Friday July 13th, 2012

Stage 12Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Annonay Davézieux

Start 11h10 GMT 2+

Key moments

video13.07.2012 in 23:00Summary of the race

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Summary of the race

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Stage summary13.07.2012 in 17:14'Millar Time' once again

The domination of riders from Great Britain continues at the Tour de France of 2012. David Millar may have been born in Malta, and raised as a cosmopolitan citizen of the world but he calls himself Scottish and he's registered to race as a Brit. And today he outwitted a Frenchman to win his fourth stage of the Tour since making his debut in the race with a win on the opening day in 2000. «It's great to win time trials,» he said at the finish, «but a road stage is much more...

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video13.07.2012 in 16:00Interview - Stage Winner

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Interview - Stage Winner

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Sporting stakes14.07.2012 in 11:00When sprinters battle opportunists...

There are two ‘transitional' stages in the 99th Tour, days that serve to get the peloton from one mountain range to another – the Alps to the Pyrenees. The first of them, stage 12, began with two tough climbs and was perfectly suited to the opportunists – men willing to race hard to establish and early advantage over the peloton and then hold onto it until they get to contest the stage win. But the race from Saint-Paul-Trois Chateaux to Le Cap d'Agde on the third Saturday of the 2012...

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interview13.07.2012 in 18:21Consolation for AG2R-La Mondiale

Vincent Lavenu had high hopes for a stage victory by Jean-Christophe Peraud who ultimately finished second in Annonay-Davézieux behind David Millar, but the manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team takes pride in the fact that it won a valuable consolation prize in the 12th stage of the 2012 Tour. It's a victory with the opposite effect of what has happened to Garmin-Sharp.
“We came to the Tour de France in order to place Ryder Hesjedal on the podium and win the team classification,”...

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interview13.07.2012 in 18:04Sagan: It's up to the race jury to decide

Once the first five places were decided there was another contest: the sprint for the points of sixth place. Matt Goss crossed the line ahead of Peter Sagan but was later relegated...

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interview13.07.2012 in 18:00Wiggins: There's never an easy day in the Tour

Over the col du Granier, Bradley Wiggins chased down Christophe Kern and Jérôme Coppel in a move that some considered a gesture to remind people of his strength but the leader of the Tour insists that he was «just helping the team». Here's his take on the race to Annonay.

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interview13.07.2012 in 17:46Millar: I want people to know that I am clean now

David Millar found out recently that he would once again be eligible for selection for the Olympics, and then he was named on the team for the London Games. And, in Annonay, he became the fourth rider from Team GB to win a stage of the Tour de France. He thought about that during the longest stage of this year's race...

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video13.07.2012 in 11:45Analysis of the stage

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Analysis of the stage

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video13.07.2012 in 10:30The day's route

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The day's route

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Newsflashes

16:59Goss beats Sagan for sixth place

Matt Goss has led the peloton home, beating Sagain in the sprint. The rider in the green jersey protested as he crossed the line gesturing as though the Orica rider had strayed off his line.

The peloton finish the stage 7'53" behind Millar.

16:55Oss leading Sagan to the line

Daniel Ossis doing a lead-out for Sagan inside the final 2km of the stage. We see Goss now moving forward to mark the rider in the green jersey.

16:53The top five in stage 12

The peloton is yet to finish but we can report the first five places in stage 12:

1. David Millar (GBR) Garmin-Sharp 226km in 5h42'46"

2. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale at same time

3. Egoi Martinez (ESP) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 5"

4. Cyril Gautier (FRA) Europcar at 5"

5. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) Astana at 5"

16:51Millar gets his fourth Tour stage win!

Millar waited until Peraud pounced before he started his sprint. That happened with about 250m to go. The Scot has given Garmin its fifth stage win in the Tour de France. It's Millar's fourth following successes in Futuroscope (2000), Bezier (2002) and Nantes (2003).

16:49Millar and Peraud are inside the final kilometre

Peraud and Millar have a clear advantage over the other three with less than 1km to go but no one is yet going at full speed... the sprint certainly is going to come only at the last minute.

16:49Millar leads it out...

Millar has been forced to the front by Peraud and this pair looks like they'll battle it out for the stage win...

16:47Two in the lead

Millar has been forced to the front and Peraud is on his wheels. The Scot and the Frenchman are about 100m ahead of the other three but Martinez is refusing to chase down the leading pair and insisting that Gautier do the work.

16:46Peraud hits out...

Peraud and Millar have opened up a good gap on the other three thanks to a surge from the Frenchman with 3.5km to go.

16:45Millar at the front...

With 4km to go, Millar is at the front and the escape group has almost come to standstill as they toy with each other waiting to see who is willing to start the sprint. And it's Kiserlovski again. Millar has reacted and is right on the wheel of the Astana rider.

16:44Small attempt from Martinez...

Martinez was the first of the leaders to even hint that he was prepared to attack. He did a little dig but it lasted a matter of seconds before he backed off the pace again... now we see Kiserlovski increase the pace but it's hardly an attack.

