Stage 12 – Chauvigny to Sarran Corrèze – 218km – Thursday September 10
This long one-stage grinder brings the Tour back to the Massif Central, and the profile more or less screams the breakaway. We would expect a large group of motivated escapees: at least 10. If so, it will be a long day for Jumbo-Visma defending Primoz Roglič’s yellow jersey, as they won’t be able to expect much help from the share of the teams represented in the break, or the teams of sprinters.
The race begins with about 100 km of flatter terrain, and the intermediate sprint arrives at 51 km, so even if the break has not already passed, the sprinter teams are not motivated to keep things together after that as it is. is not a sprint stage. . The weather shouldn’t be a factor, with partly sunny skies and light winds.
The climb begins just around 100 km, with four climbs that gradually lengthen as the stage progresses. The heaviest is the Suc au May, a category 2 climb with a summit 25 km from the finish. The road is narrow and the average 7.7% incline doesn’t tell the whole story – most of the climbing is 2.5km with a total length of 3.8km. Gradients on the shortest section are on average more than 10% and reach up to 16 points. This is a great place for a runner to start a solo move out of the breakaway or to increase the pace and drop heavier runners. The last 5 kilometers are also tricky, as they go up in a series of stair railings interspersed with short flat sections.
Runners to watch
The route in general, and the finish in particular, is ideal for runners specializing in hilly one-day classics such as Liège-Bastogne-Liège or the Giro di Lombardia. Likely protagonists include Julian Alaphilippe and possibly Bob Jungels (the latter made a brief foray today), Maximilian Schachmann of BORA-Hansgrohe, Ben Hermans of Israel Start-Up Nation and Michael Valgren of NTT. And of course, it would be remiss not to point out that everything on Stage 12 is perfect for long breakaway specialist Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal). He worked on stage 11 for Caleb Ewan’s victory, but it would be surprising if de Gendt didn’t at least try to make the inevitable stage 12 escape.
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When to watch
This is probably a one-step chess match. For the very early risers on the East Coast, it might be worth logging in for the start to see the breakaway take shape. But not much will likely happen after that for a while, as Jumbo-Visma will be keeping pace up front to keep the gap with a manageable pace. (The wild card here is if a relatively high overall but not really in contention takes the break, like Alejandro Valverde, or if Peter Sagan tries to infiltrate the movement after his relegation cost him valuable points in the green jersey competition. ; either The event could force a more lively pursuit.) The break may start to crack on Category 3 Côte de la Croix du Pey, which they will reach around 10 a.m. EDT. But you can give it another 15 minutes or so and catch most of the Suc au May climb and probably fireworks and lapping in Sarran.
How to watch the Tour de France
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