2012 Tour de France-Stage 12

13 Jul

The team of Garmin-Sharp has had nothing but bad luck in the 2012 Tour de France. They came to the Tour with high aspirations for a final podium spot for Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal or Tom Danielson only to lose them to crashes in the first week of the Tour.

stage 12 millar wins photo rte

That luck changed today when David Millar won Stage 12. Actually luck had nothing to do with it – Millar got in the break early on in the stage, before the two category 1 climbs and then attacked on the descent of the 2nd climb paring down the break to a manageable 5 riders. They built up a 12 minute gap on a peloton of tired legs that was more than happy to let the break go so they could have a somewhat relaxing day after two harrowing days in the Alps.

Millar outfoxed the other 4 riders in the breakaway and outsprinted French rider, Christophe Peraud (AG2R) to the line claiming the first win for Garmin in the 2012 Tour de France and the 4th win for a British rider – 4 separate British riders (Wiggins, Froome, Cavendish and Miller). France is next with 3 wins thus far. For awhile it looked like Europcar might capture their 3rd consecutive win and 4th for France but their rider, Gautier played the cat and mouse game a little too long with Martinez and Kiserlovski while Millar and Peraud raced each other for the finish.

In what was a boring stage for the fans with the GC hopefuls content to ride tempo and rest as they head to toward the Pyrenees, ended with an exciting finish and well-deserved win for Millar and Garmin-Sharp.

The sprint by green jersey leader, Peter Sagan and the 2nd place Matthew Goss for the remaining sprint points led Goss to cut off Sagan stealing 6th place in a very unsporting and dangerous manner. The referees relegated Goss to the back which since there was a gap of one second between Sagan and Goss to the next finisher, Goss was actually only relegated back to 7th place from 6th. It did result in one more point for Sagan.

Yes, points (and seconds) are that important. The green, white and polka-dot jersey competitions sometimes come down to 1 or 2 points and Tour championships are won by seconds or a minute or two.

Phenomenal fact when you consider that the Tour lasts for 3 weeks – covers more than 2 thousand miles – and culminates in around 90 hours of total racing time for the winner.

Now do you see why I find it so damn exciting!

 

Stage results

  • 1. David MILLAR, Garmin-Sharp, in 5:42:46
  • 2. Jean-Christophe PERAUD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 0
  • 3. Egoi MARTINEZ DE ESTEBAN, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at :5
  • 4. Cyril GAUTIER, Europcar, at :5
  • 5. Robert KISERLOVSKI, Astana, at :5
  • 6. Peter SAGAN, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 7:53
  • 7. Matthew Harley GOSS, Orica-GreenEdge, at 7:53
  • 8. Sébastien HINAULT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 7:54
  • 9. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at 7:54
  • 10. Luca PAOLINI, Katusha, at 7:54

General classification

  • 1. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, in 54:34:33
  • 2. Christopher FROOME, Sky, at 2:05
  • 3. Vincenzo NIBALI, Liquigas-Cannondale, at 2:23
  • 4. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at 3:19
  • 5. Jurgen VAN DEN BROECK, Lotto-Belisol, at 4:48
  • 6. Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, RadioShack-Nissan, at 6:15
  • 7. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC Racing, at 6:57
  • 8. Janez BRAJKOVIC, Astana, at 7:30
  • 9. Pierre ROLLAND, Europcar, at 8:31
  • 10. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ-BigMat, at 8:51

Stage 13 Preview:

stage 13 profile

Fast and flat, except for the category 3 bump near the finish. I’m thinking my man Sagan could take this one or maybe Sky’s Cavendish if their teams don’t mind burning a match or two in support. The only thing besides crashes that could shakeup the GC is wind and perhaps heat as the stage takes riders toward the coast of the Mediterranean.

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