Tour de France Stage 12 preview: Breakaway and bunch set to battle on intriguing route to Villeneuve-sur-Lot


An intriguing profile could pose challenges for the peloton as the sprinting teams eye more success on Stage 12 of the Tour de France.

The volcanic lumps and bumps of the Massif Central took their toll yesterday on a hectic day of racing, and while today’s parcours looks rather kinder, all will be wary of letting their guard down as they exit the Auvergne.

Undulating terrain features throughout a 204km westward galumph from Aurillac to Villeneuve-sur-Lot, with three Category 4 climbs along the way.

The third of these, the Cote de Montclera, is crested some 60 kilometres from the finish line but the slopes continue to come as peaks and troughs look set to make the day difficult to manage.

While teams have been reluctant to get riders up the road in a breakaway-averse edition of the Tour so far, it may be that a couple of smaller outfits consider this an opportunity to test the organisation behind.

Should it come back together, the slope up to the finish appears like it might suit some of the tougher sprinters and quicker classicists in the field.

Biniam Girmay is in excellent form and may well fancy a tilt at a third stage win of the Tour, while the tactics of some of his rivals will be intriguing.

Could Lotto-Dstny look to dislodge a couple of the purer sprinters to set up Arnaud De Lie by setting a high cadence on the day?

Stage 11 map and profile


Start time

The neutralised rollout will start at 11.35am BST, with racing underway from Aurillac15 minutes later. The stage is expected to finish around 4.15pm BST.


With Mads Pedersen forced to abandon, there aren’t many who can match Arnaud De Lie’s blend of toughness and finishing kick. The young Belgian, nicknamed the The Walloon Bull, is still learning the ropes in the bunch but could take it from a reduced bunch sprint provided any breakaway is hauled in.