Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024 | The riders truly deserve this one... Cycling

Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024 | The riders truly deserve this one...

Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024 | The riders truly deserve this one...

After just one day in the Central Massif, the peloton will again leave the baking oven of France, but not before grabbing some elevation on their way out of Aurillac. Two hundred kilometers later, the finish line awaits in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, where the final kilometer tracks uphill ever so gently. Who will win this one? IDLProCycling.com tells you all about it.

Course stage 12 Tour de France 2024

Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024 | The riders truly deserve this one...

We start in Aurillac, in the south of the Central Massif. From the starting point, we head in a (south)west direction, for another ride of more than two hundred kilometers. A few years ago, it seemed the Tour organization was moving away from these long stages, but this season, quite a few stages of this distance have been included again.

Leaving the Central Massif means the first part of the ride still has some climbing on the menu. After seven kilometers, the road climbs for 3.5 kilometers at a 3.6 percent gradient, followed by about 25 kilometers of undulating terrain. Then, we face a quite long descent before tackling the Cote d'Autoire (2.7 kilometers at 5.9 percent).

It remains to be seen if a strong breakaway group will take off, unlike two days ago, but it will probably become clear in the middle of the ride. This is spiced up with the Cote de Rocamadour (2.0 kilometers at 5.8 percent), an intermediate sprint in Gourdon, the Cote de Montclera (2.0 kilometers at 4.6 percent) and a few uncategorized climbs.

As the stage progresses, the elevation decreases. In the last 25 kilometers, there are still some inclines, including a small hill of about 2.5 kilometers at 2.7 percent just before the last ten kilometers begin. So, we start them with a descent, where the nervousness will increase.

What do those last kilometers look like? At 3.5 kilometers from the finish, there's a left turn, after which the road narrows at three kilometers from the line. Just before the last two kilometers, there's a technical phase, with two roundabouts that need to be taken on the left side and a chicane.

Just before the last kilometer, we enter the final turn, after which the last about 1200 meters are nicely flat in the center of Villeneuve-sur-Lot. We last finished there in 2000 when a Dutchman, Erik Dekker, managed to win.

Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024 | The riders truly deserve this one...

62.8 km: CÔTE D'AUTOIRE (2.7 at 5.9%)
84.3 km: CÔTE DE ROCAMADOUR (2.0 km at 5.8%)
135.5 km: CÔTE DE MONTCLÉRA (2.0 km at 4.6%)

Start: 12:50 PM
Finish: around 5:28 PM

Weather stage 12 Tour de France 2024

We start from the furnace of France, the Central Massif. Still, temperatures are reasonable, and there's also a chance of precipitation in the afternoon. Toward the finish in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, the wind will be slightly in the peloton's favor all day, but it won't be blowing too hard.

Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024

Sprinters don't have many chances left in this edition of the Tour de France, which will end in Nice. For that reason, we still give the fastest riders a good chance to dominate this stage, though you never know in the second week, especially if some strong breakaways get ahead.

At Alpecin-Deceuninck, they will likely play the card of Jasper Philipsen, who won his first stage of this Tour on Tuesday in Saint-Amand-Montrond. The Belgian achieved this after a strong lead-out from Mathieu van der Poel, Robbe Ghys and Jonas Rickaert, which they will want to set up again on Thursday.

Three other fast men have already tasted success in this Tour: Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco AlUla) won in Dijon, green jersey Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) has won two stages, and Mark Cavendish achieved his 35th stage win in the Tour on behalf of his team Astana Qazaqstan. These men are likely aiming for more success, with Girmay also focusing on collecting points for the points classification.

Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024 | The riders truly deserve this one...

Then there are the other sprinters, who have come close several times. Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) and Pascal Ackermann (Israel-Premier Tech) have ridden well a few times, but like Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) and Sam Bennett (Decathlon AG2R), they still lack a win.

Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), Marijn van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), Arnaud Démare (Arkéa - B&B Hotels), Ryan Gibbons (Lidl-Trek) and Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) will also compete for the top places, while it's always a question of how much Wout van Aert (Visma | Lease a Bike) will commit, especially since he fell on Wednesday. And what about Fabio Jakobsen, who has yet to shine for dsm-firmenich PostNL?

For a potential early breakaway, we're looking at riders like Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), but this doesn't seem the most likely scenario.

Favorites stage 12 Tour de France 2024, according to In the Leader's Jersey

Top favorites: Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco AlUla)
Outsiders: Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty), Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) and Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan Team)
Long shots: Pascal Ackermann (Israel-Premier Tech), Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), Sam Bennett (Decathlon AG2R), Marijn van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), Wout van Aert (Visma | Lease a Bike), Arnaud Démare (Arkéa - B&B Hotels) and Bryan Coquard (Cofidis)

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