Tour de France 2012 stage 19 preview

The race of truth

Distance: 53.5km

Highest point: 171m

Category: Time trial

If the race unfolds as Prudhomme and his route team would like, a climber will head the GC by no more than three minutes going into this final key stage, where some powerful rouleurs will attempt to chase him down. Although longer than the first time trial, the time gaps here may not be as big as those seen in Besançon as endurance can be as much of a factor as ability this far into a grand tour. This doesn’t mean that the stage won’t fall to a specialist such as Martin, Cancellara or Wiggins but it might mean that an experienced grand tour contender could spring a surprise. It should be a cliffhanger.

Sean Yates: For the first 38km it’s super-fast and nice roads, then it does get trickier. It’s a big distance and it will obviously play a decisive role in the final results. It’s the last chance for a reversal of any positions and it’s going to be interesting.

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Video: Tour de France 2012 stage 19 preview by Chris Boardman

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