Stage 12 race report

A lovely stage through the centre of France tonight. Ah the serenity. Can you FEEL the serenity? It’s funny, for most of us we probably envision France as this cavalcade of amazing sights pancaked on top of each other but I’m sure most of the population live in suburbs in big cities and don’t get to enjoy it that often. I mean, when was the last time you ducked out to Uluru for a picnic lunch or maybe the Great Barrier Reef? Geezus we haven’t been to either. Anyhow, we digress.

The stage featured a run in to Tours. Tours is basically catnip to sprinters. It gets them excited just to hear the town uttered. Any race that ends here seems to end up in a group kick. Add to this the the fact that the intermediate sprint was close to home and the breakaways chances of sticking it today? Buckley’s and none.

But cyclists huh? you can’t keep them down and there is always someone who wants to get in the break, irrespective of how doomed it is. Today’s contenders, Francesco Gavazzi (Astana), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoliel-DCM) and Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun) got off the front relatively late considering recent breaks have gone within a couple of kilometres of the start. This one went after 3.5km.. Juan Antonio has been riding like a man possessed at this Tour: In breaks and finishing top 10 in group kicks. Surely riding for his future.

The gap to the break increased dramatically and was soon out to 9 minutes. A bewitching time of the stage when everyone wants to relax – and to reflect that so far there have been no French, Italian or Spanish stage winners in the first 11 stages, which hasn’t happened at the Tour de France since 1926.

Then the intermediate sprint was on and for some bizarre reason Boeckmans decided to shut the door on Sagan on the right. This led to some fairly classic Eastern European gesticulation from Sagan. It was the most animation I have seen from the peloton in some time. I miss a good bark every so often. We need another Tommy Steels who always liked to have a word or two with another rider.

The break slowly imploded however it was Flecha who was the last man standing, holding off the rampaging peloton until 6km to go. All the usual suspects moved their teams to the front however with under 3km to go, as the group was veering left through a turn, a Lotto rider went down and cut a large swathe through the group. This cut the front group down significantly and wiped out the Lotto team and coming into 1.5km to go it was Argos Shimano at the front with Quick Step lurking close by.

Coming in the final two turns it was still Argos and with 500m to go Veelers was swamped. Steegmans went with Cavendish on his wheel on the left and Kittel locked in at the back. Cavendish kicked and Phil was calling the win for Cavendish WAY too early. Kittel, as if he heard Phil talking rubbish, clicked into 5th gear and just dropped the hammer on the Manx Missile and took it on the line. We struggle to remember the last time Cavendish was beaten in a mano o mano group kick. Watching the replay his look across at the finish line was of stunned disbelief. Argos Shimano are currently burying Quick Step and you can be sure Cav will not be happy. Look for retribution (which hopefully will involve winning stages and not bumping Argos riders to the ground).

Stage 12 tipping report

First, an apology for yesterday. As it turns out there were sprint points, but in our rush to push results through the system as quickly as possible they were…overlooked. Hopefully this hasn’t caused too much grief.

On to the stage 12 results and lots of key riders dropped time….before the commissaires brought everyone back together. The crash in the final 3km gave a few major tipping players some heart palpitations, but the results were standardised….otherwise MH Goss would have laid an egg worth 1’13″. Disaster.

A cool 96 people took Kittel and a total of 1,051 managed not to lose time on the stage. Tom Deller threw caution to the wind and took Jerome Cousin who managed to lose nearly 4 minutes. Cousin does have an excellent moustache, praised by Carlton Kirby as being “furry”. After Deller, it was Jeremy Hammond on Brett Lancaster, losing the same amount of time. We’re a bit surprised that more people weren’t on Lancaster (not because he’s a great tip, but better the devil you know).

Higgs Boson, Flecha, Van Poppel and a range of others also caused time losses. Poor Sean Watson went with Yukiya Arashiro and dropped a full 6 minutes or so (aside: was Arashiro held up by the crash? If his time is reset to the main bunch tomorrow, please contact us and we’ll amend).

To the overall competition and there has been a shakeup in the minor placings! The stress must have gotten to Nicholas D’Ambrosio who went for Van Poppel and dropped a filthy 4 minutes. Not to be outdone, Daniel Schneider (in third place coming in to stage 12) opted for Greg Henderson and dropped 5’34″.

So that leaves our fearless leader Julian Chipper still on top. Yesterday’s 4th/5th move up to 2nd/3rd. Congratulations to Neil Mylott and Joel Watson. They are 20 seconds off the pace. There is quite a crowd in equal 4th on timing (presented in countback order): Nick Lothian, George Bogus, Riley Tempany, Chris Neal, Guthrie Finlay Collins, Brett Mckenzie and Andrew Crowd. There’s no place for you to go but down! High stress, good luck.