16:43Kiserlovski wins 'Fighting Spirit' award

The Astana rider who was on the attack in stages 10, 11 and 12, Robert Kiserlovski has just been voted the most aggressive rider in today's stage.

16:415km to go

The cat-and-mouse tactics are going to start soon. The leaders have an advantage of over 10 minutes and they are now inside the final 5km. So far there have been no attacks but surely someone is going to try something soon...

16:40Millar's turn, three times longer than the others

LeTour.fr just put a clock stopwatch on the turns of the lead group inside the final 8km and while Peraud, Martinez, Gautier and Kiserlovski all took turns at the front of just five seconds, Millar's latest stint in the wind lasted 15 seconds...

Read into that what you like...

16:3710km to go

The turns of pace at the front of the escape are getting shorter and shorter and the riders avoid spending too much time in the wind. The five are inside the final 10km of the stage and the winner will be one of the riders who found themselves at the front of the stage at the 100km mark.

16:3312km to go...

Peraud, Millar, Kiserlovski, Martinez and Gautier are inside the final 12km. They are doing fairly even turns of pace and there hasn't been any sign of an attack as yet.

16:31Nine years since Millar's last Tour stage win...

Of the five in the lead, only one has previously won a stage of the Tour. That's David Millar who was 1st in Futuroscope in 2000, 1st in Bezier in 2002, and 1st in the final time trial of the 2003 Tour. He beat Tyler Hamilton by 9" in the race from Pornic to Nantes despite crashing in the closing kilometres on a terribly wet day. The was a strong tailwind blowing that day and his average speed (54.361km/h) is the second fastest for a long TT at the Tour.

16:31Peloton inside final 20km

Knees (SKY) is at the front of the peloton that' 11'15" behind Millar's quintet with 20km to go.

16:24Peloton 5km from top...

There is a little more than 5km separating the leaders and the peloton that is now led by Boasson Hagen. This translates to 11'35" in time.

16:23Escapees at the top of cote d'Ardoix

The points for the final climb of the stage were won by:

1. Kieserlovski (AST) 2pt

2. Peraud (ALM) 1pt

16:18Boonen the last Tour stage winner on Friday the 13th...

The most recent stage finish of the Tour de France on Friday the 13th was in 2007 when Tom Boonen beat Oscar Freire and Erik Zabel in a sprint in Bourg-en-Bresse.

16:13Leaders on the final climb

The cote d'Ardoux is a 5.9km long ascent with an average gradient of 3.4 percent. It is rated category-three and the top is at the 18.5km to go mark.

The five escapees have started to ride up the climb just as the peloton crosses the Rhône to arrive in the Ardeche.

16:1125km to go

If the peloton was closer to the escapees than they currently are, we could expect the leading quintet to start attacking each other in the quest to win the stage around now. They are inside the final 25km.

But, given that the advantage of the five is still over 12 minutes - and it's clear that one of them is going to win the stage - they are likely to wait as long as possible before attacking each other.

Here's a reminder of the riders who have been on their own at the front...

16:04Tour in the Ardeche...

The 12th stage takes place in four departments of France today. It started in the Savoie, crossed into Isère, went back to Savoie, back to Isère, then to the Drôme and, just now, the escapees have crossed the Rhône to arrive in the Ardeche.

The final 31km are in the department where the escapees are now...

15:59Advantage drops to 12 minutes

When the leaders were 50km from the finish, they had the maximum gain of the day (12'50"). They are now 31km from the line in Annonay and have a lead of 12'00" on the peloton that continues to be led exclusively by the Sky team.

15:56Bobridge 23 today...

Before he turned his attention to racing for the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins was the best pursuiter in the world. He has won the title of the 4,000m event on the track at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and the world championships in 2003, 2007 and 2008...

Today is the 23rd birthday of the reigning silver medallist in the individual pursuit, Jack Bobridge (who was the world champion in 2011).

For the record, Bobridge is the current world record holder...

15:4740km to go

The five leaders are inside the final 40km of the stage with a lead of 12'20". This means that Martinez (EUS) is up to virtual 16th place, nestled in between Horner and Menchov in the general classification.

15:37Kiserlovski up to 4th in the climbing classification

By being the first over the line at both the col du Grand Cucheron and the col du Granier, Robert Kiserlovski (AST) is now ranked fourth in the climbing classification with 35 points. Ahead of him are: team-mate Kessiakoff (68pts), Rolland (55pts) and Scarponi (39pts).

15:33Martinez into the top 20...

With the current gain of the escape, Martinez (EUS) - who is the best place of the five leaders on GC after 11 stages - moves up to 15th overall. He started the stage ranked 22nd overall 25'53" behind Wiggins.

15:3250km to go...

The five escapees are only increasing their advantage. With the leaders inside the final 50km, they are 12'40" ahead of the peloton.

