A rough two days in the mountains doesn’t get much easier for the riders on Stage 12 of the 2012 Tour de France: three climbs are on deck, including two Cat-1’s within the first 80kms.
The riders will have a very short amount to work out who will be in the day’s break: the first climb of the day, the Cat 1 Col du Grand Cucheron, starts at the 19.5km mark and lasts 12.5kms with an average gradient of 6.5%.
Following a tricky descent, riders will next have to climb the Col du Granier. This Cat-1 is 9.7kms long with the summit occurring at 80.5kms. Steeper than the previous climb, this one has an average gradient of 8.6%.
From here, things will start tilting downward, allowing some of the dropped riders to catch back on to the peloton just in time for the intermediate sprint at 153kms in Marcilloles.
It won’t be an easy sprint to the finish, however….the Cat-3 Cote d’Ardoix climb awaits near the finish. This 5.9km long climb summits at 207.5kms after an average gradient of 3.4%.
With 18.5kms left to the finish, a fast descent will bring the Stage to a close in Annonay Davezieux.
With two riders finishing outside the time limit on Stage 11 (Lampre’s Yuriy Krivtsov and Alessandro Petacchi), everyone needs to watch the clock to finish inside the time cuts!