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Tour de France

Transition stage in the south of France

Stage 12 of the Tour de France offered a transition day of 150 kilometers, starting from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux (Drôme) towards Nîmes (Occitanie). The last time the Tour made a stopover in the town of Nîmes, Andrea Pasqualon took tenth place in a bunch sprint in 2019. This Thursday, it was a similar final that awaited the peloton of this 108th edition, with a passage by the Route d’Uzès (3.9 km at 3.2%), located 15 km from the finish.

Very quickly after the start, things got excited as the peloton barely entered Ardèche, in the windy streets of Bourg-Saint-Andéol, after 5 kilometers of racing. Echelons split the peloton into several groups. Calm soon returned, however, as the 13-man day’s breakaway was formed.

The fugitives, who gathered a 15-minute lead over the peloton, were therefore going to fight for the victory. The first attacks started 40 kilometers from the finish, and after just over three hours Nils Politt (Bora) triumphed alone. All the riders of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team made it to the finish without a hitch, within the peloton.

We discussed before the stage, knowing that there were risks of echelons today, on the need to protect Louis Meintjes from the traps of the wind. That’s why our men, with the exception of Danny van Poppel, were with him at the start of the race when the field split up. Danny was very well placed at the front of the peloton, and his mission was to follow Mark Cavendish, which is why he did not participate in the 13-rider initiative. We expect a similar stage tomorrow, towards Carcassonne, and again vigilance will be required to avoid getting trapped, and I expect the riders to be in the right move.


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