peloton. De la Cruz has been confirmed as an abandon. Such a cruel way of leaving his first Tour de France.

Outside of the Tour de France there is some sad news as British cycling legend Brian Robinson has been hospitalised after getting hit by a car on a training ride. Robinson was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France, doing so in 1955. You can read the full article here.

Being in the break today, @delacruz_sbd crashed in a fast corner with 94km to go. Possibly broken collarbone. Get well soon David!!! #TDF

@NetAppEndura Thu, 17th Jul 2014 14:27:11

After the crash in the breakaway group, the peloton has closed the gap a little bit. With 82km remaining, they are only 3:29 behind. Next on the menu is the third category Col des Brosses.

They riders have had a lot of rain during the opening week of the Tour, but today it is hot. Race radio are reporting patches of melted tarmac, which is possibly what caused De la Cruz to crash out.

Former AG2R rider and yellow jersey wearer Cyril Dessel is from the finish town of Saint-Etienne. He spoke to the Le Tour website and described the tricky finish that the riders will face today:


“From Vagneray onwards, the last 60 kilometres are on lumpy roads but the hills aren't difficult. The col des Brosses is said to be 15.3km long but in reality, it's 7 to 8km long. It won't be decisive. At the end, the côte de Grammond is also rolling but the downhill to Saint-Etienne is quite fast before finishing in front the Zenith (arena). It could be a sprint of 80 to 100 riders.”

Two Europcar riders have now moved to the front with Kevin Reza leading the pack. Their man for today is Bryan Coquard. He has also been close to victory in the earlier stages of the race and sits second in the points classification - although he is a long way off Sagan's lead.

75km remaining from 185km

Europcar's work has had an impact and the gap has been brought down to 3:09 with 75km to go. It doesn't look like this one will stick, but as ever with the Tour de France anything can happen.

Postman just found us in our motorhome at the finish of today's stage.Wow France I'm impressed.

@KathyLeMond Thu, 17th Jul 2014 14:41:02

Simon Clarke is the youngest rider in the breakaway today. He is also the only rider to have won a stage of the Tour, with victory in the team time trial last year. Clarke is in his third year as a professional and is riding his second Tour de France. He has one indivual Grand Tour stage win with a stage of the Vuelta a Espana in 2012. He beat Tony Martin on stage four and went on to win the mountains classification.

68km remaining from 185km

Time is running out for the four escapees, we still have two climbs to go and the advantage has been cut down to 2:17.

The peloton is strung out in one long line as the head down a short descent. The break can sense the end and are really pushing hard too.

Rui Costa will be hoping to get through today without too many problems. The world champion lost time yesterday and slipped to 14th. He paid a visit to the doctor afterwards and was diagnosed with acute broncitis. You can read it all here.

Arnaud Démare has been dropped on the foot of the Col des Brosses. He's back in the cars and gets a little bit of help in the form of a sticky bottle, but it's only delaying the inevitable.

John Gadret suffers a puncture

56km remaining from 185km

The gap to the escapees has stabalised a little. It has been hovering around 2:15 for a little while.

55km remaining from 185km

After De la Cruz's accident, Vachon is the next rider to leave the escape group. He can't keep up with the pace on the climb. Only three men out front now.

A problem for Thibaut Pinot, who has a quick bike change. One of his teammates has dropped back to help him. Pinot is currently sixth in the general classification.

Race radio reports that it was a puncture for Pinot. FDJ decided to go for the whole bike change option rather than faffing with a wheel change. Another teammate has come back to help the Frenchman.

52km remaining from 185km

Rast has become the latest rider from the breakaway group to be dropped. It is now only Langeveld and Clarke up front. Their gap to the peloton is now 2:15

Pinot is back inside the peloton as Europcar still hammer it on the front. Giant-Shimano also very visible up front and they are about to catch Vachon.

It's a long shot for these two escapees to make it all the way, but is they can make it over the final climb with an advantage then it is still possible.

Remember to tweet us you predictions and thoughts on the race on twitter at @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS. You can also use the hashtag #cyclingnews

Cannondale has been noticeably absent from the front of the peloton. Is that a sign the Peter Sagan isn't feeling it today or are they going for a stealth approach to today's finish?

Vachon, who was in the break not so long ago, is about to be spat out of the back of the peloton along with Mark Renshaw.

Other teams would help Europcar chase but no one wants to encourage Voelkler.