15:301,434m between Wiggins and Froome

After 48 hours, 43 minutes and 53 seconds and 11 stages (plus a prologue) in the 2012 Tour, the difference between first and second (Wiggins over Froome) is 2'05”. This translates to a difference of 1,434 metres.
Jimmy Engoulvent (SAU) is currently ranked last in the 2012 Tour, 2 hours, 21 minutes and five seconds behind Wiggins. It means that there was a difference of 97.1km between the fastest rider and slowest rider in the race after 11 stages.

15:25Advantage up to 12 minutes

The escapees have just reached their maximum gain so far today: 12 minutes.

15:16Lead grows again...

At the intermediate sprint, the peloton was 11'00" behind the escapees but that advantage has grown again.

Millar's quintet is 60km from the finish and is 11'30" ahead.

15:13Full result of intermediate sprint

The peloton has arrived at the site of the intermediate sprint. The full result is:

1. Millar (GRS) 20pts

2. Gautier (EUC) 17pts

3. Kiserlovski (AST) 15pts

4. Peraud (ALM) 13pts

5. Martinez (EUS) 11pts

6. Goss (OGE) 10pts - at 11'00"

7. Greipel (LTB) 9pts

8. van Hummel (VCD) 8pts

9. Sagan (LIQ) 7pts

10. Oss (LIQ) 6pts

11. Impey (OGE) 5pts

12. Cooke (OGE) 4pts

13. Marcato (VCD) 3pts

14. Eisel...

15:101km to sprint

The Sky team is still leading the peloton inside the last kilometre and Goss is now jumping ahead in the final metres...

15:08Cooke near the front despite recent puncture

It didn't take long for Cooke (OGE) to get a new front wheel and he's now near the front of the peloton and ready to start the lead-out for Goss as they approach the intermediate sprint... but it seems that they're prepared to wait as long as possible before increasing the speed.

15:0411'00" with 5km to go to sprint

Sky is still in the front of the peloton. It is 11'00" behind the escapees as they reach the 5km to sprint sign... Liquigas and Orica riders are sneaking up near the head of the peloton, as are a few Vacansoleil riders. It won't be long before we see the sprinters' teams move to the front and start upping the tempo.

15:02First five places at the sprint

The order of the first five over the intermediate sprint line is as follows:

1. Millar (GRS) 20pts

2. Gautier (EUC) 17pts

3. Kiserlovski (AST) 15pts

4.Peraud (ALM) 13pts

5. Martinez (EUS) 11pts

14:59Leaders at the sprint...

The first five have ridden across the line of the intermediate sprint. There was no interest whatsoever in any of them chasing the 20 points (or 1,500 euros for first).

14:57The maximum gain: 11'40"

The peloton is now 11'00" behind the five escapees. Cooke has just punctured his front tyre so he won't be there for the lead-out on the approach to the intermediate sprint which is just 5km away for the peloton.

14:52Leaders 5km from intermediate sprint

The five escapees are 11'20" ahead of the peloton. They are at the 148km mark which means they are 5km from the intermediate sprint.

Soon we can expect to see Orica and Liquigas move around the Sky riders who are currently at the head of the peloton.

14:4726.5 degrees & light crosswind

And now for a weather update...

The sun is shining, the temperature is a warm 26.5 degrees Celsius and there is a light crosswind (from the left) as the peloton cruises along 11'30" behind the escapees. The chance of rain, minimal.

The likelihood of the escape staying away all the way to Annonay: high.

14:37Cavendish & Co returns to peloton

A large group of riders who were dropped on the early climbs - including Cavendish and Greipel - are now back in the peloton.

14:36Peraud chasing his second win...

Jean-Christophe Peraud (ALM) is one of the five in the lead of stage 12. He finished 10th overall in the Tour of 2011. The 35-year-old is a former mountain biker and he began his road career in 2010 after having won the French time trial championship the year before. That is, to date, his only victory on the road.

He was, however, the silver medallist in the MTB cross-country race at the Beijing Olympics behind, of course, Julien Absalon.

14:32One former stage winner in the lead

Of the five in the lead of the 12th stage, one has won two stages of the Tour in the past. David Millar was victorious in the first stage he ever contested in this race: the time trial that kicked off the 2000 Tour (in Futuroscope).

He also claimed the 13th stage of the 2002 race in Bezier. He was part of an escape group that day and he outsprinted David Extebarria and Michael Boogerd to take the win.

14:30New radio for Nibali

The peloton is now clearly content to ride to the finish and let the escapees battle it out for stage honours. Nibali is currently beside the Liquigas team car and getting a new radio fitted by the mechanic.

Four Sky riders are at the front of the peloton and the advantage of the Millar quintet has grown to 10'00".

14:24'Grupetto' at 4'55"

The group of riders who joined forces after being dropped on the early climbs today is 4'55" behind the bunch that's now 8'34" behind the five stage leaders.

14:19Advantage over seven minutes

The five escapees are now inside the final 100km and they have a lead of 7'10".

14:18Average for 3rd hour

The average speed for the third hour of stage 12 is 41.8km/h. The average since the start of the stage is 39.7km/h.

