[Tour de France stage 12 LIVE: Roanne to Belleville – en – Beaujolais
68km to go: Mads Pedersen took the sprint ahead of Van Der Poel and Amador, with the Danish rider taking over Bryan Coquard’s second spot in the points classification.
He’s still a very long way from Jasper Philipsen though.
69km to go: The race is approaching the first of a trio of climbs that come one after the other – the Col de la Casse Froide. It’s a fairly serious proposition: 5.6km at 6.1%, with a summit height of 740m.
What will it do to the break?
The yellow jersey group is now 2.17 back.
75km to go: It’s been a hard chase for Alaphilippe and Stuyven, but they have just about made it up to the leaders.
Here’s the make up of that leading break, which is now 13-strong. It has 1.18, so is definitely sticking.
Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma)
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama FDJ)
Andrey Amador (EF Education-EasyPost)
Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek)
Mathieu Van Der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
Guillaume Martin (Cofidis)
Ion Izaguirre (Cofidis)
Ruben Gurreiro (Movistar)
Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar)
Dylan Teuns (Israel-PremierTech)
Victor Campanaerts (Lotto-Dstny)
Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X)
Mathieu Bergaudeau (TotalEnergies)
83km to go: Alaphilippe and Jasper Styuven chasing the leaders, 30sec back.
The leading group has 23 seconds over the main pack, with various riders dropped or bridging in-between.
87km to go: From behind, Julian Alaphilippe jumps away.
87km to go: That front group of Benoot, Teuns and Pedersen has been caught by another small group which includes Amador, Campanaerts and Jorgensen for a total 10 riders.
The force is strong with this one, I think.
Just to outline how fast everything continues to change, I just typed out a brief situation overview – and then had to delete the lot.
This is crazy!
92km to go: Fred Wright putting in a hard effort at the front of the main group, stringing it out. He’s created a small group of six.
93km to go: Three riders have set off in pursuit of the leading trio – Andrey Amador (one of yesterday’s breakaways); Ion Izaguirre (Cofidis); and Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar). They’re slowing making ground on the leaders, currently 9sec behind.
97km to go: Mads Pedersen is now up there with Teuns and Benoot. Lidl-Trek rider Pedersen was one of the day’s earliest attackers, despite his sprinting abilities. No doubt he figured a bunch sprint was definitely not on the cards today, so why not try something else?
The trio has 15sec.
99km to go: Tough news for Lotto-Dstny sprinter Caleb Ewan. He’s currently 13 minutes off the back of the race with a long way to go. He has team-mate Jasper De Buyst with him apparently. It’s going to be a long day for the pair as they battle to stay within the time limit.
101km to go: The riders are on a long descent now, which is likely to calm things down a bit. After that comes around 25km of comparatively flat terrain before the climbs kick off again.
105km to go: Benoot and Teuns now have a small gap. Nine seconds.
107km to go: That front group has come back together now.
More attacks go: Dylan Teuns, Tiesj Benoot, Fred Wright… but nothing is sticking.
109km to go: Hot on the heels of Kelderman and Skjelmose is a small group that includes yellow jersey Vingegaard, plus Tadej Pogačar, Jai Hindley and David Gaudu.
It’s like watching the finale of a high mountains stage.
113km to go: Wilko Kelderman of Jumbo-Visma has forged a gap with Skjelmose. It’s a few seconds. I wonder what Vingegaard thinks of this? An important mountains domestique going up the road before an important mountains day?
It’s fractured into pieces.
Well, that didn’t last. But the attacks are relentless from this group.
115km to go: As if in relay, off goes Burgaudeau, Turgis on his wheel.
Afternoon everyone. What a contrast today’s fervent early action is to yesterday’s slow burn. Even the weather is different!
Wout Van Aert struggling to make this gap stick right now. Five seconds… oh – and now he’s back in the group.
Right! I’m off for some lunch.
Handing you over to my colleague, James Shrubsall, who will take you through the next hour.
122 km to go: If the Belgian can get guys like Campanaerts, Mohoric or maybe Fred Wright over to him, then they stand a real chance of finally getting away.
123 km to go: Wout van Aert has gone solo.
He’s just clocked 43 kmph uphill, and has opened up a gap of more than 10 seconds on the second group on the road.
What an absolute machine the Belgian is.
We’re still bombing it down the descent of the second climb of the day, the Col des Ecorbans, and it finally seems to be calming down slightly.
131 km to go:
Van Aert is at the head of the race again with Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) and a Bora-Hansgrohe rider with them.
Van Aert is hammering it down this descent. Surely we’ll get a real breakaway forming soon?
132 km to go:
There’s now three groups scattered all over the road.
This is ridiculously chaotic.
The rider to miss out is Simon Yates (Jayco-AIUla) who is in the second group on the road, 42 seconds back from the GC favourites.
Looks like I spoke too soon!
This is so chaotic, it really is.
It’s no surprise that we’ve had a crash too.
Poor old David de la Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan) hit the deck pretty badly. He’s been forced out of the race and looked like he was in agony.
Let’s hope he’s ok.
140 km to go:
And we’ve got a move!
A huge acceleration from Wout van Aert forced that gap there which has split the peloton in two.
Looks like we’ve got out breakaway of the day. I’ll let you know whose in it in just a second.
