Today we saw the peloton heading from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne, in a 185.5km stage deep in eastern-central France. The trend of key leaders exiting the Tour de France continued on the back of stage 11 with another abandonment.
Andrew Talansky announced that he will in fact be leaving the tour in 44th place after a serious of rough events in the last couple of stages. The American struggled through stage 11 and at the start of today’s stage it was just too much.
He told ITV4:
‘I’m absolutely heartbroken to leave the Tour de France. I built my season around the tour, and the team has supported me every step of the way. I had hoped the rest day would allow some time to recover from my crashes. […] But it proved to to be too much’
With 46km to go, on the hottest day of the Tour so far, Côte de Grammond approached in what was the final climb before the stage end. Stage 12 looked fairly normal due to a lack of drama, a change from the style of racing we’ve seen so far this year.
Marcel Kittel was putting in a strong performance 27km towards the finish line, and a small crash left a small dent in the flow of the race.
Inside the final 2km, Peter Sagan was being support heavily by his team mates to hopefully bag himself that crucial win, but he soon dropped back as a fast group seemed to come from nowhere to chase him down. In the last 1oom, after a super-late break, it was Alexander Kritsoff who stole first place, closely followed by Sagan in second and Arnaud Démare in third.
Check back for more Tour de France 2014 coverage here at ProBikeKit.