14:17Lead up to 5'50" at 119km

The break is now 5'50" ahead of the peloton. The riders in the lead - and their position on GC after 11 stages is as follows:

Martinez (EUS) 22nd overall, at 25'53"

Kiserlovski (AST) 25th overall, at 28'43"

Peraud (ALM) 39th overall, at 50'36"

Gautier (EUC) 68th overall, at 1h08'59"

Millar (GRS) 93rd overall, at 1h26'26"

14:11Escape five minutes ahead...

The six leaders now have the maximum advantage of any escape today: 5'00" with 105km to go.

14:08And so ends the attacking action...

After 133km the peloton appears content with the current selection of six men at the front of the race: Kiserlovski (AST), Peraud (ALM), Martinez (EUS), Millar (GRS), Gautier (EUC) and Popovych (RNT). They are now 4'20" ahead of the bunch that is, once again, being led by the Sky team.

14:01Matt White: We've got to make sure Sagan doesn't get in the break

“As long as the day's break doesn't involve Peter Sagan, I don't care what happens,” Orica's Matt White told LeTour.fr this morning. “There'll be a breakaway today and we'll try to have someone there but that's not our priority. It all depends on how the climbs go. They're hard but I expect that a big break will go today.
“It's too hard for ‘Gossie'. If he's going to have a chance today it's if the big move comes back together before the finish.
“It would suit us...

13:57Sagan's group is caught

At the feedzone (108.5km) the peloton has caught the move by Sagan et al.

There are now just five men ahead of the bunch.

13:5525" between Sagan and peloton...

The work of the Orica team is paying off. The peloton is now just 25" behind Sagan's group.

13:54Intermediate sprint at 153km

The leaders are around the 108km mark. The pace of the peloton is extremely fast now that all Orica's are at the front trying to limit the gains of Sagan. The reason is that they don't want him to take more points for the green jersey without at least giving Goss a chance to take some as well.

The intermediate sprint is at the 153km mark.

13:53Sagan back with his team-mates

After a brief stint well behind the second group, Sagan is now swapping off with the likes of Nerz, Koren, Popovych and Kern. This group of nine is 1'30" behind the five stage leaders.

The peloton is led by all the riders from Orica and there is 50" between Sagan's group and the peloton that Goss' team leads.

13:50Orica-GreenEdge lead the peloton

The peloton was 3'20" behind the stage leaders at the last check but with Sagan still on the attack, the Orica-GreenEdge team has taken the responsibility to lead the peloton.

Sagan seems to be prepared to let his escape companions gain some ground as he's hovering well behind the group that includes Koren and Nerz.

13:44Five lead nine, leading the peloton...

Gautier (EUC), Martinez (EUS), Millar (GRS), Peraud (ALM) and Kiserlovski (AST) are the five in the lead of stage 12.

Then comes a group of nine: Popovych (RNT), Kern (EUC), Izaguirre (EUS), Koren (LIQ), Nerz (LIQ), Sagan (LIQ), Taaramae (COF), Vorganov (KAT) and Sorensen (STB) at 1'35".

The peloton is at 3'45".

13:41Orica-GreenEdge responds

There are now five Orica-GreenEdge riders assembling at the front of the peloton. They are reacting to the move by Sagan. "As long as Sagan doesn't go up the road, we'll be happy," said Matt White before the stage. And now that the rider in the green jersey has caught Popovych and Vorganov, it's fair to say that White is not happy...

13:37Koren waited for Sagan...

There are now two team-mates in the group for Sagan. Koren had been in the early escape but he waited for Nerz and Sagan who are in the second counter-attack group.

13:36Froome calls team car

Froome is calling for the team car at the back of the yellow jersey's peloton. We don't know if it's for a chat or because of a mechanical incident...

13:35The current situation

Gautier, Peraud, Millar, Gusev, Kiserlovski and Edet are together at the front of the stage. Then comes a group that includes Popovych, Koren, Bouet, Edit, Vorganov and Gusev.

The third group is: Kern, Izaguirre, Nerz, Sagan, Taaramae and N. Sorensen.

Then comes the peloton.

13:32Sagan's group... at 1'10"

Kern, Izaguirre, Nerz, Taaramae and C. Sorensen are the riders who have joined forces with Sagan. This group is 1'10" behind the five stage leaders.

The yellow jersey's group is at 2'00".

13:31Sagan waiting for chase group

After attacking the downhill, Sagan seems to be waiting for the chasing riders that includes Taaramae.

13:26Sagan on the attack

Wiggins is hardly "attacking" but his brief surge did put him well ahead of his rivals on GC at the top of the second climb. He has now slotted in behind a couple of team-mates on the downhill. Meanwhile, Sagan has attacked the yellow jersey group along with Taaramae.

13:25Wiggins the first Sky rider

Exactly why Wiggins is ahead of any team-mate remains uncertain but he has let Kern, Taaramae and Sagan go ahead early on the downhill of the Granier.