Here’s Victor Lafay (Cofidis) trying to force a move at the head of the race just now.
148 km to go:
Dani Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) has just led the bunch over the top of the first climb.
And we still don’t have a breakaway…. the pace feels so relentless that it’s going to need a huge effort to force anything.
149 km to go:
Here’s Skjelmose and Mohoric again! These two riders will be absolutely kicking themselves if they aren’t present when a breakaway eventually goes.
Van Aert and Soler don’t seem to be the guys trying to force a move. Each time the likes of Alaphilippe or Mohoric go, one of those guys seems to be on their wheel.
Do UAE and Jumbo have other plans for today?
We’re on the first climb of the day, despite it being just a category 3, you can see the road starting to bite slightly.
151 km to go:
We still don’t have a break! Alaphilippe and Mohoric are two main that seem determined to force a split.
Van Aert is still there, as is Victor Lafay (Cofidis) and Marc Soler (UAE Emirates).
Lovely image of the fans on the roadside today.
153 km to go:
That move from Mohoric and Van Aert was sniffed out pretty quickly.
Everyone’s still together at the moment as several Uno-X guys drive the pace at the front of the peloton.
156 km to go:
Alaphilippe looks particularly fired up today.
It’s a frantic and chaotic start.
Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) has just launched a huge attack as the riders crested a bit of a bump in the road.
I reckon that’s the move that’s done it.
Van Aert, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Stefan Kung are there.
159 km to go:
Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) is bouncing around at the front of the bunch looking to force a move, but as the commentators say, you get the feeling this is going to take a little while longer to go.
161 km to go:
Looks like all four of the riders who had a small gap are now back in the bunch.
Everyone is looking to get in the breakaway today.
Aleksey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) and Krists Neilands (Israel-Premier Tech) are the next two guys looking to snap the elastic.
Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) is up there at the head of the bunch looking to force a move. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is up at the front too.
So good to see Fred Wright getting amongst it.
He was in the thick of the action in Limoges last weekend, and told me there was more to come from him in week two!
164 km to go:
Wright, Bettiol and Van der Poel have made it across to Pedersen.
What a group that is if it manages to stay away.
165 km to go: Looks like Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) and several other big name puncheurs are looking to get onto Pedersen’s wheel.
Andrey Amador (EF Education-EasyPost) and Mike Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) are also in the group looking to get across.
167 km to go: It’s Mads Pedersen whose straight up the road for Trek.
Kind of brave from the Dane, especially with the road going uphill almost straightaway.
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Matias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) are looking to move across to Pedersen too.
Here’s Monsieur Prudhomme! and we’re officially underway!
The riders have flown out of the traps here! Lidl-Trek are on the move straightaway, there’s a couple of guys from Israel-Premier Tech up there and a Movistar rider looking to follow.
The riders have just rolled through kilometre 0, but Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Michael Gogl has a rear wheel puncture.
Prudhomme will wait until Gogl is back in the bunch and sorted before he get’s the stage officially underway.
The riders face another eight kilometres or so before the stage officially starts.
All of the guys in the leaders jerseys are right up there at the front of the bunch ready for when Christian Prudhomme waves his flag to signal the official start.
Right! Here we go then!
The flag has just dropped and the neutralised start is underway in Roanne.
Coming into stage 12, Jonas Vingegaard is still in the yellow jersey of the race leader at the top of the general classification.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) is just 17 seconds off the overall lead. The Slovenian is still in the white jersey of the best young rider.
There are bonus seconds on offer on the final climb of today’s stage – the Col de la Croix Rosier – so expect to see the UAE Emirates man trying to snatch those towards the close of play today.
Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) is still in third, 2-40 from the race lead.
Sprinters “sick” of finishing runner up to Jasper Philipsen
Spare a thought for poor old Dylan Groenewegen of Jayco-AIUla.
After being beaten by Jasper Philipsen once again in Moulins yesterday, the Dutch sprinter told Dutch media he was “sick” of finishing runner up to the Belgian.
He won’t get much luck out on the road today either!
Fabio Jakobsen abandons
In case you missed it earlier on this morning, word filtered through that Soudal Quick-Step’s Fabio Jakobsen had abandoned the race.
The Dutch sprinter fell heavily in the bunch sprint last week in Nogaro and had been hampered by injuries sustained in the crash ever since.
Unfortunately, @FabioJakobsen will not start stage 12 of the #TDF2023.Read more about it here and join us in wishing Fabio a speedy recovery: https://t.co/gprrpP3a1MPhoto: @GettySport pic.twitter.com/qHLxT2rZOPJuly 13, 2023
Stage 12 – Roanne > Belleville – en – Beaujolais 168.8 kilometres
Here’s a closer look at today’s route.
168 kilometres of punchy terrain with five categorised climbs.
It’s hard to call any day on the Tour, especially more so in the modern era, but this feels like its got breakaway written all over it.
Tomorrow concludes with a huge summit finish on the hor categorie Grand Colombier, so it’s hard to imagine Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar taking lumps out of each other today.
Expect to see some of the world’s best puncheurs battling it out from the break today, riders like EF Education-EasyPost’s Magnus Cort and Alberto Bettiol, Julian Alaphilippe of Soudal Quick-Step or maybe even Mathieu van der Poel or Wout van Aert.
The latter is kind of unlikely, but you never know,