2012 News and events
As every year, the Tour de France reserves a special place for the mountain stages! We know that any cyclist who aspires to wearing the prestigious yellow Tour jersey on the Champs Elysées at the end of July needs to get through the mountains without too many difficulties.
As every year, the Tour de France reserves a special place for the mountain stages! We know that any cyclist who aspires to wearing the prestigious yellow Tour jersey on the Champs Elysées at the end of July needs to get through the mountains without too many difficulties. Whilst this year, the Tour will probably not be won in the Alps mountain stages, the three Pyrenees stages of the Tour de France will certainly influence the final classification !Here is an analysisof the major mountain stages of the Tour de France 2012:
The Tour de France 2012 in the Alps
Whilst the passage over the Alps is less challenging than last year, the 2012 event promises several clashes between favourites.On Wednesday 11th July, the tenth stage between Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire) and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine (Ain) will give the peloton riders the chance to discover the formidable Col du Grand Colombier, with an ascent of 1255 metres over 18.3 km, at an average gradient of 6.9%, including inclines of 11.6%.The following day will see the key Alpine stage of140 km between Albertville and La Toussuire, with three major difficulties: the Col de la Madeleine, the passage over the Cols du Glandon and de la Croix de Fer from Saint-Etienne-de-Cuines, and the final ascent of La Toussuire (17.5 km at 6.5% on average).Finally, on Friday 13th July, the riders will leave Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to tackle the Cols du Grand Cucheron and du Granier - perfect for breakaways by lower-placed competitors, but much too far from the finish at Annonay to hope for a real battle between the favourites.
The Tour de France 2012 in the Pyrenees
The 2012 edition of the Tour de France includes no less than three stages in the Pyrenees, with eleven summits to be passed by the riders.The most challenging ascents of this long stay in the Pyrenees - aside from the Tourmalet (2115 m) and the Col d’Aspin (1489 m) - are undoubtedly the Port de Lers (1517 m) and the Mur de Péguère (1375 m), the latter featuring gradients of 14% in places.These two climbs are included in the 14th stage, between Limoux and Foix in the Ariège, on 15th July.The following two stages - which will be the last mountain stages of the 2012 Tour - linking Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon on 18th July, and Bagnères-de-Luchon to Peyragudes the following day, should be decisive for the favourites, before the final time trial on the Champs-Elysées. For many commentators, the 99th edition of the Tour de France will be won in the Pyrenees.
The Tour de France 2012 in the Vosges and the Jura
Two stages of the 2012 Tour de France will take place in the Vosges and Jura mountains,with the 7th stage on 7th July between the Tomblaine and the ski resort of La Planche des Belles Filles, and the 8th stage the following day, between Belfort and Porrentruy in Switzerland. These two medium mountain stages include ascents which are just as challenging, such as the final climb to the resort of La Planche des Belles Filles, with sections at 13%, or the well-named Côte du Passage de la Douleur and Col de la Croix.Anything but an easy ride for the Tour cyclists, even the most experienced over difficult terrain!