Thursday, 12 July 2012
2012 Tour de France: Stage 11 – showdown in the high mountains?
Today's short 148 kilometre stage from Albertville to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles through the Alps promises to be possibly the toughest one in this year's Tour and could well play a big role in who the eventual winner will be. It ought to be a big test for Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky to hold onto Bradley's Yellow Jersey. It is the only real Alpine stage in this year's race.
Apart from the first 14.5K, the riders be climbing and descending all day. Climbing for 71.4K of the 148K. They start with the Col de la Madeleine (Hors Category) – at 25.3K the longest climb in this year's race. This is followed by the Col de Glandon and Col de la Croix de Fer (HC). Next is the Col de Mollard (3rd Cat). The stage ends with the 18K climb up to La Toussuire. It was La Toussuire that Floyd Landis famously cracked while in Yellow in the 2006 Tour. Link to the video of the 2006 stage can be found here on Steephill.TV. The following day a doped up Landis escaped and made up all the time he lost the day before – video here. Landis was subsequently disqualified and stripped of his Tour de France title.
Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali must surely be looking to get time back on Wiggins today. I expect Jurgen Van den Broeck to show well again today. Expect to see some changes in position of the top 10 overall riders tonight.
It will be a difficult day for the non-climbers trying to make sure that they don't get eliminated from the race by finishing outside the time limit.
Stage 11 reconnaissance with Daniel Lloyd here.
Fabien Cancellara has abandoned the Tour to be with his wife, who is due to give birth very shortly.
Latest news on Rémy Di Gregorio
Report from L'Equipe here. Apparently Rémy Di Gregorio had been injecting ozone enriched blood as well as injections of glucose. He was caught because he is said to have been buying products off the internet. Di Gregorio is alleged to have been advised by a 75-year naturopathe based in Marseille. Di Gregorio denies doping. However, if true, all in all seems a remarkably dopey thing to have done!