Stage 12: Bourg-de-Péage - Mende 210km

By Procycling

Monday, July 5, 2010 9.49am

Saluting Jalabert

Instead of two run-of-the-mill ‘transition’ stages between the Alps and the Pyrenees, Prudhomme and his team have opted to start the move westwards with a tricky day running through the Ardeche to the now well-known finish at Mende’s aerodrome atop the Montée Laurent Jalabert, so called after the Frenchman’s famous Bastille Day win there in 1995.

On heavy roads and over four categorised climbs, this stage could cause surprises, particularly if the temperature boils up. Spaniard Marcos Serrano won the last time the Tour finished here in 2005. Will a compatriot triumph today?

Procycling’s favourite to win:

Alberto Contador bested Alejandro Valverde and Samuel Sánchez by 10 seconds on the Jalabert summit in March’s Paris-Nice. Those names should feature again today assuming Valverde is allowed to start, but watch too for their compatriot who was fourth that day, Joaquím Rodríguez. The Catalan has ridden well since forsaking super-domestique duties in Valverde’s service for leadership of the Katusha team. ‘Purito’, as he’s known, might by now be out of the running in what will be his Tour debut, which could free him to seek out the stage win today.

Stage 12 map:

Stage 12 profile:


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