Tour de France – Stage 12


Milan San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff denies Peter Sagan who has his 9th top 10 out of 12 stages in this years Tour de France

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Tour de France – Stage 12

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Alexander Kristoff won the 60 up bunch gallop near the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne where green jersey wearer Peter Sagan lamented yet another second place in this years Tour, his fourth in 12 stages. This is the first Tour de France stage win for the Norwegian.


Photo: ASO

Five riders in the lead
At the initiative of the Dutch champion, a group of five riders was formed after ten kilometers of racing, including Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp), Gregory Rast (Trek), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), David De La Cruz (NetApp-Endura) and Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement).

Astana and Giant-Shimano were prompt to take over control at the front of the peloton in order to keep the race together behind the leading quintet. As they cruised in between the wonders of the Beaujolais, with vineyards and castles looking picturesque under hot and sunny skies, the break got a maximum lead of 4.50 at Fleurie, km 43. After 50km of racing, Giant-Shimano’s Chinese rider – and lanterne rouge – Ji Cheng seized the reins of the peloton. He was faithful to his now famous nickname: “breakaway killer”.

Heavy crash takes De La Cruz out
After 90 kiometres, De La Cruz crashed heavily on a bend Le Bois-d’Oingt. The Catalan rider was experiencing his first Tour de France and he was keen to challenge compatriot Joaquim Rodriguez in the King of the Mountains competition but he was forced to quit the Tour with a broken collarbone.

Langeveld also went down as well but managed to get back on. After 95km, as everyone slowed down, the difference between Rast, Clarke, Vachon and Langeveld at the front had five minutes over the peloton. Half way into the race, Europcar came to the front of the bunch to help Giant-Shimano. The time gap was reduced to 2.15 with 50km to go.

The long climb to col des Brosses saw Vachon and Rast unable to follow the two strongest riders in the front group: Clarke and Langeveld. The two former team-mates at Orica-GreenEdge united their efforts until the Australian rode away solo with 26km to go while Perrig Quémeneur and Cyril Gautier (Europcar) going clear of the peloton.

The trio sped down the descent with Gautier gapping his teammate and into the finale, it was just Clarke, sitting in and refusing to work, and Gautier. The Frenchman tried to attack Clarke who doggedly hung on until the peloton with Cannondale leading the way caught them with 5 k to go.

Griepel who had got over the climbs meanwhile, crashed out and then had a right go at Chavanel for causing it. At the front of the peloton, Cannondale had kept all their strength for the finish this time but it was still not enough for Peter Sagan to win a bunch sprint as Alexander Kristoff, the only Norwegian in the race, jumped first and Sagan was unable to get around him. The 27 year old from Stavanger put an end to three years of a Norwegian drought at the Tour since Edvald Boasson Hagen won stage 17 to Pinerolo in 2011.


Alexander Kristoff: “I’ve been dreaming about this day since I was a child. I’ve had some second places this year and also last year, but to finally achieve a first is fantastic. My teammate Luca did a great job keeping me in the front and then at the end I also had Porsev but we lost each other in the last corners so I was sitting on (Matteo) Trentin for the last 500 meters. I was waiting and waiting but then I saw (John) Degenkolb go and knew I had to go also. I was so happy when I saw no one could pass me.”

“We will have some champagne tonight but tomorrow is a hard stage so we won’t have too much of a party”.


Photo: ASO/X.Bourgois

“I still believe Milan-San Remo is a bigger win. It’s a one-day classic. Here at the Tour there are twenty one stages. But I’ve always dreamt of winning a stage at the Tour de France, so it’s the second biggest win of my career today. I knew this morning there was a possibility to win. Yesterday, I took it easy because I wanted to be fresh for today. I saved my legs. I tried absolutely nothing yesterday and I still felt good on the climbs today. I never reached my limits”.

“However, I was a bit nervous before the sprint. I was afraid of being boxed in. In fact, I lost my team-mates Luca Paolini and Alexander Porsev. Many teams tried to go to the front but I realized that Matteo Trentin had the best lead out, so I took his wheel. That was a good move. I started my sprint exactly where I wanted. I did the right thing. I hope it’s crazy in Norway tonight and it’s party time in the whole country”.

“It’s funny to hear that some people cried because I didn’t cry. It’s a good feeling though. I can imagine my family, my friends and other people being happy. I’ve been in Norway watching the Tour de France so many times so I know that feeling of watching a Norwegian winning and I’m the only Norwegian in the Tour de France this year. This is the biggest race. It’s THE race that everybody knows.”
Peter Sagan “A lot of riders in the peloton would like to finish second four or five times but I don’t. Giant has worked at the front all day. Then my team organized the sprint finish and everything went well until three kilometers to go but Kristoff has done better than me. It seems to being my destiny to come second… but it’s all good, I’m here for the green jersey. I might be more tired than the other sprinters who take it easy more often than I do.”

