Stage 12: Fougeres to Tours, 218km, flat
Unlike this year’s Giro, the speed demons of the peloton are well catered for in this Tour. With no climbs, wide, straight roads and the intermediate sprint at the 166km mark, if this isn’t a bunch sprint, I’ll eat my Paul Smith bowler hat.
It’s a long stage, as the boys need to get from Brittany all the way back down to the south-east of the country to set up the final week. And in case you hadn’t noticed, France is a big country. The sprint stages this week are the last until the Champs so any sprinter who doesn’t feel they’ve had their share of wins or camera time – that’ll be Cav and Greipel, then – will be focused on getting their wheel over that finish line before anyone else.
Bit of trivia: It was Tom Boonen, resplendent in green, who won the sprint the last time Tours was the scene of a stage finish in 2005. This was also the stage where Robbie McEwen (God, I miss him) and Stuart O’Grady had a little head-butting scuffle on the way to the finish. McEwen was subsequently disqualified.
Link: Official website
Header image: Bridge at Tours