Thursday, 14 July 2011

#TDF Stage 12 Up, up and up again.

The only time we are likely to see the new wearer of the green jersey Mark Cavendish in today's stage is at 92km when he will be after as many points as possible once again. In the last couple of days that as been everyone that was going for the peleton. The reason that this will be the last we see of Cav, we're heading to the Pyrenées.

After the sprint we make our first ascent in the Tour of the Hourquette d'Ancizan. Over a 10 km distance we climb about 800m. This is however, the easiest of the three climbs on today's stage being only a first category climb. There is then 16.5km of descent down to Sainte-Marie-de-Campan.

Then it is unto a more familiar peak in the Tour.

The 76th Ascent of the Col de Tourmalet in 101 years come next. It was climbed twice last year to mark its centenary on the Tour. An honour that will go the Col du Galibier later in this year's addition. This is the eastern approach to the Tourmalet where the last 12km don't average less than 7%. The lead group here may well start to show us who the major contendors are, but we are not finised when we get to the statue for Jacques Goddet, it is down to Luz St Saveur. Where up above will be seen Luz Ardiden the finish of today's stage.

If there was a group out in front that survived over the Tourmalet, they are likely to be caught on the ascent to the ski station carpark at Luz Ardiden. The contenders are likely test each other out. Tomorrow although still in the Pyrenées has a 'flat' run in to Pau, before another tough day on Saturday. I'll be expected Alberto Contador ro launch some sort of attack, as he needs still to get back some of the time that he is lacking.

Of course though we live in hope that the climb to Luz Ardiden tomorrow is less action back to the GC contenders than Lance Armstrong's acsent in 2003, this is the 2011 Tour. So I'm half expecting it to be just as filled with incident.

Tomorrow's stage also passes not far from Lannermezan, indeed in is close to today's feed station. It was the town that in the 2004 Tour a young Frenchman wearing yellow for the 7th day on the trot set off towards Plateau de Beille (we'll be there on Saturday). That man, Thomas Voeckler, is currently again wearing yellow. He may be thankful that we are not going through Lannermezan as he lost the jersy as he climbed that day. However, Voeckler doesn't have as big a lead as he did in 2004. I fully expect him to no longer be in the Maillot Jaune at the end of the day, even if it is Bastille Day.

In the meantime here is 2003.

No comments:

Post a Comment