In the sprint, James Deane has cracked 300, hitting 310 this evening. Seriously. Dennis Munster is in second on a mere 294 and Zach Tempany is in third on 292.

The KOM remains unchanged — Tom Wakeling on 49 from about a dozen other on 48. Enjoy the polka dots Tom!

Right, so that’s where we stand. It’s high stress as there’s only downside on these stages. The peloton doesn’t seem to like breaks this year, particularly on flat stages. So we wait and watch the leaders flounder and drop time.

(PS – for those of you participating in the redemption competition, aka the week 2 session, please be patient, we have to manually set all of the first nine stages worth of tips for anyone who joins. We generally do this when pushing up results so during the day there is always the chance that it looks completely nuts. Please email us if you’re concerned or if you have questions)

Stage 12 visual representation of rider times

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General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 12

Position Name Time Sprint KOM
1 Julian Chipper  1 day(s), 23:18:36 232 33
2 Neil Mylott  1 day(s), 23:18:56 249 30
3 Joel Watson  1 day(s), 23:18:56 226 30
4 Nick Lothian  1 day(s), 23:19:10 270 30
5 George Bogus  1 day(s), 23:19:10 269 30
6 Riley Tempany  1 day(s), 23:19:10 255 30
7 Chris Neal  1 day(s), 23:19:10 263 30
8 Guthrie Finlay Collins  1 day(s), 23:19:10 204 30
9 Brett Mckenzie  1 day(s), 23:19:10 207 31
10 andrew crowd  1 day(s), 23:19:10 241 30
11 Remy Giuliani  1 day(s), 23:19:21 129 30
12 Michael Janetzki  1 day(s), 23:19:38 195 31
13 Nick Weeks  1 day(s), 23:19:41 244 33
14 Marcus Cairney  1 day(s), 23:19:51 180 28
15 Craig McCulloch  1 day(s), 23:19:52 241 31
16 Andrew Collins  1 day(s), 23:19:52 166 31
17 Jason Murfitt  1 day(s), 23:19:52 205 33
18 Andrew Irwin  1 day(s), 23:20:01 181 20
19 Michael Jones  1 day(s), 23:20:01 247 28
20 Tim Lawrence  1 day(s), 23:20:01 185 30
21 Paul Ruskin  1 day(s), 23:20:02 203 20
22 Dane Cash  1 day(s), 23:20:02 190 20
23 Correy Edmed  1 day(s), 23:20:04 173 21
24 Daniel Howitt  1 day(s), 23:20:04 133 20
25 Ashley Bleeker  1 day(s), 23:20:08 255 20
26 james monahan  1 day(s), 23:20:09 142 22
27 Rhys Buzza  1 day(s), 23:20:12 96 28
28 Andrew Clark  1 day(s), 23:20:15 81 21
28 Chris Harmer  1 day(s), 23:20:15 81 21
30 Zach Tempany  1 day(s), 23:20:18 292 20
31 Nick Anskey  1 day(s), 23:20:18 277 20
32 Luc Delaney  1 day(s), 23:20:18 271 20
33 Simon Haydon  1 day(s), 23:20:23 264 20
34 Jonathan Bertram  1 day(s), 23:20:30 152 18
35 Jimmy Gordon  1 day(s), 23:20:31 221 30
36 Keith Wong  1 day(s), 23:20:39 251 25
37 Evan Dix  1 day(s), 23:20:41 234 25
38 Zachary Houvener  1 day(s), 23:20:41 192 1
39 Rowan Smith  1 day(s), 23:20:41 245 0
40 Alistair Brown  1 day(s), 23:20:41 190 0
41 Patricia Zumsteg  1 day(s), 23:20:47 191 4
42 Chris Seglenieks  1 day(s), 23:20:50 214 30
43 Jackson Ankers  1 day(s), 23:20:55 238 0
44 Lukas van der Steen  1 day(s), 23:20:55 226 26
45 Samuel Palanca  1 day(s), 23:20:55 221 0
46 Rick Farquharson  1 day(s), 23:20:55 192 25
47 Adam Levin  1 day(s), 23:20:55 168 25
48 Derek Collins  1 day(s), 23:20:59 222 0
49 David Broemeling  1 day(s), 23:21:00 228 0
50 Tim Hodge  1 day(s), 23:21:01 271 25

To view the full CyclingTips competition ladder, click here