Tour de France 2012 stage 18 preview

A baroudeurs’ benefit?

Distance: 222.5km

Highest point: 337m

Category: Rolling

Although classed as a flat stage, the profile and local knowledge suggests it will be anything but. The first third of the day is flat but the middle section is distinctly lumpy. Most of the peloton will have a mark next to this stage as it offers many riders their best and perhaps only chance of a win before Paris. That being the case, the main break of the day could be very large indeed, perhaps with a dozen or more riders and potentially enough leg power to go all the way. With the Olympic Road Race little more than a week away, it will be interesting to see if the sprinters respond on such a long stage.

Jérémy Roy: This long stage will be very tiring and it’s also the last chance to shine for many riders. Do I think a break could succeed? Yes, I’m 99 per cent sure. The GC leaders must keep their strength for the next day’s time trial and the teams will be tired.

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Video: Tour de France 2012 stage 18 preview by Chris Boardman

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