He has been led by team-mates for most of the 2012 Tour but Wiggins is currently the first Sky rider in the stage.

13:23Wiggins chased down...

Wiggins apparently wanted to move ahead of his rivals at the top of the Granier. He has been attacked on the descent numerous times this year and perhaps his move was to negate the chances of that happening again.

13:22Result of 2nd climb

1. Kiserlovski (AST) 10pts

2. Peraud (ALM) 8pts

3. Martinez (EUS) 6pts

4. Millar (GRS) 4pts

5. Gautier (EUC) 2pts

6. Popovych (RNT) 1pt

13:20Leaders about to sprint for 10 points

Kiserlovski (AST) leads the five escapees to the top of the col de Granier...

13:20Wiggins attacks peloton

Wiggins has ridden across to Coppel and Kern. We cannot see how far the yellow jersey is ahead of the peloton but can say that Van den Broeck was the first GC rider to chase him down.

13:19Five in the lead...

There are now five men together at the front of hte stage: Millar, Martinez, Peraud, Gautier and Kiserlovski. We know that for sure but it was reporter earlier that Kern and Coppel were dropped but this is wrong. They are, in fact, still ahead of the peloton that's led by Edvald Boasson Hagen...

Apologies for any confusion caused.

13:16Nine lead three...

At the front of the stage is a group of nine men: Popovych, Gautier, Martinez, Koren, Millar, Peraud, Edet, Vorganov and Kiserlovski.

The second group is a trio: Bouet, Gusev and Sorensen.

The yellow jersey's peloton is at 1'05".

13:15Kern and Coppel caught and dropped

They had tried to escape the peloton but Coppel (SAU) and Kern (EUC) have not just been caught by the Sky-led bunch but they have gone out the back...

13:13Klöden also dropped

The list of dropped riders includes men with a reputation of being climbers including Klöden, Monfort, Pinot...

13:12Coppel goes ahead

After Voigt's capture, Jérôme Coppel (SAU) has surged ahead of the peloton that has just spat Basso out the back.

13:11Voigt out of counter-attack

The steep gradient of the Granier is proving too much for some in the peloton who have slipped behind the bunch. Voigt (RNT) spent about 5km in a counter-attack but he is now back in the peloton.

13:08Five trail by 1'20"

Feillu's quintet is 1'20" behind the 12 stage leaders. The peloton is at 1'30".

13:07Roy out of counter-attack

Roy is no longer in the counter-attack that is now composed of Kern, Kashechkin, Fellu, Lavaret and Voigt...

13:03150km to go

The stage leaders are inside the final 5km of the second climb. That means they are inside the final 150km of the stage.

The Granier is claiming a few high profile scalps with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Alexandre Vinokourov (AST) not able to match the pace being tapped out by Sky at the front - with Knees currently doing the most work.

13:01Survey on LeTour.fr today

Each day there is a little poll on the official site of the Tour. Today the question is a simple one:

On paper stage 12 is a day for the opportunists. Will the early escape succeed?

Yes or no... what is your answer?

13:00Six chasers at 1'45"

The peloton is 2'05" behind the 12 stage leaders. In between are six men: Feillu, Voigt, Kashesckin, Levarlet, Kern and Roy - at 1'45".

12:58Six in counter-attack

Feillu, Voigt, Kashesckin and Levarlet have caught Kern and Roy.

The peloton is 2'15" behind the 12 stage leaders.

Perez (EUS) has been dropped by the peloton as has Pinot (FDJ).

12:57Current situation...

We now have 12 men - Popovych, Gautier, Koren, Martinez, Millar, Peraud, Bouet, Edet, Gusev, Vorganov, N. Sorensen, Kiserlovski - at the front. They are:

2'00" ahead of Roy and Kern.

Then comes Feillu, Voigt, Kashesckin and Levarlet in a second counter-attack, at 2'10".

12:55Voigt joins counter-attack...

Voigt and two others have joined Feillu with his counter-attack on the slopes of the col de Granier.

12:5412 in the lead...

The 11 man lead group has been join by Martinez at the same time that Roy and Kern have caught and passed Perez.

12:53Feillu in pursuit of Roy

The counter-attack by Roy and Kern is tempting Feillu to also sneak ahead of the peloton. This move began at the 71km mark...

12:51Roy attacks peloton

Jérémy Roy (FDJ) has attacked the peloton early on the slopes of the col de Granier. He is being chased down by Kern (EUC)...

12:49Horner back in peloton.

There are now just 13 men ahead of the yellow jersey's group. Horner has quit his effort in the counter-attack and he's been caught by the peloton before the second climb of the stage.

Popovych, Gautier, Koren, Millar, Peraud, Bouet, Edet, Gusev, Vorganov, N. Sorensen and Kiserlovski are now 50" ahead of Martinez (EUS) and 2'05" ahead of Perez (EUS)... and the peloton is at 2'35".

12:47Leaders on second climb...