Richie Porte “The last two days have been anything but easy. It’s certainly got hot here at the Tour and it’s nice to get through those stages, and tomorrow we’re into the mountains. The atmosphere is always good within Team Sky. We’ve still got some strong guys for the climbs, obviously we’ve lost Xabi Zadio and Chris Froome and it does hurt being two men down, but I think we’ll be fine.”

“It’s a big opportunity. It’s not an easy two days coming up and I think it’s going to be absolutely crucial in terms of the general classification, so I’m looking to take more time out of the guys behind me.”

Geraint Thomas: 12th “I don’t know if I’m looking forward to the mountains,” said the Welshman. “It’s been two hard days – everyone talks about transition days as being easy but it’s been anything but, especially with the heat – it’s been tough going. We were out in the sun for five hours today and I was really feeling it, hopefully I’ll get used to it though.”

“Richie suits the long, consistent gradients in the Alps and hopefully it’ll be a good few days for him. There’s always going to be a chance for Richie to take time in the Alps, he just needs to not get drawn into what happened the other day when everyone else sat on his wheel. He’s going to get stuck in, see what he can do, and hopefully come out of the two stages in the same position, if not a bit closer to Nibali. That’d be great. We can’t just think about Nibali though – there’s a lot of other guys close to him – so we have to play the game a bit.”

“If Movistar feel like they can get something out of it, for sure they’ll get stuck in again, like every team. Every day has been unpredictable so far and you can’t fall asleep for a second, anything can happen. There are some tough days coming up so if someone feels good on a long, hard, hot day, there’s going to be the opportunity to make up some time.”

Vincenzo Nibali (RACE LEADER): “It’s been the typical flat French stage, very difficult with a lot of bends and downhills, and a bunch sprint at the end. We have controlled the early part of the race. Tomorrow, it’ll be another story. I didn’t go to reconnoitre those climbs in the Alps. I’m more afraid of the second Alpine stage than the first one. In the first one, everybody’s got energy. But the second one requires more efforts than the first one”.

“We’ll handle the race with the team. It’s not easy to control. I’m sure our rivals will try to attack but on the other hand, if I can gain some seconds, I’ll go for it. Attacks from far out can happen, but whatever happens tomorrow, the Tour de France will not end tomorrow”.

“I’ll have to evaluate the strength of my adversaries and consider every race situation. I’m not worried because I know I’ll be able to count on the support of Jakob Fuglsang, Tanel Kangert and Michele Scarponi. They can give a lot in the climbs! I’m happy with my weight now but, as my team doctor said, it’s been difficult to reach that weight”.

“The doctor and I had the same race program this year. He always put me on the scale to control my weight and said: ‘Vincenzo, you have to work’. I’ve made it. I arrived at the Tour with the same weight I had for my big successes at the Giro and the Vuelta. Hypothetically, this weight is 64 kilos.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): The Endura clad rider says “It was a tough day, but one we did well to get through”, commented the man still in 3rd overall of this Tour, 2’47” behind Nibali (AST) “Let’s see how we recover and tackle the two upcoming stages. Attacking or sticking? We’ll see. It will depend on my legs to jump away or wait for a better chance. I like both stages and only need to feel strong at the right moment. Nibali? I saw him doing well today.”

Romain Bardet: Best young rider “I’ll do my best to defend the white jersey but first of all, I fight to defend my fourth place overall, so the two goals are combined. It’ll be a standard uphill finish tomorrow. I expect Nibali to play in defense. I’ll attack, why not, if legs permit. For now, they’re good. It was hot today but it’ll be worse tomorrow. I know this region well. Approaching Grenoble, it’s usually hard to breathe but it should be a bit fresher on the way up to Chamrousse.”

Joaquim Rodriguez: King of the mountains “It’s wonderful that my team-mate Alexander Kristoff won today. I knew he was able to do it. He was getting closer and closer. As for myself, I’ve taken it easy in order to save some energy for tomorrow. Now in my mind, the polka dot jersey is the most important. But it’s compatible with a stage win”.

“Going for KOM points requires entering breakaways in the mountains anyway. Tomorrow’s stage is different from the standard mountain stages because there’s a third category climb at the beginning, so the question is: is it worth breaking away early or is it better waiting for the final part of the stage? We’ll see. I’m pretty confident. I’m feeling better and better.”

