2012 Tour de France: Stage 20 Results, Notes, and Quotes

The shortest road stage of the 2012 Tour de France featured 2 climbs, an intermediate sprint, 8 laps on the Champs-Elysees, and plenty of traditions.

First, the four jersey leaders led the peloton through the neutral zone. Then, the current champion shook hands (Wiggins) with the former champion (Evans). Team Sky then rode a kilometer in solidarity for photos.

There were two Cat-4’s on the stage:  KOM winner Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) won the first climb, the Cote de Saint Remy les Chevreuse.  Ruben Plaza (Movistar) won the final climb of the 2012 Tour de France, the Cote de Chateaufort.

Otherwise, the “fireworks” started as Team Sky lead the riders onto the  Champs-Elysees before turning that honor over to George Hincapie (BMC) as a retiring rider.   Chris Horner (RadioShack) was on his wheel.  Hincapie said about the honor,

“It was a relief. Exciting.  Emotional….it’s always been a special feeling.”

After this, the first attacks started, prompted by Andriy Grivko (Astana).  Jerome Pineau (Omega Pharma Quick Step) was next.  With 7laps remaining, Jens Voigt (RadioShack) was next to attack.  He was joined by Danilo Hondo (Lampre) who took the intermediate sprint.

With 6 laps left, Voigt and Hondo had a 10 second gap. A chase group of 4 joined the German duo as 4 more riders broke off the front.

 

Wiggins on the Final Podium
via: UCI Media

With 5 laps, the groups merged, yielding a lead group of 11: Rui Costa (Movistar), Voigt, Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Sebastien Minard (AG2R), Maxim Iglinsky (Astana), Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank), Lars Bak (Lotto),  Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Jean-Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun), Bram Tankink (Rabobank), and Aliaksandr Kuchynski(Katusha).

Team Sky continued to lead the peloton as Sammy Dumoulin (Cofidis) and Christophe Kern (Europcar) had mechanicals.  The gap to the break went out to over 20 seconds.

With half the circuits done, Liquigas moved forward to help with the peloton’s pace-setting as Brice Feillu (Saur-sojasun) was next to have a mechanical.  The gap was out to 30 seconds with 20kms remaining.

3 laps to go, Lotto moved forward to also help at the front of the peloton.  This helped bring the break back inside 20 seconds, thereby prompting Voigt to increase the break’s tempo.  This shred the group down to three riders in front—Minard, Voigt, and Costa.

At the start of the final lap, with 6kms to go, the gap was down to 16 seconds.  Saxo Bank moved to the front of the peloton now to try to help catch the break as the sprinter teams’ trains began to form.  There was a crash with 3.6kms left involving Danilo Hondo.  One kilometer later, the break was caught.

In the closing 2 kms of the Tour, Sky and Liquigas were the dominant teams lining up for the sprint while Saxo Bank, Garmin, and Orica GreenEdge were also present.  The yellow jersey of Wiggins led the peloton through the 1km to go banner.  Mark Cavendish (Sky) opened his sprint on the final corner and withheld a surging Peter Sagan (Liquigas) to take his fourth win on the Champs-Elysees.  Wiggins kept the yellow jersey, giving Team Sky an incredibly successful Tour de France.  The maillot jaune remarked,

“I’ve had 24 hours for this to soak in and today we were just on a mission to finish the job off with Cav. So job done and what a way for him to finish it off. I’m still buzzing from the Champs-Elysees.”

Cavendish summarized Team Sky’s Tour as follows:

It’s incredible what we’ve achieved today – what a team. We got a one and two on GC but still we were riding to control things on the Champs-Elysees. It was an honour to have the yellow jersey leading me out. Bradley told me he’d go full gas to the last kilometre and then Edvald (Boasson Hagen) led me into the last corner. The finish couldn’t have been more perfect – no better end to this Tour.

“It’s an incredible achievement for the team. Four years ago we said we were setting out to win the Tour, but we haven’t just done that, we’ve got second place as well and a handful of stages. Seven stages have been won by British guys this year so that’s one in three – not a bad stat.”

Stage 20 Results:

1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling3:08:07
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
3Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
4Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
5Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
6Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team
7Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
8André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team
9Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
10Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur – Sojasun

Final GC:

1Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling87:34:47
2Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling0:03:21
3Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:06:19
4Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:10:15
5Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:11:04
6Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan0:15:41
7Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:15:49
8Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar0:16:26
9Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team0:16:33
10Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:17:17

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