Today they threw everything at him! First Valverde attacked, then he attacked again! Contador attacked, Nibali attacked, Quintana attacked and then Froome attacked as well… but nothing stuck. After two days of hard racing in the mountains the contendors for the maillot jaune were testing each other on the final climb of the day but no one seem to have the legs to round it off.
Team Sky rode like a winning team today. Froome always had someone around him to help with the attacks. The man waiting in the wings to be Sky’s big GC rider is surely Geraint Thomas. The Welshman was everywhere today, and he was there when it mattered.
But the man of the moment and day was Team Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez. The Spaniard attacked the break he was in on the last klimb and forged clear, passing early breakaway rider and current world champion Michal Kwiatkowski to take the win on top of Plateau de Beille.
- Today’s race in the Pyrénées – in sweltering 35 degrees heat, followed by stormy wet conditions in the final 15 km – certainly shaped the hierarchy and was Tour de France at its best.
- Joaquim Rodrigues (KAT) demonstrated he’s a true champion. ‘Purito’ paced himself perfectly to win the stage, his second stage win of the 102nd Tour de France. Interestingly, ’Purito’ only lost 35 seconds to the chasing peloton over the final 5 km – definitely a deserving winner.
- Another great day for wild card team MTN Qhubeka with 22 year-old Louis Meintjes showing his class. The South African demonstrated his ability and savvy to finish 5th in the toughest stage in the race so far.
- Days are extremely long and the riders have little time to recover. Indeed, it will be over four hours after the race – thanks to traffic and congestion getting off the mountains – before the riders arrive at their hotels for the night. Le Tour is certainly no picnic!
Week in data:
Dimension Data published a halfway statistics summary of the first 11 stages of this year’s race. Some key highlights of the big data analytics include:
- The highest recorded speed in the first 11 stages was 109.08 km/h by Lars Boom (AST) during stage 3 at the 144 km mark.
- The highest average speed achieved by a stage winner was 55.45 km/h (Rohan Dennis on stage 1), while the average speed across all riders for the first 11 stages was 42.46 km/h.
- Click here to view the detailed infographic.
Day in data:
- Stage 12 – the third and last stage in the Pyrénées; covering a distance of 195 km from Lannemezan (6th time stage town) to Plateau de Beille (7th time stage town).
- 1877.2 km – the distance Le Tour riders have travelled from the start in Utrecht; passing the halfway mark to Paris today.
- 1 780 m – the height of the epic mountain finish on the summit of Plateau de Beille. A difficult 15.8 km HC climb where double KOM points are available for the 1st rider across the finish line – Rodriguez (KAT).
- 5 – the number of Tour de France finishes at Plateau de Beille in 13 years.
- 6 000 m – approximate total elevation the riders climbed on the stage today.
- 23 – the number of riders (to date) who have withdrawn since the start in Utrecht…leaving 175 riders who are still in the race.
- Distance and average gradients of the four categorized climbs today:
– 4.3 km at 9.7% – Col de Portet d’Aspet (cat. 2) at km 57.5.
- – 14.1 km at 5.7% – Col de la Core (cat. 1) at km 93.
– 12.9 km at 6% – Port de Lers (cat. 1) at km 144.
- – 15.8 km at 7.9% – Plateau de Beille (H.C.) at km 195.
- 9.7% – steepest gradient on Plateau de Beille.
- 05h 40′ 14″ – time of stage winner, Rodriguez (KAT), at an average speed of 34.39 km/h.
- 16.9 km/h – average speed of Rodriguez (KAT), up the Plateau de Beille, the toughest climb of the day.
- 25.99 km/h – Rodriguez (KAT) speed when he crossed the finish line.
- 31.92 km/h – the average speed on the stage.
- 22.43 km/h – average speed on last kilometre.
- 37’ 33” – the time gap between the first and last rider.
- Recorded speed in the km leading up to the intermediate sprint checkpoint: Greipel (LTS) hit top speed of 70.85 km/h. Click here.
ESP | Joaquim Rodriguez | KAT
Stage time: 05h 40′ 14”
Average speed: 34.39 km/h
Here is a look at Rodriguez’s speed as he climbed Plateau de Beille. Click here.
Overall Jersey Leaders:
Tomorrow we’re back on the flat, well sort of. The 198.5km stage from Muret to Rodez takes the riders over three categorised climbs but they are only small ones… relatively. This will be a stage for the sprinters but more the sprinter type that Sagan belongs to. Can he make it a stage win for Tinkoff tomorrow?