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le Tour de France, 2012

Tour de France route 2012
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Tour de France 2024

official website for le Tour de France
[also official website in French]


the cycling zone

la Vuelta a España, 2016 - let's climb!

La Vuelta 2016

giro d'italia 2018
il Giro d'Italia 2018 : Middle East meets West, climbing all the way

Giro d'Italia


TDF current and previous years, as seen by abelard.org:

london olympics: cav says, “i’m nervous”

the finish - cav wins again with a wiggins lead out!
cav’s priority - the olympics, not the green jersey
2012 tour de france route
the summer of steep slopes
the stages for 2012
this year’s t-shirt
the teams, and team strips/colours
this year’s top ten seeded riders
watching tdf broadcasts
last year (2011): the first ten riders
the mountain stages

watching TDF broadcasts

La Vuelta 2012

Le Giro 2013

Tour de France 2024

london olympics: cav says, “i’m nervous”

Just a week after a successful TDF for British riders, the Olympic cycling road race is taking place from central London to Surrey and back.

This is a 250 kms race, with Cavendish hoping for a road race win.

That looks like a hell of a reach to me, after three weeks of the Tour de France.

153 cyclists out of 198 finished the Tour. Mark Cavendish came in 142nd, at nearly three and a half hours after Bradley Wiggins!

Today’s race goes nine times up the pimple at Box Hill, a road I’ve ridden many times.This is not going to be easy after the extraordinary stress of the Tour.

At least the ‘sponsors’ cannot charge people for watching from the roadside.

[Now watchable on Eurosport.]

Update: First Froome, then Wiggins faded away. A 50-second breakaway by Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan [gold medal] and Rigoberto Uran of Colombia [silver medal] was insurmountable.

Marker at abelard.org

the finish - cav wins again with a wiggins lead out!

The final stage of the 2012 Tour de France has been won by Mark Cavendish for the fourth time running, led out by the Yellow Jersey holder, Bradley Wiggins.
Bradley Wiggins is the first Briton (Englishman) to win the most prestigious endurance race in the world.

This is the best thing to happen to UK cycling since Reg Harris won the world sprint championship three or four times.

I’m glad to see the pressure to revive Herne Hill is also being renewed.

The The Herne Hill Velodrome is the last remains of the last time the UK held the Olympics, when Reg came second!


cav’s priority - the olympics, not the green jersey

Mark Cavendish, the Manx Missile, won the green points jersey in last year’s Tour de France. To this Cav added the road world championship jersey last September. But this year, a week after the end of the TDF, the London Olympics start, and Mark Cavendish has his eyes on the 250-kilometre road race. His plan is to use the Tour as conditioning prior to the Olympics, opening on 28th July.

Cav will be helping his team, Sky, to put team mate Bradley Wiggins in the yellow jersey, to make Bradley the first British winner of the TDF. While Cav wants to win some stages, he is likely to be seen being a domestique for the team, bringing water bottles forward, and helping to protect Bradley Wiggins in the final week.

2012 tour de france route

From Saturday 30 June to Sunday 22th July, 2012, the 99th Tour de France will be competed during 21 stages, well actually a prologue and 20 stages, over a distance of 3,479 kilometres.

There will be:

  • Nine flat stages
  • Six high mountain stages with 3 summit finishes
  • Four hilly stages that finish with a climb
  • Two individual time trials (against the clock stage)
  • A prologue around Liege in Belgium
  • Two rest days.

The special features of the race are

  • 25 cols gone over and summit finishes that are ranked 2nd, 1st or hors catégorie (HC)
    1 in Les Vosges, with a summit finish at 1,035 m (La Planche des Belles Filles)
    3 in le Jura
    4 in Swiss Jura
    6 in the Alps, with a summit finish at 1,705 m (La Toussuire-Les Sybelles)
    11 in the Pyrénées, with a summit finish at approx. 1,600 m (Peyragudes)
  • 9 towns not previously visited: Abbeville, Annonay Davézieux, Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, La Planche des Belles Filles, Peyragudes, Porrentruy, Samatan, Tomblaine, Visé.

