Tour de France 2018 Favourites stage 12: Attackers on legendary climb

The Alpe d'Huez climb has legendary status. It's not the hardest climb on the Tour de France, but the twenty-one numbered switchbacks, each labelled with the names of former winners, inspire awe. Dutch fans usually outnumber all others, but the French have been much more successful on the mountain in recent years. (Slideshow route/profile)

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 is dreaming of turning their compatriots into the overdrive. The Dutch rider is eyeing up stage wins in this year’s Grande Boucle. Another adventurous rider who wont’t mind 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 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 and to pep things up Les Lacets de Montvernier is placed in between those giants. The Col de la Madeleine is 25.3 kilometer at 6.2%, Les Lacets de Montvernier 3.4 kilometres at 8.2%, and 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, Pierre Rolland, Omar Fraile, Rudy Molard
** Warren Barguil, Lilian Calmejane, Thomas de Gendt, Ion Izagirre
* Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet

Tour de France 2018 stage 12: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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