The escapees have started the ascent of the col du Granier. This is a 9.7km long climb with an average gradient of 8.6 per cent. It's rated category-one and rises to an altitude of 1,134m. The top is at the 80.5km mark of the stage.

12:44Counter-attack split...

The 11 at the front are working well together but the counter-attack has split. We have Popovych, Gautier, Koren, Millar, Peraud, Bouet, Edet, Gusev, Vorganov, N. Sorensen and Kiserlovski at the front.

Then comes Martinez (EUS) at 1'00".

Then Horner (RNT) and Perez (EUS) at 1'25".

And the peloton at 2'25".

12:44Veelers quits

There are now 164 riders in the Tour de France. Tom Veelers (ARG) is the latest to stop the race.

12:38Peloton at 2'10"

After 62km of racing the peloton is 2'10" behind the 11 stage leaders. The last time check for the Horner group had the counter-attack 1'00" from the group that includes Kiserlovski (AST) as the best on GC before the start of the stage... he is 25th overall, but no threat to Wiggins' yellow jersey (at 28'43").

12:3111 leaders, three chasers...

After 63km of racing, there are 11 in the lead of stage 12, three in a counter-attack and then the peloton which is regrouping after shedding numerous riders on the first climb today.

The front group is: Popovych (RNT), Guatier (EUC), Koren (LIQ), Millar (GRS), Peraud (ALM), Bouet (ALM), Edet (COF), Gusev (KAT), Vorganov (KAT), N. Sorensen (STB) and Kiserlovski (AST).

At 1'00" is: Horner (RNT), Perez (EUS) and Martinez (EUS).

The peloton is at 1'45".

12:25Five in Horner's group

The second group in stage 12 is composed of five men:

Horner (RNT), Martinez (EUS), Perez (EUS), Marcato (VCD) and Lund (STB). THey are at 40" and the yellow jersey's peloton is at 1'25".

12:22Moncoutie quits the 2012 Tour...

David Moncoutie (COF) is not able to remount his bike after the crash at the 38km mark. He was in tears on the side of the road, surely more because only seconds earlier he was on the attack: now he's out of the 99th Tour.

12:2150km raced

The 11 escapees have covered 50km now. They are 1'15" ahead of the peloton.

12:20Moncoutie unlikely to race again today...

The early report on the state of Moncoutie (COF), who crashed at the 38km mark, is not a good one. We await confirmation of his state but it's unlikely that he's going to finish what was to be his farewell Tour de France. He lost a lot of skin on his left leg and there's speculation that he's broken a collarbone.

12:17First 'Fighting Spirit' award winner in the lead group

The winner of the most aggressive rider prize in stage one, Nicolas Edet (COF) is one of the 11 men in the move that is now 1'15" ahead of the peloton that's being led by Knees (SKY).

12:1643.5km raced

The 11 stage leaders are in Le Villard de la Table... this is at the 43.5km mark of the 226km stage.

There is a counter-attack that includes Horner (RNT) between the 11 stage leaders and the peloton. We don't have a confirmation of those who are riding with the American... but shall post them as soon as they're announced.

12:1411 in the lead

Kiserlovski has been caught by 10 others. The men in the lead of stage 12 are:

Popovych (RNT), Gautier (EUC), Koren (LIQ), Millar (GRS), Peraud and Bouet (ALM), Edet (COF), Gusev and Vorganov (KAT) and Nicki Sorensen (STB).

They are 1'30" ahead of the peloton.

12:12Sagan near front of peloton...

The rider in the green jersey, Peter Sagan (LIQ) is in sixth position - near the front of the peloton that's 1'20" behind the stage leader (Kiserlovski). Could it be that the Slovakian is considering an attack? That's what Orica-GreenEdge's directeur sportif Matt White thought would happen today... "and," he added, "that's the one thing we don't want to see happen."

12:09Moncoutie standing...

Moncoutie appears to have gone off the right of the road and into a ditch behind a car. He has taken a lot of skin off his left leg but he's standing again but not yet on the bike.

12:09Average speed for first hour

The fast start mixed with a solid climb in the first hour means that the stage leader has been able to set an average speed of 36.8km/h.

12:07Moncoutie crashes on descent

Moncoutie (COF) has crashed on the descent. We have no further information but can say that he had been ahead of the bunch after attacking the first climb.

12:05Result of the col du Grand Cucheron

1. Robert Kiserlovski (AST) 10pts

2. Peraud (ALM) 8pts

3. Popovych(RNT) 6pts

4. Gautier (EUC) 4pts

5. Millar (GRS) 2pts

6. Koren (LIQ) 1pt

The peloton is behind the stage leader by 53" at the top of the first climb

12:03Martinez attacking the peloton

Egoi Martinez (EUS) has raced past Koen de Kort and the Spaniard has Horner (RNT) right on his wheel as he rides away from the peloton.

12:02Kiserlovski leads by 30"

With 1km to go before he reaches the top of the col du Grand Cucheron, Kiserlovski leads the next rider by 30" and the perloton by 1'06".