Tous fous du Tour TDF poster

The 2012 Tour de France starts by spending three days in Belgium from the Grand Départ in the Province of Liège. The first day will be the short prologue (mini-time trial) at Liège, and next day the first stage from Liège to Seraing. The second stage from Visé to Tournai is also in Belgium.

There is also going to be a detour into Switzerland and back to Porrentruy in Jura for the finish of the eighth stage.

No bonus
For the 2012 edition, no bonuses will be awarded for intermediate sprints and stage finishes.

One intermediate sprint
As in 2011, the points awarded for the green jersey classification will be for a single intermediate sprint and for the stage finish. [Commentary from 2011.]

Mountain points scheme
For this 2012 edition, points will be awarded to the first ten going over col summits classified as hors categorie.
Points will be doubled for summit finishes.

Nearly 100 kilometres against the clock
A prologue (6.1 km) and two individual against-the-clock stages: 38 km from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon, and 52 km between Bonneval and Chartres the day before the final arrival on the Champs-Elysees. (Note that a prologue is a short time-trial used to determine who will wear the yellow jersey on the first long day of racing.)

Prize funding
In total about there is about 2 million euros prize money for teams and riders, with 450, 000 euros to the winner of the individual general classification - the yellow jersey.

the summer of steep slopes

In 1987, the year when Stephen Roche won the Triple Crown - the Tour d’Italie [the Giro], the Tour de France and the world championship, a fairly romantic film appeared called L’été en pente douce - The summer of gentle slopes. If a film should be made of this year’s Tour, its title would be L’été en pente raide - The summer of steep slopes.

This year’s Tour is slotted between several centenaries celebrated since 2003 - the Tour itself, the Ballon d’Alsace, Tourmalet, Galibier - and the 100th edition of the Tour de France in 2013. Instead of focussing on height or distance, the TDF have decided to make this year’s difficulties on the route a celebration of steepness.

  • Stage 7 (7 July), La Planche des Belles Filles
    According to local legend, in 1635 a group of young girls chose to climb this mountain and drown themselves in the black waters of a lake to escape the abuses of cruel Swedish mercenaries, stationned at the village of Plancher-les-Mines in the bottom of the valley.

    The TDF has not been here before. The prolonged and irregular ascent of 5.9 km starts with a slope of 13%, with an untarmacked section of 300 metres of average 14% slope and a bit at 20%, arriving at 1,035 metres height.

  • Stage 8 (8 July), Le col de la Croix
    Again the first visit for the TDF, this slope is short, only 4 km and arriving at 789 metres height, but it has an average gradient of 9.2% with a maximim slope of 17%. This corresponds to the difficulty of the Wall of Huy in the Flèche Wallonne [the Wallonne Arrow].

  • Stage 10 (11 July), Le col du Grand Colombier
    Over 17.4 km with an average of 7.1% gradient, this slope ends at 1,501 m. However, the elevation developed is more than 1,245 m from Culoz (just after the Sprint). This is more than the 1,127 m height difference from Bourg d’Oisans and Alpe-d’Huez (often part of the TDF as in stage 19 of the 2011 TDF, and a popular cyclist’s climb | Google translation).

  • Stage 14 (15 July), Le mur de Péguère
    On paper, the Peguère Wall is 9.4 km at an average 7.9% gradient. Not much you might think, until you look more closely and see that the last 3.6 km are at an average of 12% - a good 15 minutes uphill slog.

New translation, the Magna Carta

the stages for 2012

There will be a short prologue stage around Liege and then a further 20 stages. These include 6 high mountain stages [Alps 2, Pyrenees 4], 4 medium mountain/hilly stages, and two individual against-the-clock [contre-le-montre] time trials. There are 2 rest days. All other days are ‘on the plain’ - relatively flat days, almost touring through France. The total distance ridden will be about 3,479 kilometres, or roughly 2,162 miles. Switzerland will be visited on the 8th stage.

