Tour de France: Stage 12 – Kittel!

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Stage 12 of the Tour de France saw the peloton race from Fougères to a well known stop over for the Tour de France, Tours and fittingly it was Marcel Kittel who won the stage

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After a straight forward drag race between Cavendish and Kittel, the German Argos rider won his third stage and in the last two sprints, beaten both Cavendish and Greipel. Photo: ASO/B.Bade

With not a single categorised hill on the stage over a distance of 218km, it was always going to see a small break dominate the race before it got tasty as the race approached Tours. It only took a few kilometres before the right combination went up the road and that man Flecha was yet again part of the action. The break consisted of Romain Sicard, Francesco Gavazzi, Anthony Delaplace, Manuele Mori and Juan Antonio Flecha.

CAVENDISH: “You can sit there and analyze it, but when there is someone simply faster than you there is nothing you can do”

The peloton quickly sat up and the gap went out very quickly indeed, over seven minutes after only 30 kilometres. That would suggest quite a slow speed for the first hour but not so as the riders sped along at 47km/h and after the first hour, the break’s lead was nine minutes. As it was a sprinter’s stage, Sky was given a break and the three big sprint teams in the race, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Lotto-Belisol and Argos-Shimano, took up the chase.

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Photo: ASO/B.Bade

With the chase on, and some cross winds spicing things up for a while, the lead of the break came down and after 100k was under six minutes and it continued to fall and with 80 (50 miles) to go it was under five minutes. At 52k from the finish came the all important intermediate sprint won by Gavazzi from Flecha and Mori with Cavendish showing for the first time in an intermediate sprint, winning the bunch kick to show how fired up he is.

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The break working hard to build a big lead. Photo: ASO/B.Bade

After the sprint, the break was down to four riders with Romain Sicard going backwards whilst back in the bunch with still over 30k left to race, the ‘trains’ were starting to get organised while Quickstep, Argos and Lotto controlled the tempo of the peloton ahead of the Sky train for race leader Chris Froome.

MARCEL KITTEL:  “It’s quite unbelievable. It feels like a dream and it’s something very, very special for me and the whole team. The boys did a great job.

With 25 kilometres to, the peloton closing in, the break started to implode, riders attacking each other as others sat in. In the peloton, as we have seen on other stages, the GC rider trains started to make themselves known at the front and with 20k to go, the lead of the break was only 500 metres or so. It was important for the sprint trains to keep something back for the finale especially on this stage with a few tight right hand bends close to the finish.

Richie Porte came up to the Quickstep riders for a word and soon it was Sky on the front with Quickstep in behind them. On the other side of the road was Saxobank for Contador with Orica GreenEdge in the middle.

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Photo: ASO/B.Bade

With less than ten miles to go, the break was being caught one by one with Flecha the last to be brought to heel by the peloton which was threading its way around the road furniture as the race approached Tours.

Flecha held on until there was only a 6k to go but there was plenty going on at the front with Saxobank riding strong alongside Orica and FDJ at the front. Froome was being swamped with few teammates and it showed the difference between his team and that of Saxobank who were doing a better job. A crash right on the front of the string by an Orica rider made hearts race a bit behind but Quickstep soon took it with 3k to go.

Cannondale were battling with Quickstep before Argos came to the front before a pile up halfway down the peloton including world champion Gilbert. A lot of Lotto riders were in the crash including Greipel dashing their hopes as Quickstep and Argos went side by side at the front. Steegmans and Veelers both took their leaders to within touching distance of the line where Kittel came off Cav’s wheel and after a drag race towards the line with a throw of the bike, stole the win off Cavendish!

Three stages now, Marcek Kittel says of his beating of Mark Cavendish “It’s quite unbelievable. It feels like a dream and it’s something very, very special for me and the whole team. The boys did a great job. We stayed really calm today and I cannot say that anyone made a mistake – the sprint preparation was very good and I’m unbelievably proud of how we stick together and I really enjoy working with My Boys.”