Tejay Van Garderen “It was a hard day, just with the winding and twisty roads – up and down all day,” van Garderen said. “But it was fairly relaxed out there. I like how I am feeling and I like where I am sitting. So I just need to keep doing my thing.”

Matteo Trentin: relegated after placing 6th for impeding the sprint of John Degenkolb: “I’m really sorry for what happened with John,” Trentin said. “It was a mistake, but not intentional. I was focused on Kwiatkowski in front of me, and then swung on the left side to launch my sprint and didn’t look behind me. I didn’t realize I made a move that affected the sprint of John until I watched the images once we arrived at the hotel. Again, I apologize for what happened in today’s sprint. I’m sorry also for the team because they did a great job and Kwiato delivered me perfectly.”


Simon Clarke (above, Photo: ASO/X.Bourgois): “The only way you are going to win is if you really put it on the line. You have to risk losing to win,” Clarke said. “We had a big plan today to make sure at least one of us was in the breakaway and then have a couple of guys waiting for the sprint. We abided by the plan and did everything we could. We can only keep doing that and hopefully it will pay off eventually.”

1 Kristoff Alexander Team Katusha 04h 32′ 11”
2 Sagan Peter Cannondale
3 Demare Arnaud Fdj.Fr
4 Albasini Michael Orica Greenedge
5 Navardauskas Ramunas Garmin – Sharp
6 Bennati Daniele Tinkoff-Saxo
7 Coquard Bryan Team Europcar
8 Oss Daniel Bmc Racing Team
9 Dumoulin Samuel Ag2r La Mondiale
10 Rojas Gil José Joaquin Movistar Team
11 Feillu Romain Bretagne – Seche Environnement
12 Fonseca Armindo Bretagne – Seche Environnement
13 Degenkolb John Team Giant-Shimano
14 Roelandts Jurgen Lotto-Belisol
15 Mollema Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling
16 Kwiatkowski Michal Omega Pharma-Quick Step
17 Haussler Heinrich Iam Cycling
18 Lemoine Cyril Cofidis, Solutions Credits
19 Delaplace Anthony Bretagne – Seche Environnement
20 Porte Richie Team Sky
21 Horner Christopher Lampre – Merida
22 Gerrans Simon Orica Greenedge
23 Gastauer Ben Ag2r La Mondiale
24 Nibali Vincenzo Astana Pro Team
25 Thomas Geraint Team Sky
26 Feillu Brice Bretagne – Seche Environnement
27 Tankink Bram Belkin Pro Cycling
28 Porsev Alexander Team Katusha
29 Van Den Broeck Jurgen Lotto-Belisol
30 Fuglsang Jakob Astana Pro Team
31 Nieve Iturralde Mikel Team Sky
32 Viviani Elia Cannondale
33 Valverde Belmonte Alejandro Movistar Team
34 Rolland Pierre Team Europcar
35 Péraud Jean-Christophe Ag2r La Mondiale
36 Pinot Thibaut Fdj.Fr
37 Eisel Bernhard Team Sky
38 Van Garderen Tejay Bmc Racing Team
39 Bardet Romain Ag2r La Mondiale
40 Kruijswijk Steven Belkin Pro Cycling
41 Ten Dam Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling
42 Konig Leopold Team Netapp-Endura
43 Voss Paul Team Netapp-Endura
44 Zubeldia Agirre Haimar Trek Factory Racing
45 Bideau Jean-Marc Bretagne – Seche Environnement
46 Kangert Tanel Astana Pro Team
47 Costa Rui Alberto Lampre – Merida
48 Schleck Frank Trek Factory Racing
49 Pineau Jérôme Iam Cycling
50 Trofimov Yury Team Katusha
51 Velits Peter Bmc Racing Team
52 Stetina Peter Bmc Racing Team
53 Gautier Cyril Team Europcar
54 Keukeleire Jens Orica Greenedge
55 Arashiro Yukiya Team Europcar
56 Irizar Arranburu Markel Trek Factory Racing
57 Reichenbach Sébastien Iam Cycling
58 Martin Tony Omega Pharma-Quick Step
59 Roy Jérémy Fdj.Fr
60 Trentin Matteo Omega Pharma-Quick Step
61 Schär Michael Bmc Racing Team + 00′ 16”
62 De Kort Koen Team Giant-Shimano + 00′ 20”
63 Hansen Adam Lotto-Belisol + 00′ 20”
64 Delage Mickaël Fdj.Fr + 00′ 24”
65 Grivko Andriy Astana Pro Team + 00′ 25”
66 Morkov Michael Tinkoff-Saxo + 00′ 31”
67 Reza Kévin Team Europcar + 00′ 41”
68 Guillou Florian Bretagne – Seche Environnement + 00′ 41”
69 Curvers Roy Team Giant-Shimano + 00′ 41”
70 Visconti Giovanni Movistar Team + 00′ 45”
71 Sabatini Fabio Cannondale + 00′ 45”
72 Koren Kristijan Cannondale + 00′ 45”
73 Bakelants Jan Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 00′ 52”
74 Paolini Luca Team Katusha + 01′ 12”
75 Marcato Marco Cannondale + 01′ 16”
76 Jarrier Benoit Bretagne – Seche Environnement + 01′ 20”
77 Golas Michal Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 01′ 34”
78 De Marchi Alessandro Cannondale + 01′ 34”
79 Bodnar Maciej Cannondale + 01′ 34”
80 Mate Mardones Luis Angel Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 01′ 34”
81 Pineau Cedric Fdj.Fr + 01′ 34”
82 Jeannesson Arnold Fdj.Fr + 01′ 34”
