photo credits @Le Tour
Thomas De Gendt won stage 12 of the Tour de France today, after the Belgian rider crested the finish of a shortened Mont Ventoux stage by two seconds ahead of compatriot Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Daniel Navarro (Cofidis).
De Gendt was part of a large breakaway group that led today’s stage all the way to the base of the Ventoux.
However, with 7 kilometers to go, De Gendt, Pauwels and Navarro found themselves alone on the climb.
With 3 kilometers remaining, De Gendt made his winning move, quickly distancing his fellow escapees to claim the stage honors.
A sizable breakaway group of 14 riders including Bertjan Lindeman and Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto-Jumbo), Stef Clement (IAM Cycling), Serge Pauwels and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data), Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), André Greipel and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Bryan Coquard and Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick Step), Dani Navarro and Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) and Chris Anker Sorensen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), came to form shortly after the start of today’s stage.
Midway through the race, the breakaway group had established a massive lead of more than 18 minutes over the peloton.
However, the chase began to make up ground along the two smaller climbs of the day. And, by the 40 kilometer mark, they had succeeded in reducing the breakaway’s gap to a more manageable eight minutes.
Chaos later stuck the peloton however, when Simon Gerrans (Orica-BikeExchange) was blown over along the descent of the Col des Trois Termes, taking Team Sky’s Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe down with him.
Strangely, Froome decided to fall back and help his teammates try and regain lost ground.
At the foot of the Ventoux, the breakaway group was still holding onto a gap of almost nine minutes, where Greipel decided to get a head start up the climb, after powering away with 14 kilometers to go.
However, his efforts were brought to a quick halt, as the German rider was quickly reined back in.
From there, De Gendt, Pauwels and Navarro made their attack, with De Gendt briefly getting distanced by his fellow escapees before regaining contact.
Back in the peloton, a flurry of attacks got underway from the likes of IAM Cycling’s Jarlinson Pantano, followed by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
As a result, Geraint Thomas was dropped, leaving Froome with only Henao, Poels and Nieve for support.
Nieve was soon dropped as well, while Quintana proceeded to nestle within the ranks of the remaining Sky riders, as they proceeded to reel Valverde back in.
Once Valverde was caught, Quintana initiated an attack, which was quickly marked by Team Sky. However, the acceleration sent Dan Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) out the back of the group, along with Daniel Moreno (Movistar).
Unwilling to quit, a determined Quintana commenced a subsequent attack which was again shut down by Poels.
Chaos would again strike the peloton during the final kilometer, when a swarm of spectators caused a camera motorbike to come to a quick halt, which set off a chain reaction of events that resulted in Ritchie Porte crashing, and Froome’s bike getting broken in the melee.
From there, Froome was forced to run up the hill in order to fetch a bike from a Mavic neutral service car, until he was able to retrieve a fresh bike from his team during the closing 500 meters.
In the midst of this, Froome had fallen behind by a 1:40, which resulted in the loss of the yellow jersey.
However, race officials later decided to neutralize the last kilometer, which served to restore the British rider back into the overall race lead.
Stage 12 Results
BEL 1 DE GENDT, Thomas (LOTTO SOUDAL) 4:31:51
BEL 2 PAUWELS, Serge (DIMENSION DATA) + 2
ESP 3 NAVARRO GARCIA, Daniel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 14
NED 4 CLEMENT, Stef (IAM CYCLING) + 40
FRA 5 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (DIRECT ENERGIE)
NED 6 LINDEMAN, Bertjan (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 2:52
ERI 7 TEKLEHAIMANOT, Daniel (DIMENSION DATA) + 3:13
BEL 8 VANMARCKE, Sep (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 3:26
DEN 9 SÖRENSEN, Chris Anker (FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT) + 4:23
NED 10 MOLLEMA, Bauke (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 5:05
GBR 11 YATES, Adam (ORICA-BikeExchange) + 5:24
ITA 12 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA)
RSA 13 MEINTJES, Louis (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
FRA 14 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
ESP 15 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)
ESP 16 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 5:31
COL 17 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR)
USA 18 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 5:36
AUS 19 PORTE, Richie (BMC RACING) + 6:01
IRL 20 MARTIN, Daniel (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 6:30
SUI 21 REICHENBACH, Sébastien (FDJ)
FRA 22 BARGUIL, Warren (GIANT – ALPECIN)
ESP 23 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (MOVISTAR)
COL 24 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 6:45
GBR 25 FROOME, Christopher (SKY)
CZE 26 KREUZIGER, Roman (TINKOFF) + 6:51
FRA 27 ROLLAND, Pierre (CANNONDALE-DRAPAC) + 7:24
GBR 28 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY)
RUS 29 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA)
NED 30 POELS, Wouter (SKY) + 7:27
ESP 31 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 7:54
BEL 32 KEISSE, Iljo (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
GER 33 GREIPEL, André (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 9:30
ESP 34 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 9:35
ITA 35 CARUSO, Damiano (BMC RACING)
FRA 36 VUILLERMOZ, Alexis (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
GER 37 BUCHMANN, Emanuel (BORA-ARGON 18)
ESP 38 MATE MARDONES, Luis Angel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
EST 39 KANGERT, Tanel (ASTANA)
COL 40 PANTANO GOMEZ, Jarlinson (IAM CYCLING)
FRA 41 LEMOINE, Cyril (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 10:05
LUX 42 SCHLECK, Frank (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 11:41
FRA 43 DELAPLACE, Anthony (FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT) + 12:13
ESP 44 LANDA MEANA, Mikel (SKY) + 12:29
General Classification after Stage 12
GBR 1 YATES, Adam (ORICA-BikeExchange) 57:12:20
NED 2 MOLLEMA, Bauke (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 9
COL 3 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 14
FRA 4 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 28
ESP 5 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 52
GBR 6 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 53
USA 7 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) + 57
ITA 8 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 1:07
IRL 9 MARTIN, Daniel (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1:09
ESP 10 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA) + 1:24
RSA 11 MEINTJES, Louis (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 1:42
COL 12 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 1:49
CZE 13 KREUZIGER, Roman (TINKOFF) + 2:27
AUS 14 PORTE, Richie (BMC RACING) + 2:31
FRA 15 BARGUIL, Warren (GIANT – ALPECIN) + 3:41
GBR 16 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY) + 5:04
FRA 17 ROLLAND, Pierre (CANNONDALE-DRAPAC) + 6:48
SUI 18 REICHENBACH, Sébastien (FDJ) + 7:15
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