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Kittel – is he becoming the fastest man in the world on two wheels? Photo: ASO/ P.Perreve

“Today I was the fastest man in the peloton. Koen de Kort was a bit afraid that I might win again because we had a bet that, if I win three stages he has to shave his head. This is going to happen now. Since the first win we could just enjoy the Tour and easily focus on the next goals: winning stages. We have three wins already now and I’m so proud of my whole team. It’s difficult to describe it with words.

“I want to finish the Tour de France and that means making it all the way to Paris and now I just have to survive another sprint stage and the Alps. It’s pretty hard there, I’ve heard, but with the race that we’ve done already we can actually relax a little and that gives us a lot of extra motivation.”

Mark Cavendish: “You can sit there and analyze it, but when there is someone simply faster than you there is nothing you can do,” Cavendish said. “I don’t think me, or the team, could have done anything differently. He was just simply better today.”

“I tweeted the other day I think he’s the next big thing. I spoke with him today actually. I think he’s the next superstar in sprinting and he showed it today. He’s won three stages now and that’s not easy. I can tell you that from experience.”

“My team did incredible today,” Cavendish said. “We analyzed the finish beforehand. In the last days I think we’ve been a little to eager, you know, which is kind of a good thing because it means you’ve got the commitment from everybody. But ultimately we always ran out of guys.”

“So today we talked about staying calm and staying patient and going at the last moment. The guys were a lot more comfortable and it made my job a lot easier. I’m just really disappointed I couldn’t finish it off for them.”

Yellow Jersey Chris Froome: “It was alright today. I was happy on my team-mates’ wheels throughout the stage. Some teams did look like they were about to take it up and it’s a reminder that we just have to concentrate all the way through and keep an eye on proceedings. I could hear the crash behind me, but I didn’t see anything.”

“I didn’t see anyone go down but I heard it happen with about two kilometres to go and Edvald [Boasson Hagen] was caught up in that. I think he came in holding his shoulder and he’s just with the team doctors at the moment checking out what the injuries are (He’s sout of the Tour first reports say).

“Any day in the Tour de France has its challenges. You’ve got to stay awake and keep an eye on things – at any moment things can change and the race can be taken away from you. It was a big effort yesterday and naturally I felt it in the legs a little bit today but hopefully no more than the other guys in the peloton.”

“I’m looking forward to the Alps and getting closer to Paris.”

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Rider of the stage, Flecha. Photo: ASO/ P.Perreve