83 King Benjamin Garmin – Sharp + 01′ 34”
84 Rogers Michael Tinkoff-Saxo + 01′ 34”
85 Cherel Mikael Ag2r La Mondiale + 01′ 34”
86 Meier Christian Orica Greenedge + 01′ 34”
87 Dumoulin Tom Team Giant-Shimano + 01′ 34”
88 Molard Rudy Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 01′ 34”
89 Sieberg Marcel Lotto-Belisol + 01′ 34”
90 Terpstra Niki Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 01′ 39”
91 Smukulis Gatis Team Katusha + 02′ 06”
92 Barta Jan Team Netapp-Endura + 02′ 06”
93 Navarro Garcia Daniel Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 02′ 24”
94 Gerard Arnaud Bretagne – Seche Environnement + 02′ 24”
95 Voeckler Thomas Team Europcar + 02′ 24”
96 Wyss Marcel Iam Cycling + 02′ 24”
97 Elmiger Martin Iam Cycling + 02′ 24”
98 Bak Lars Lotto-Belisol + 02′ 24”
99 Westra Lieuwe Astana Pro Team + 02′ 24”
100 Erviti Ollo Imanol Movistar Team + 02′ 24”
101 Plaza Molina Ruben Movistar Team + 02′ 24”
102 Gadret John Movistar Team + 02′ 24”
103 Durasek Kristijan Lampre – Merida + 02′ 24”
104 Hollenstein Reto Iam Cycling + 02′ 24”
105 Simon Julien Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 02′ 24”
106 Minard Sébastien Ag2r La Mondiale + 02′ 24”
107 Van Summeren Johan Garmin – Sharp + 02′ 24”
108 Serpa José Lampre – Merida + 02′ 24”
109 Wynants Maarten Belkin Pro Cycling + 02′ 24”
110 Van Avermaet Greg Bmc Racing Team + 02′ 24”
111 Boom Lars Belkin Pro Cycling + 02′ 24”
112 Dempster Zakkari Team Netapp-Endura + 02′ 24”
113 Schillinger Andreas Team Netapp-Endura + 02′ 24”
114 Paulinho Sergio Miguel Moreira Tinkoff-Saxo + 02′ 24”
115 Tosatto Matteo Tinkoff-Saxo + 02′ 24”
116 Petacchi Alessandro Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 02′ 24”
117 Moinard Amaël Bmc Racing Team + 02′ 24”
118 Kiryienka Vasili Team Sky + 02′ 24”
119 Roche Nicolas Tinkoff-Saxo + 02′ 24”
120 Yates Simon Orica Greenedge + 02′ 24”
121 Tuft Svein Orica Greenedge + 02′ 24”
122 Montaguti Matteo Ag2r La Mondiale + 02′ 24”
123 Quemeneur Perrig Team Europcar + 02′ 53”
124 Isaichev Vladimir Team Katusha + 03′ 29”
125 Huzarski Bartosz Team Netapp-Endura + 04′ 01”
126 Slagter Tom Jelte Garmin – Sharp + 04′ 01”
127 Spilak Simon Team Katusha + 04′ 01”
128 Chavanel Sylvain Iam Cycling + 04′ 44”
129 Vanmarcke Sep Belkin Pro Cycling + 04′ 53”
130 Petit Adrien Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 05′ 11”
131 Majka Rafal Tinkoff-Saxo + 05′ 40”
132 Lopez Garcia David Team Sky + 05′ 45”
133 Rodriguez Joaquim Team Katusha + 05′ 45”
134 Valls Rafael Lampre – Merida + 05′ 45”
135 Pimenta Costa Mendes José Team Netapp-Endura + 05′ 45”
136 Edet Nicolas Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 05′ 45”
137 Kadri Blel Ag2r La Mondiale + 05′ 45”
138 Ladagnous Matthieu Fdj.Fr + 05′ 45”
139 Gallopin Tony Lotto-Belisol + 05′ 45”
140 Greipel André Lotto-Belisol + 05′ 58”
141 Clarke Simon Orica Greenedge + 06′ 23”
142 Devenyns Dries Team Giant-Shimano + 07′ 09”
143 Bauer Jack Garmin – Sharp + 07′ 14”
144 Kluge Roger Iam Cycling + 07′ 14”
145 Izaguirre Insausti Jon Movistar Team + 07′ 14”
146 Taaramäe Rein Cofidis, Solutions Credits + 07′ 14”
147 Timmer Albert Team Giant-Shimano + 07′ 14”
148 Voigt Jens Trek Factory Racing + 10′ 12”
149 Kittel Marcel Team Giant-Shimano + 10′ 12”
150 Herrada Lopez Jesus Movistar Team + 10′ 12”
151 Machado Tiago Team Netapp-Endura + 10′ 12”
152 Renshaw Mark Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 10′ 12”
153 Durbridge Luke Orica Greenedge + 10′ 12”
154 Howes Alex Garmin – Sharp + 10′ 12”
155 Vanotti Alessandro Astana Pro Team + 10′ 12”
156 Veelers Tom Team Giant-Shimano + 10′ 12”
157 Acevedo Calle Janier Alexis Garmin – Sharp + 10′ 12”
158 Burghardt Marcus Bmc Racing Team + 10′ 12”
159 Rast Gregory Trek Factory Racing + 10′ 12”
160 Oliveira Nelson Lampre – Merida + 10′ 12”
161 Busche Matthew Trek Factory Racing + 10′ 12”
162 Pate Danny Team Sky + 10′ 12”
163 Bonnet William Fdj.Fr + 10′ 12”
164 Leezer Thomas Belkin Pro Cycling + 10′ 12”
165 Intxausti Benat Movistar Team + 10′ 12”
166 Cimolai Davide Lampre – Merida + 10′ 12”
167 Langeveld Sebastian Garmin – Sharp + 10′ 12”
168 Iglinskiy Maxim Astana Pro Team + 10′ 12”
169 Gruzdev Dmitriy Astana Pro Team + 10′ 12”
170 Scarponi Michele Astana Pro Team + 10′ 12”
171 Marino Jean Marc Cannondale + 10′ 12”
172 Gene Yohann Team Europcar + 10′ 12”
173 Vachon Florian Bretagne – Seche Environnement + 10′ 12”
174 Pichot Alexandre Team Europcar + 10′ 12”
175 Vichot Arthur Fdj.Fr + 12′ 04”
176 Riblon Christophe Ag2r La Mondiale + 12′ 04”
177 Ji Cheng Team Giant-Shimano + 12′ 04”

