The last Dutch victory? Gert-Jan Theunisse, 1989, while Thibaut Pinot (2015), Christophe Riblon (2013) and Pierre Rolland (2011) climbed to victory on the so-called Dutch Mountain. But of course the likes of Robert Gesink and Wilco Kelderman are dreaming of turning their compatriots into the overdrive. Both Dutch riders are eyeing up stage wins in this year’s Grande Boucle. Another rider with an adventurous mind who wont’t mind of adding another iconic stage win to his impressive palmares is Thomas De Gendt. The Belgian attacker speaks Dutch, and maybe that will be enough to bring ecstasy to the orange-clad mob on the mountain.
Yet, the 12th stage of the Tour de France is much more than only the last climb. The route travels over Col de la Madeleine and Col de la Croix de Fer to end with the twenty-one switchbacks to Alpe d’Huez. The climbs are similar in that they are all long and grueling. The Col de la Madeleine is 25.3 kilometer at 6.2%, Col de la Croix de Fer 29 kilometres at 5.2%, while the haul up to Alpe d’Huez is 13.8 kilometres and averaging 8.1%.
In recent year’s, the battle for stage victory in Alpe d’Huez always raged between attackers. Carlos Sastre was the last GC-contender to win atop of the mountain. In 2008 he brought a long-range attack home and finished 2 minutes ahead of Samuel Sanchez and Andy Schleck.
Favourites 12th stage 2018 Tour de France
*** Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman, Thomas de Gendt
** Mikel Landa, Ilnur Zakarin, Warren Barguil, Pierre Latour
* Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet, Richie Porte
– route 12th stage
Tour de France 2018 stage 12: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Climb details Col de la Madeleine
Climb details Lacets de Montvernier
Climb details Col de la Croix de Fer
Climb details Alpe d’Huez
Bourg-St.-Maurice and Alpe d’Huez at Google maps
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