Tour de France 2020 | Stage 12 (Chauvigny - Sarran, 218 km)

The longest stage of this year's Tour de France (and the only one above 200k) sees the riders embark on a three-day trek across the Massif Central. With Sagan's hopes of reclaiming the green jersey seemingly gone, it's difficult to see any scenario where this stage does not go to the breakaway.

Map


Profile


Timetable
Start: 11:50
Intermediate sprint: 13:09/13:12/13:16
Côte de Saint-Martin-Terressus: 14:22/14:29/14:36
Côte d'Eybouleuf: 14:45/14:53/15:02
Côte de la Croix du Pey: 16:02/16:13/16:26
Suc au May: 16:22/16:34/16:48
Finish: 16:57/17:11/17:27

Climbs
The stage goes from flat to rolling to hilly to mid-mountainous over the course of its length, with the intermediate sprint falling in the first of these parts. Indeed, the first categorised climb comes almost halfway through the stage. 1.6k at 7.9%, the Côte de Saint-Martin-Terressus is hard by cat. 4 standards. The next climb, Côte d'Eybouleuf (cat. 4), is easier, not much trickier than the uncategorised ramps in the next 50k to Treignac.
The final 50k of the stage feature the two main climbs. The former, the Côte de la Croix du Pey, has some good ramps for a cat. 3 of this length, it should separate the wheat from the chaff.


The final climb of the day is the cat. 2 Suc au May, and it's more difficult than the average gradient suggests. There's a short descent near the end and some legitimately hard ramps before it, it would possibly have been hard enough for GC action had it come a little closer to the finish. As it is, there's just over 25k to go, most of it on rolling, often narrow roads.


Finish
We're in a very rural part of the Limousin and hence the roads aren't the widest. The final 5k are somewhat uphill.




General classification after Stage 11
  1. Primoz Roglic
  2. Egan Bernal + 0.21
  3. Guillaume Martin + 0.28
  4. Romain Bardet + 0.30
  5. Nairo Quintana + 0.32
  6. Rigoberto Uran s.t.
  7. Tadej Pogacar + 0.44
  8. Adam Yates + 1.02
  9. Miguel Ángel López + 1.15
  10. Mikel Landa + 1.42
Points classification after Stage 11
  1. Sam Bennett 243
  2. Peter Sagan 175
  3. Bryan Coquard 155
  4. Caleb Ewan 155
  5. Matteo Trentin 140
Mountains classification after Stage 11
  1. Benoît Cosnefroy 36
  2. Nans Peters 31
  3. Marc Hirschi 26
  4. Ilnur Zakarin 25
  5. Toms Skujins 24
Young riders classification after Stage 10
  1. Egan Bernal
  2. Tadej Pogacar + 0.23
  3. Enric Mas + 1.41
  4. Sergio Higuita + 5.47
  5. Daniel Felipe Martinez + 52.12
 
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maybe I’m an incurable optimist, but I think there’s a real chance that it doesn’t go to the break. Either because Sagan gets into it and DCQ work all day to control it (small chance because of easy terrain in the early stage) or conversely because Bora keep it on a leash to give Sagan a chance.
 
Reactions: movingtarget
maybe I’m an incurable optimist, but I think there’s a real chance that it doesn’t go to the break. Either because Sagan gets into it and DCQ work all day to control it (small chance because of easy terrain in the early stage) or conversely because Bora keep it on a leash to give Sagan a chance.
I think this, because 4 or 5 seasons ago, this type of stage was a lock-on for Sagan.

If he gets into a break with 3 or 4 halfway decent climbers in it, on this stage he finishes 4th or 5th or worse. But if Bora keep the break on a leash, they can swallow up all but the last one or two, or even catch the lot.
 
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If he gets into a break with 3 or 4 halfway decent climbers in it, on this stage he finishes 4th or 5th or worse. But if Bora keep the break on a leash, they can swallow up all but the last one or two, or even catch the lot.
the final (categorized) climb is ~3k at 10% average. He'll be dropped like a stone there, if it's game on for the stage win (and maybe gc gaps)

If he wants to win green, #14 is (and always was going to be) the decisive stage, where he can potentially make up 50 points
 
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On paper, this stage suits Alaphilippe really well but I don't think Quick-Step will try to control it so maybe he could go into a succesful break and win from there.

Bora might try to drop the sprinters to enable Sagan getting more points but in his current shape he could get drop as well and someone like Van Aert would probably win in a reduced bunch sprint.
 
Reactions: Big Doopie
I agree it seems really set up for a breakaway. There have not been a lot of opportunities for breaks in this Tour, so several riders will be eager to go at it. I think GC teams will be keeping their powder dry for the more difficult stages on Friday (Puy Mary) and Sunday (Grand Colombier).
 
Valverde hasn't lost enough time for the favorites to let him anywhere near a break. Also he's made the decision that he needs to stay close to Mas.
If the favourites group ends up swallowing the break, (which could happen depending on how Quickstep and Bora ride for teh green jersey) then Valverde becomes a contender for the sprint; there won't be a Bennett or Ewen or Kristoff there, and in a reduced bunch kick Bala can take the likes of van Avermaet, Trentin, and a presumably tired vanAert.
 
If the favourites group ends up swallowing the break, (which could happen depending on how Quickstep and Bora ride for teh green jersey) then Valverde becomes a contender for the sprint; there won't be a Bennett or Ewen or Kristoff there, and in a reduced bunch kick Bala can take the likes of van Avermaet, Trentin, and a presumably tired vanAert.
There's no way he'd take any of these guys in a reduced bunch sprint with the form he has shown so far in 2020.
 
Reactions: wheresmybrakes
I think all the "what will the sprinter teams do" stuff will come to nothing and it will be terribly obvious this stage goes to the break like 10 kilometres in. My only question is, is Alaphilippe far enough back in the gc to be allowed to join it.
 
Reactions: Red Rick
If the favourites group ends up swallowing the break, (which could happen depending on how Quickstep and Bora ride for teh green jersey) then Valverde becomes a contender for the sprint; there won't be a Bennett or Ewen or Kristoff there, and in a reduced bunch kick Bala can take the likes of van Avermaet, Trentin, and a presumably tired vanAert.
Bala's form this year hasn't been good enough. His form on stage 8 where he finished 10th wasn't good enough and I'm not sure it's improved enough between then and now to be good enough to beat them. Now to beat the other climbers it's likely good enough. However, this is the Tour and he only has 4 wins total at the Tour. So there's that as well.
 
Okay, it's not a Paris Roubaix or Tour of Flanders, but it does have a classics feel (lumpiness and length), and if it's ridden hard enough, the hills in the 2nd half could break up the front of the peloton, and then you might have a scenario like one sometimes finds in the harder classics, with groups split all over the place, and there could be gaps. . . . Or not.
 
I think all the "what will the sprinter teams do" stuff will come to nothing and it will be terribly obvious this stage goes to the break like 10 kilometres in. My only question is, is Alaphilippe far enough back in the gc to be allowed to join it.
I think Ala is likely, he seemed to deliberately lose a chunk of time yesterday
 

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