1 Nibali Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 51h 31′ 34”
2 Porte Richie Team Sky + 02′ 23”
3 Valverde Belmonte Alejandro Movistar Team + 02′ 47”
4 Bardet Romain Ag2r La Mondiale + 03′ 01”
5 Pinot Thibaut Fdj.Fr + 03′ 47”
6 Van Garderen Tejay Bmc Racing Team + 03′ 56”
7 Péraud Jean-Christophe Ag2r La Mondiale + 03′ 57”
8 Mollema Bauke Belkin Pro Cycling + 04′ 08”
9 Van Den Broeck Jurgen Lotto-Belisol + 04′ 18”
10 Fuglsang Jakob Astana Pro Team + 04′ 31”
11 Kwiatkowski Michal Omega Pharma-Quick Step + 04′ 39”

12 Thomas Geraint Team Sky + 05′ 17”
13 Costa Rui Alberto Lampre – Merida + 05′ 34”
14 Nieve Iturralde Mikel Team Sky + 06′ 03”
15 Rolland Pierre Team Europcar + 06′ 47”
16 Horner Christopher Lampre – Merida + 07′ 33”
17 Ten Dam Laurens Belkin Pro Cycling + 07′ 42”
18 Zubeldia Agirre Haimar Trek Factory Racing + 08′ 01”
19 Konig Leopold Team Netapp-Endura + 08′ 25”
20 Gallopin Tony Lotto-Belisol + 08′ 57”
21 Gautier Cyril Team Europcar + 09′ 12”
22 Trofimov Yury Team Katusha + 10′ 32”
23 Kruijswijk Steven Belkin Pro Cycling + 10′ 35”
24 Feillu Brice Bretagne – Seche Environnement + 11′ 32”
25 Schleck Frank Trek Factory Racing + 11′ 51”

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