12:00Kiserlovski goes ahead alone

The best of the escape group on GC at the start of the stage is now on his own at the front. Robert Kiserlovski is inside the final 2km of the first climb and he has a clear advantage over the next riders...

11:59Burghardt back in the peloton

We wait for a confirmation of those in the lead of the stage but can report that several of the early escapees have already returned to the peloton including Marcus Burghardt.

11:58Froome in last place in peloton

Boasson Hagen has caught the move by Coppel and Horner and that counter-attack is over. The yellow jersey's group is 47" behind the stage leaders and we currently find Froome at the back of the main pack that has spat many out the back - including Gilbert (BMC), Cummings (BMC), Kruiswijk (RAB)...

11:56Coppel trying to bridge

Coppel (SAU) and Horner (RNT) are just ahead of the peloton and chasing the front group. Boasson Hagen (SKY) has slotted into position at the head of the bunch that is now less than a minute behind the stage leaders.

11:55Front group splits

With 3km to go, the escape group of 19 has spat a few out the back... there are now 10 men at the front of the 12th stage.

11:54Moncoutie and Costa closing in on leaders

Moncoutie (COF) is 35" behind the 19 escapees. Costa (MOV) is at 45" and the peloton led by the Sky team is at 55".

11:53Reminder of the leaders...

Costa is continuing to try and bridge the gap to the front 19 and now Moncoutie is also in on the chase...

The front group is composed of the following riders: Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Yaroslav Popovych (RNT), Cyril Gautier (EUC), Ruben Perez (EUS), Kristjian Koren (LIQ), David Millar (GRS), Jean-Christophe Peraud and Maxime Bouet (ALM), Nicolas Edet (COF), Jimmy Engoulvent (SAU), Marco Marcato (VCD), Vladimir Gusev and Eduard Vorganov (KAT), Anders Lund and Nicki Sorensen (STB),...

11:49Leaders in final 5km of first climb

The escapees are less than 5km from the top of the first climb. The col du Grand Cucheron is 12.5km long with an average gradient of 6.5%. We see a number of riders including Lancaster (OGE), Dumoulin (COF) and Cavendish (SKY) dropping behind the bunch that is now just 50" behind the escape that broke free at the 15km mark.

11:47Advantage shrinks...

The chase by Costa has cost the escapees some of their advantage: it maxed out at 1'50" but it's now 1'30".

11:46Costa makes a bid to bridge gap

Costa (MOV) is leading a counter-attack group of seven riders (at 27km, ie. early on the ascent of the col du Grand Cucheron). They are 1'50" behind the 19 escapees.

Veelers, van Hummel and Farrar have been dropped already.

11:43Advantage up to 1'40"

At the 26km mark, the 19 escapees are 1'40" ahead of the peloton.

11:42Let's watch the lead grow

That's it fellas, seems to be what the Sky four are suggesting to the likes of Kern who had been trying to limit the gains of the 19 men who were 1'10" ahead at the last check. The next check is likely to have Kiserlovski's group much further ahead...

11:39Kern leading the peloton

The Europcar rider who did an impressive job setting up Rolland for the win yesterday, Christophe Kern, is now at the front of the bunch and trying to limit the gains of the 19 escapees who are ahead by 1'16".

11:38Four former stage winners in escape

Of the 19 in the lead of the 12th stage, four have previously won a stage of the Tour de France - Burghardt (BMC), Popovych (RNT), Millar (GRS) and Nicki Sorensen (STB).

11:36Kiserlovski the best on GC

The Croatian who was on the attack yesterday, Kiserlovski (AST) is in the move again today. He's the best of the escape group on GC after 11 stages, starting the race in 25th overall 28'43" behind Wiggins.

11:35Lead up to 1'30"

The 19 have a lead of 1'30". The escape started at the 15km mark and they have raced about 25km so far today.

11:34The 19 escapees...

Burghardt (BMC)

Popovych (RNT)

Guatier (EUC)

Perez (EUS)

Koren (LIQ)

Millar (GRS)

Peraud and Bouet (ALM)

Edet (COF)

Engoulvent (SAU)

Marcarto (VCD)

Paolini and Vorganov (KAT)

Lund and N. Sorensen (STB)

Grivko and Kiserlovski (AST)

Grabsch (OPQ)

De Kort (ARG)

11:30That's the selection...

The peloton has essentially sat and and declared that this is selection of 19 is good enough for The Escape of stage 12. The attacking group is 1'00" ahead of the bunch at the 19km mark.

Some of the riders involved are:

Burghardt (BMC)

Gautier (EUC)

Vorgranov and Paolini (KAT)

Perez (EUS)

Millar (GRS)

Peraud (ALM)

Marcato (VCD)... the full list will follow.

11:27Escape group forms

There are about 19 riders ahead of the peloton and involved in the move are Burghardt (BMC), Millar (GRS), Popovych (RNT), Vorganov (KAT), Koren (LIQ), Grivko (AST)... a full list of those involved will follow shortly.

