Stage 12 is set to finish on is the runway of the airport of Peyragudes. The ski resort in the Pyrenees hosted a Tour de France stage in 2014, yet earlier fame befell the place in 1997 with a scene in the James Bond-movie Tomorrow never Dies.
After leaving Pau the riders head for Tournay and then the Pyrenees. The muscles can be stretched at Côte de Capvern and Col des Ares before Col de Menté looms with 132 kilometres done. This is a 6.9 kilometres long climb of 8.1% with steepest slopes of 16%.
At kilometre 172 the riders tackle the climb to the highest point of stage 12: Port de Balès. The mountain, peaking at an elevation of 1,755 metres, is crested after a 11.7 kilometres toil, giving it the label hors catégorie. The average gradient is 7.7% with steepest sectors of up to 11.1%.
Port de Balès was introduced in the 2007 Tour de France, yet it was only after the infamous ‘chaingate’ incident in 2010 the climb became notorious. Race leader Andy Schleck was setting the pace when he dropped his chain. Alberto Contador attacked and took over the yellow jersey.
With 14 kilometres remaining the Col de Peyresourde appears. In fact it is the first climb of a double-barrelled ascent to arrival place Peyragudes. The first part amounts to 11.7 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.7% before a short drop runs to the foot of a 2.4 kilometres slog at 8.4%, which is leading to the ‘James Bond Airport’.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
Tour de France 2017 stage 12: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Details finish 12th stage
Profile intermediate sprint 12th stage
Details intermediate sprint 12th stage
Start and finish at Google maps
Saint Aventin – Peyresourde at Strava