@nyvelocity Thu, 17th Jul 2014 15:32:13

44km remaining from 185km

The pain is etched on Clarke's face as the near the descent towards the final climb. They're still holding the gap, but it's getting harder as the kilometres tick along.

Rast has been caught by the peloton it is now only the two up front. Bernard Eisel now moves up to the front to take control of things.

Oleg Tinkov looks pretty chipper in the back of the team car, despite his team's abitions taking a nose dive. We can expect to see the Tinkoff-Saxo riders being very active in the Alps and Pyrenees.

The peloton has hit the penultimate descent of the day, before the final climb of the Cote de Grammond. Langeveld is leading Clarke down in the escape group.

31km remaining from 185km

It is still Europcar on the front of the peloton, they're obviously under orders from the team car. The gap is coming down, but probably not at quickly as they would like. It is now 1:57.

After getting their riders to close the gap, Gautier and Quemeneur have attacked from the bunch. They are 1:21 behind the two leaders.

Away from the Tour de France, it has been confirmed that Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan Locke has been banned for two years for anomalous blood values. You can read it here.

26km remaining from 185km

The gap between the Europcar pair and the two leaders has come down to 38 seconds as the make their way up the final climb. Giant-Shimano has now taken up the pace setting and Kittel goes straight out the back door.

Simon Clarke attacks as Langeveld is taking a drink.

23km remaining from 185km

It still a long way to go for Clarke but that long descent could hep him out. After a brilliant Tour last year, things haven't gone to plan for GreenEdge. Langeveld has been caught and passed by the Europcar pairing, who look very strong at the moment.

22km remaining from 185km

Clarke looks like he's about to take a bidon from the neutral service, but decideds not to take it after hitching a short ride. That could come back to bike him later when the judges take a look at it.

NetApp-Endura has confirmed a broken collarbone for David de la Cruz, but he will not need an operation. The Spaniard crashed on the second descent of the day.

Langeveld has been caught by the peloton and one of his teammates gives him a pat on the back as he slips right to the back.

20km remaining from 185km

Quemeneur and Gautier have Clarke in their sights and it's over for the solo escapee as he races to stay ont heir wheels. Only 50 seconds between them and the peloton.

It's all downhill from here, as the leaders crest the final climb with a slim 52 second advantage. It's going to be touch and go for them. Giant-Shimano on the front.

15 seconds remain for Gautier and Clarke. Gautier asks the Australian to help but he refuses and the Frenchman attacks. 

5km remaining from 185km

Lotto are now on the front of the peloton as they catch the escapees. Greipel must be in there somewhere. 


4km remaining from 185km

Katusha, BMC and Omega are all on the front and the pace has really gone up


Some traffic furniture causing problems, but everyone makes it through safely. 


3km remaining from 185km

Cannondale make it through to the front of the peloton


Greipel goes down in a crash with Chavanel and Vanmarcke. His sprint hopes are over for the day. 


QuickStep join Cannondale on the front and the road goes up a little bit. 


Greipel and Chavanel remonstrating with each other and Greipel gives the IAM rider a bit of a shove. We will need to see a replay on that one.


1km remaining from 185km

This is a tough finish, after a short ascent, they descend to the flamme rouge


Paolini leads the peloton under the flamme rouge and immediately pulls off


Tony Martin leading out Trentin


Demare is in the group with Kristoff


Kristoff wins


What a sprint from Kristoff. He took it from a long way out and nobody could catch him. Sagan finishes second and it looks like Demare finished third. 


That's Sagan's fourth second place at this year's Tour and that could have been his final chance to take the win. 


Orica GreenEdge's Michael Albasini finished in fourth place. 


You have to commend Demare for making it back into the group, after getting dropped, but he just didn't have the legs at the finish there. 


We're waiting for the official results from today's stage, but here is the top 6 for you.


1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3 Arnaud Demare (Fra)
4 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge
5 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin - Sharp
6 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step


Here is how it finished today and a quick look at the general classification.


1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
3 Arnaud Demare (Fra)
4 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge
5 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin - Sharp
6 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
7 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
8 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
10 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

General classification after stage 12

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 51:31:34
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:02:23
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:47
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:01
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) 0:03:47
6 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:03:56
7 Jean-Christophe Péraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:57
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling 0:04:08
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol 0:04:18
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:04:31

That is it from us today. You can get all the pictures and full report from today's stage here and tune in tomorrow for stage 13 to Chamrousse.

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