P Belgium: Liège > Liège
30 June [6.1 km]
11 Albertville > La Toussuire - Les Sybelles
12 July [140 km]
summit finish
1 Belgium: Liège > Luxembourg > Belgium Seraing
1 July [198 km]
12 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Annonay Davézieux
13 July [220 km]
2 Belgium: Visé > Tournai
2 July [207 km]
13 Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Le Cap d’Agde
14 July [215 km]
3 France: Orchies > Boulogne-sur-Mer
3 July [197 km]
14 Limoux > Foix
15 July [192 km]
4 Abbeville > Rouen
4 July [214 km]
15 Samatan > Pau
16 July [160 km]
5 Rouen > Saint-Quentin
5 July [197 km]

rest day - Pau
17 July

6 Épernay > Metz
6 July 210 km]
16 Pau > Bagnères-de-Luchon
18 July [197 km]
7 Tomblaine > La Planche des Belles Filles
7 July [199 km]
summit finish
17 Bagnères-de-Luchon > Peyragudes
19 July [144 km]
summit finish
8 France: Belfort > Switzerland: Porrentruy
8 July [154 km]
18 Blagnac > Brive-la-Gaillarde
20 July [215 km]
9 France: Arc-et-Senans > Besançon
individual time-trial
9 July [38 km]
19 Bonneval > Chartres
21 July [52 km]
individual time-trial
R rest day - Mâcon
10 July
20 Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Élysées
22 July [130 km]
10 Mâcon > Bellegarde-sur-Valserine
11 July [194 km]
Detailed itineraries for the 2012 Tour de France stages

this year’s t-shirt

official Tour 2010 t-shirt

“100% cotton, 20€”

the teams for 2012

team colours/strips

As well as the eighteen “ProTeams” , invitations have been extended to four other teams: Argos – Shimano (Neth), Cofidis (Fra), Saur – Sojasun (Fra) and Europcar (Fra).

Orica GreenEDGE (GEC)

Omega Pharma – Quickstep (OPQ)
Lotto Belisol (LTB)

Saxo Bank (SAX)

AG2R La Mondiale (ALM)
Cofidis (COF)
FDJ – Big Mat (FDJ)
Saur-Sojasun (SAU)
Europcar (EUC)

Sky Procycling (SKY)

Lampre-ISD (LAM)
Liquigas-Cannondale (LIQ)

Astana Pro Team (AST)

Radioshack – Nissan (RNT)

Argos – Shimano (ARG)
Vacansoleil-DCM (VCD)

Katusha (KAT)

Euskaltel – Euskadi (EUS)
Moviestar (MOV)

Garmin – Sharp (GRM)
BMC Racing Team (BMC)

this year’s top ten seeded riders

  Name UCI Team Code Nat. Comments
1 Cadel Evans BMC AUS 35 y.o. Last year’s TDF winner, the oldest post-war winner. 2nd in the 2007 and 2008 TDF.
2 Bradley Wiggins SKY GBR 32 y.o. Winner of 2012 Paris-Nice, 3rd in 2011 Vuelta. Olympic champion. 4th in 2009 TDF, but 24th in 2010.
3 Denis Menchov KAT RUS 34 y.o.2nd in 2010 TDF, 7th in 2011 Giro, but winner in 2009; 5th in 2011 Vuelta, but winner in 2007 and 2005. .
5 Vinccenzo Nibali LIQ ITA "The shark from the strait" - "le requin du détroit", 2010 Vuelta winner and 7th in the 2011 Vuelta.
6 Samuel Sanchez EUS ESP 34 y.o. 4th in 2010 TDF (best TDF result), 6th in 2011 TDF and best climber (spotty jersey winner)
7 Frank Schleck LEO LUX 31 y.o. 5th in 2008 and 2009 TDF. Fractured his shoulder bone during 2010 TDF.
8 Robert Gesink RAB NLD 26 y.o. 6th in 2010 TDF, but only 31st in 2011. Best TDF result: 2nd.
9 Jurgen van den Broeck LTB BEL 4th in 2010 TDF; best climber in 2011 Dauphiné and 4th overall.
10 Thomas Voeckler EUC FRA 33 y.o., 4th in 2011 TDF

