Highest point: 2,067m
Category: High mountains
It may have become a hackneyed phrase but it’s certainly apt to describe this as a day when the Tour can’t be won but can certainly be lost. The only day in the heart of the Alps also features the first high mountain finish, at the resort where Michael Rasmussen won in 2006. It’s a stage that is cut out for specialist climbers. The Madeleine and the Croix de Fer, which is tackled via the Glandon, are both very tough 2,000-metre passes that will sap everyone’s reserves. The riders will have to take care on the descent of the Mollard, where the hairpins are tightly packed. The finish will reveal the real GC contenders.
Allan Peiper: This is a very typical Tour de France stage and most of the climbs have been ridden before. Mountain top finishes are the only chances that the climbers who don’t time-trial that well can get some gaps before the final stages.
Video: Tour de France 2012 stage 11 preview by Chris Boardman