Stage 12

1 KITTEL Marcel Team Argos – Shimano 04:49:49
2 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
3 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
4 KRISTOFF Alexander Katusha Team @ st
5 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida @ st
6 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE @ st
7 ROJAS GIL Jose Joaquin Movistar Team @ st
8 GENE Yohann Team Europcar @ st
9 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
10 DUMOULIN Samuel AG2R La Mondiale @ st
11 LAGUTIN Sergey Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
12 STEEGMANS Gert Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
13 SIMON Julien Sojasun @ st
14 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling @ st
15 GARCíA ETXEGIBEL Egoitz Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
16 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
17 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team @ st
18 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team @ st
19 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
20 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team @ st
21 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
22 ROCHE Nicolas Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
23 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp @ st
24 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
25 DE KORT Koen Team Argos – Shimano @ st
26 DUMOULIN Tom Team Argos – Shimano @ st
27 FAVILLI Elia Lampre – Merida @ st
28 STANNARD Ian Sky Procycling @ st
29 SABATINI Fabio Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
30 CURVERS Roy Team Argos – Shimano @ st
31 DEGENKOLB John Team Argos – Shimano @ st
32 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
33 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team @ st
34 GENIEZ Alexandre Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr @ st
35 VICHOT Arthur Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr @ st
36 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr @ st
37 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team @ st
38 JEANNESSON Arnold Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr @ st
39 PEREZ MORENO Ruben Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
40 BODNAR Maciej Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
41 TERPSTRA Niki Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
42 BENNATI Daniele Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
43 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
44 KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr Katusha Team @ st
45 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team @ st
46 TOSATTO Matteo Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
47 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ st
48 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team @ st
49 MALACARNE Davide Team Europcar @ st
50 HOOGERLAND Johnny Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
51 MARINO Jean Marc Sojasun @ st
52 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team @ st
53 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team @ st
54 BRUTT Pavel Katusha Team @ st
55 LOSADA ALGUACIL Alberto Katusha Team @ st
56 VELITS Peter Omega Pharma – Quick-Step @ st
57 WYNANTS Maarten Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
58 TANKINK Bram Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
59 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale @ st
60 AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA Andrey Movistar Team @ st
61 COSTA Rui Movistar Team @ st
62 KOREN Kristjan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
63 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
64 VANDBORG Brian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
65 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
66 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw Lampre – Merida @ st
67 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team @ st
68 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team @ st
69 MINARD Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale @ st
70 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team @ st
71 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale @ st
72 LEVARLET Guillaume Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
73 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard @ st
74 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp @ st
75 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
76 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
77 ASTARLOZA CHAURREAU Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
78 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
79 GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE @ st
80 MARANGONI Alan Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st
81 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team @ st
82 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE @ st
83 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre – Merida @ st
84 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida @ st
85 MOLARD Rudy Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
86 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
87 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE Haimar RadioShack – Leopard @ st
88 QUINZIATO Manuel BMC Racing Team @ st
89 GADRET John AG2R La Mondiale @ st
90 BURGHARDT Marcus BMC Racing Team @ st
91 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar @ st
92 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team @ st
93 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar @ st
94 WESTRA Lieuwe Vacansoleil – DCM @ st
95 VEELERS Tom Team Argos – Shimano @ st
96 TIMMER Albert Team Argos – Shimano @ st
97 VUILLERMOZ Alexis Sojasun @ st
98 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team @ st
99 DELAPLACE Anthony Sojasun @ st
100 SIUTSOU Kanstantsin Sky Procycling @ st
101 MEDEREL Maxime Sojasun @ st
102 TAARAMäE Rein Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
103 DUPONT Hubert AG2R La Mondiale @ st
104 LE MEVEL Christophe Cofidis Solutions Crédits @ st
105 PLAZA MOLINA Ruben Movistar Team @ st
106 OROZ UGALDE Juan Jos̩ Euskaltel РEuskadi @ st
107 FEDRIGO Pierrick Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr @ st
108 DIDIER Laurent RadioShack – Leopard @ st
109 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard @ st
110 IRIZAR ARANBURU Markel RadioShack – Leopard @ st
111 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard @ st
112 GALLOPIN Tony RadioShack – Leopard @ st
113 VOIGT Jens RadioShack – Leopard @ st
114 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling @ st
115 BAZAYEV Assan Astana Pro Team @ st
116 TROFIMOV Yuri Katusha Team @ st
117 VORGANOV Eduard Katusha Team @ st

OVERALL

1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 47:19:13
2 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team 03:25
3 MOLLEMA Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling Team 03:37
4 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 03:54
5 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 03:57
6 TEN DAM Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling Team 04:10
7 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 04:44
8 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander Movistar Team 05:18
9 COSTA Rui Movistar Team 05:37
10 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 05:39
11 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team 05:48
12 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team ,,
13 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 05:52
14 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 06:54
15 NIEVE ITURALDE Mikel Euskaltel – Euskadi 08:04
16 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff 08:28
17 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard 08:32
18 MORENO FERNáNDEZ Daniel Katusha Team 09:34
19 MONFORT Maxime RadioShack – Leopard 10:16
20 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi 10:48
21 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 11:37
22 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida 12:16
23 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM 13:09
24 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 13:11
25 NAVARRO GARCIA Daniel Cofidis Solutions Crédits 14:50
26 CHAVANEL Sylvain Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 16:00
27 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar 16:38
28 MALACARNE Davide Team Europcar 17:57
29 BAKELANTS Jan RadioShack – Leopard 19:02
30 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team 19:59

 

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