watch tdf broadcasts

In 2011, many web sites offered live streaming from their sites. We are leaving that information here until we can obtain the information for 2012. This will probably appear only on the first day of the 2012 TDF.

Some web sites want you to pre-register, and even pay. Here are a few of the more reputable sites that were available for the 2011 TDF. They may well be broadcasting again in 2012. Of course, until the TDF is actually running, we cannot verify any links provided.

terrestrial broadcasts

UK: ITV4 - full schedule of live broadcasts.
This is the first year that ITV have bought broadcasting rights.
EUROSPORT UK is providing daily live TV coverage, including HD, often with some commentary with Sean Kelly, ex-professional cyclist.

DAS ERSTE/ZDF (shared coverage)
FRANCE 2/FRANCE 3 (shared coverage)

Canada: “TSN2 has exclusive Canadian coverage of cycling's most prestigious event, the Tour de France. The network is home to all 21 stages beginning Saturday at 8am et/5am pt live on TSN2.”

live streaming through the Internet

TDF direct video links

To the left is the list for links provided by TDF links to numerous live streaming providers worldwide.

Probably all are only available in their country of origin. Further, many are unreliable, or require further clicks to reach the live/direct feed, are hard to navigate, or are difficult to go beyond the publicity, and require a subscription.

Eurosport is selling live steaming with their Eurosportplayer, with various, almost reasonable subscriptions.

Marker at abelard.org

The Tour de France web site also has a YouTube channel with videos of stages to come and other short videos.

last year (2011): the first ten riders

Pos. Name First name Team Nat. Time diff.
1 141 EVANS Cadel BMC AUS 86h 12' 22"
2 11 SCHLECK Andy LEO LUX + 01' 34"
3 18 SCHLECK Frank LEO LUX + 02' 30"
4 181 VOECKLER Thomas EUC FRA + 03' 20"
5 1 CONTADOR Alberto SAX ESP + 03' 57"
6 21 SANCHEZ Samuel EUS ESP + 04' 55"
7 161 CUNEGO Damiano LAM ITA + 06' 05"
8 91 BASSO Ivan LIQ ITA + 07' 23"
9 52 DANIELSON Tom GRM USA + 08' 15"
10 108 PERAUD Jean-Christophe ALM FRA + 10' 11"
EVANS Cadel 141 BMC AUS 86h 12' 22"
(Yellow Jersey)
By points CAVENDISH Mark 171 THR GBR 334 pts
(Green Jersey)
Climber SANCHEZ Samuel 108 EUS ESP 108 pts
(Polka dot Jersey)
Under 25 ROLLAND Pierre 188 EUC FRA 86h 23' 05"
(White Jersey)
Combativity Roy, Jérémy 138 FDJ FRA 88h 40' 49"

the mountain stages

Tour de France 2012 will include 25 peaks ranked as second, first or hors catégorie:

  • 1 in the Vosges (stage 7)
  • 4 in the Swiss Jura (stage 8)
  • 3 in the Jura (stage10)
  • 6 in the Alps (stages 11, 12)
  • 11 in the Pyrenees (stages 14, 16, 17)

During the last five Tours de France, the total of mountain stages were:

  • 22 in 2007
  • 17 in 2008
  • 21 in 2009
  • 25 in 2010
  • 23 in 2011.

Vosges and Jura

the Alps and Pyrenees

Marker at abelard.org

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