Thursday July 16th, 2015

Stage 12Lannemezan / Plateau de Beille

Start 11h15 (Local time)

Key moments

video16.07.2015

Summary

video16/07/2015 

Summary

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Joaquim «the little cigar» (Purito) Rodriguez (Katusha) claimed his second stage win at the 102nd Tour de France after the Mur de Huy as he soloed to victory with 7.5km to go in the ascent to Plateau de Beille. Under the deluge, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) made the top three while the yellow jersey group crossed the line with a deficit of 6.46. Despite a few attacks by his adversaries, Chris Froome (Team Sky) kept the race under control and...

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« Je n'ai pas pu contrôler la puissance de grimpeurs dans la dernière ascension. Mais je suis content d'avoir essayé d'aller chercher cette étape. J'ai continué à y croire, mais c'était assez difficile avec simplement Sep Vanmarcke. J'ai bataillé jusqu'à la fin, j'étais à fond pour résister aux grimpeurs. Mais il faut que je félicite Rodriguez. »

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It's been a difficult stage with very hard climbs and changes of temperature. The rain hasn't helped. We've tried. We've attacked but the rival [Chris Froome] defended himself very well. He controlled my attacks, those of Alejandro [Valverde], Alberto [Contador], Vincenzo [Nibali] but we'll try to dethrone him until the last day. I hope to keep this level because I believe good things can happen.

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After the first two Pyrenean stages, my morale was pretty low. The only way to make it today was to break away. I always said I was coming to the Tour for GC but since I'm out of contention, I focus on stage wins. I've had a hungerflat at La Pierre-Saint-Martin. It hit me badly. I was strenghtless. Yesterday, I crashed in the neutral zone and my hip was hurting.
I like this climb to Plateau de Beille. I live about fifty kilometers away. I've come here a thousand times and I've dreamt...

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I couldn't handle the power of the climbers in the last hill but I'm happy that I've tried to win the stage. I had to believe in the possibility to win but it was very difficult to stay away with Sep Vanmarcke. I've fought till the end. I went full gas to stay away from the climbers. I must congratulate Rodriguez. He was the strongest. After a few days with such a heat, it wasn't that bad to see the temperature cooling down.

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The rules of the points classification have changed last year, also because I won it three times in a row. Now it's harder for me to win but it's not impossible. After the first mountain, I have only two points lead. Tomorrow it might be a stage for me but I'm just happy that I've made it to the finish today under the pouring rain.

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I didn't expect the weather conditions to change so quickly. Personally, I prefer the heat. I was just happy to get through today's stage. I was fortunate to have Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas all the time with me in the hill. It was definitely a team effort in finding the right kind of speed all day. When I accelerated myself with 4km to go, I was just testing the legs to see who was at the limit but everyone was still pretty fresh. There wasn't any attack by my rivals that was more...

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“It was a difficult day. The first part of the stage it was very hot and then it rained. But little by little I felt better. We were all at the same level today. Everybody attacked. So did I, but it didn't work. You must try again everyday and I hope that my sensations will return in the last week. Today, there was a lot of headwind and it was difficult to attack a team like Sky who impose such a steady pace.”    

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France's Pierre Rolland (EUC) managed to stay with the yellow jersey group in the climb to Plateau de Beille and said he was satisfied with his performance in the Pyrenees.

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In pouring rain, Geraint Thomas was again more than just a perfect team-mate for Chris Froome as he still lies 5th overall after the Pyrenees.

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Sick in the first two stages in the Pyrenees, Romain Bardet recovered to take third place at Plateau de Beille.

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Last year, Bauke [Mollema] was very strong at the beginning of the Tour but he blew a bit towards the end. This year, we have wanted to save him for the right time so he comes into form a bit later. He's improving. If he goes well today, we should see him doing well in the Alps. The goal for him is the top 7 or 8. We must be realistic. One year ago, he was seventh before the closing time trial and he finished tenth overall. This year, there isn't any time trial but there are three or four...

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Sporting stakes15.07.2015

The «Big Five» in the jungle

It gets harder and harder every day in the Pyrenees. With just one big climb to start with after the rest day in Pau, a light uphill finish in Cauterets after climbing the legendary Tourmalet, stage 12 is the queen stage of the first block of mountain. The first difficulty is the col de Portet-d'Aspet where a tribute will be paid to Fabio Casartelli twenty years after his tragic death. Col de Core and Port de Lers will take their toll before the expected big fight between the top guns. Chris...

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