2012 Tour de France: Stage 7: Tomblaine → La Planche des Belles Filles (199km)

The mountains are finally here (unfortunately it's one day too late for some). Stage 7 see's the first of only three mountain top finishes in the race, so the climbers must make the most of it.

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Km 112.0 - Col de Grosse Pierre - 3.1 km climb to 6.4 % - Category 3
Km 150.5 - Col du Mont de Fourche (620 m) - 3.1 km climb to 6.4 % - Category 3
Km 199.0 - La Planche des Belles Filles - 5.9 km climb to 8.5 % - Category 1

There are lots of possible winners here - S.Sanchez, Valverde, Evans, Schleck, Van Den Broeck, Nibali, Rolland, Vanendert, D.Martin, Mollema, Gesink, Scarponi, Pinot, etc. - although some of them may be feeling the effects of the Stage 6 crash.

GC Top 20
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 29:22:36
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:07
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:10
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:13
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:17
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:18
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:19
9 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
10 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:22
11 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
12 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:23
13 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:24
14 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan
15 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:25
16 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling
17 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:00:28
18 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:29
19 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:35
20 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
We should see lots of changes today. A new stage winner (who will probably inherit the lead in the mountains classification as well) and a new leader of the race are almost certain. A new leader in the young riders competition is also a possibility. Who are your picks?
May 28, 2012
Evans is the top favourite imo, he likes the steep gradients and as far as I know he hasn't crashed all week. The MTF looks a bit like Mende with a narrow and steep twisting road, so Valverde, Sanchez should be up front too.
Sep 9, 2009
Steep gradients, short climb, nothing before hand.

I expect we'll see some VAM numbers to make the clinic think of someone else for about 5 minutes.
Chris Anker go in a breakaway, win both the cat 3 mountain sprints, then solo to the finish-line creating Tour history by being the first-ever Dane to take the KoM jersey from another Dane! :D

Not very likely but I girl can dream!
Sep 9, 2009
roundabout said:
15 people together in the last km, strongest up the last ramp wins.
I'd be impressed if that many hang around, but I suppose not surprised.

On the one hand, it is short so adrenaline and will power will help some hang on.

But on the other, Wiggins has to know that isn't a game he can win, so I'm presuming the rest of the team will be taking turns riding their best km and dropping off.

That or he's just ****, you never know this year it seems.
DominicDecoco said:
Lovely little climb. Shame we won't see any action.
Yep predict Giro like action. 3 teams riding leaders to 3km out. Shead a few riders then 12 finish together.

I predict zero fireworks tomorrow. Maybe a crash in the first 10km's.
Oct 29, 2009
My prediction :p
Brajkovič will take the stage if he didn't waste to much energy today - which he probably did. Otherwise Mollema will win it.
Jun 30, 2010
I am liking:

1. Nibali
2, Velits
3. Evans

With a surprising if not shocking Cancellera 10th. He will do whatever he can in the fashion of Hushovd last year to hold onto the jersey today knowing if he can keep it today its likely he keeps it until stage 11 and if he can survive stage 11 he will keep it until stage 17.
Jun 1, 2011

Or whoever else the steep stuff suits. Evans may drop Wiggins and could be there. It think he will be close. Horner can if he's to follow Sanchez with that 14% ramp making him a contender. That second Cat. 3 could launch a break but it won't make it. This profile is much like the climb to Arrate in the Tour of the Basque or Sierra Hill in the Cali.