11:2719 lead by 20"

At the 18km mark, the escape group of 19 has a lead of 20".

11:24Koren leads the latest attack

Kristjan Koren (LIQ) is the man who is currently at the front of the stage and trying to get the escape to work after 15km of racing.

11:23Eight in the lead by 50m

There is a group of eight men just ahead of the peloton. Gautier (EUC) was the man who started this move but now we see a Liquigas and Euskaltel rider just ahead of a selection of six others...

11:21Still all together

After 10km of racing in stage 12, the bunch is still strung out as the pace is fast right from the start. No rider has been able to get any advantage on the bunch early today.

Albasini and Voigt are are currently at the front looking at each other and seem to be saying to one another, "You ready? Let's go...!"

11:16Paolini, Chavanel and Gautier

The latest surge at the front of the bunch has come from Chavanel (OPQ), Paolini (KAT) and Gautier (EUC) but it's going to take a while for the escape to get established in stage 12.

11:15Chavanel on the move...

Five riders are trying to snap the elastic that has been holding the peloton together early in stage 12. Chavanel (OPQ) is the man at the front of the stage and Voigt is also in the move but for the moment the speed is too fast for any group to gain any advantage on the bunch.

11:13More from Frans Maassen...

“Mollema has had a few too many bad crashes in the first part of the Tour and for a while we thought that it could go better,” said Frans Maassen of the Rabobank team earlier today. Bauke Mollema was one of two from the Dutch team to quit the race in stage 11. The other was Mark Renshaw who also suffered from injuries sustained in accidents. But the news doesn't get any better either; today Robert Gesink won't start the stage meaning that there are just four men left in the orange-clad...

11:12Fast start to stage 12

The peloton is currently riding at over 60km/h and that should explain why no one has been able to jump off the front. Now we see Arashiro (EUC) have a go and he's marked by an Euskaltel rider but a lot of riders are reacting to any more than goes early today.

11:11No successful escape as yet...

There are a few riders trying to break free of the bunch but no one has been able to gain any advantage in the first few kilometres of the 12th stage.

11:10Gesink the non-starter...

There are 166 riders still in the Tour de France.

LeTour.fr spoke with Frans Maassen ealier today and suggested that it's been a cursed race for Rabobank. “Yes,” said the directeur sportif who sounded demoralised before the stage. “Now I can confirm that Robert Gesink isn't starting today either. We are left with four guys so we have to make the best of a bad situation for the last week. That's not easy but we'll try and show that we are still there.

“It was all the...

11:07Racing in stage 12!

The official start of the 12th stage was at 11.08am. Knees is leading Wiggins on the right side of the road and now we see a move from Morkov (STB) on the left of the road.

11:06Millar and Leipheimer at front of peloton

The consensus is that an escape is likely to last all the way to the finish on a day like the one from St-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay. Currently we see two men who have been in escapes at some point over the last couple of days - Millar (GRS) and Leipheimer (OPQ) having a discussion at the front of the bunch as the peloton rolls through the short neutral zone.

11:05Prize classification review: part 03 ?? polka-dot jersey

Kessiakoff (AST) is back in the polka-dot jersey that he wore for a day in stage 10. The Swede now has 66 points, 11 more than the winner at La Toussuire, Rolland (EUC). Chris Anker Sorensen (STB) is ranked third in the climbing classification with 39 points.

11:03Peloton in the neutral zone

The bunch is currently making its way to the site of the official start. Wiggins is sharing a joke with van Garderen at the front of the bunch while last year's winner, Evans, makes his way back to the peloton after a brief consultation with the team car.

11:01Prize classification review: part 02?? green jersey

According to Matt White of the Orica-GreenEdge team, this is a stage for the leader of the points classification Peter Sagan (LIQ). “If he wins the intermediate sprint and the stage, then it's all over for the green jersey,” said the DS of Matt Goss' team. The Tasmanian is second in the points classification with 205 points, while Sagan has 232.
As the 12th stage is ranked ‘Medium Mountains', there are 30 points on offer for first place at the finish.

10:58Prize classification review: part 01 ?? yellow jersey

There were significant changes to the general classification after the stage to La Toussuire yesterday but one thing remains the same: Brad Wiggins is in control of the yellow jersey. He actually increased his lead on the next best rider but that is now his team-mate, Chris Froome (who is 2'05” behind) instead of Cadel Evans (BMC) who slipped from second to fourth overall.
Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ) has jumped up from fourth to third, 2'23” behind Wiggins. Other changes to the top 10...

10:54Welcome to the live coverage of stage 12 of the 2012 Tour

Friday the 13th and the peloton of the Tour leave the Alps and aims for the Ardeche. This is the longest stage of the 99th Tour de France and the start is the earliest so far this year (with the exception of the time trial of stage nine). The sun is shining and the peloton will start rolling in the 3.6km neutral zone at 11.00am. The official start is expected to be at around 11.10pm.

The 226km stage includes two big mountains in the first half: the col du Grand Cucheron (category-one,...

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