Tour de France stage 12 preview

The battle for yellow breaks out

Luz-Ardiden is back on the Tour route for the first time since 2003, when Lance Armstrong won there after his unforgettable collision with a fan and the "did he wait?" debate that subsequently blew up around Jan Ullrich.

This will bring an end to the phony war between the favourites for the yellow jersey. Preceding the final climb is the first-ever ascent of the narrow road that winds up through the trees to the Hourquette d'Ancizan, followed by the Tourmalet from the La Mongie-side. Coming off there, the race heads straight onto the final climb.

Details -

Distance: 211 km

Highest point: 1715m

Category: High mountains

Sylwester Szmyd says...

"Bastille Day, so French riders will be putting on a show for the sponsors. It's too big a day and I'm not sure if any are good enough to win. By the end of it, we'll have a clear idea of the top contenders and we'll definitely know who can't win the Tour…"

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