The age of specialization in cycling suffered another death blow today as cyclocross World Champion Tom Pidcock of INEOS, an ace of the cobbled classics as well, took a hugely impressive solo victory on Alpe d’Huez to win stage 12 of the Tour de France. The 22-year-old Brit seemed in command of the day’s breakaway, which he split on several occasions and abandoned altogether early on in the final climb of the day, with only Louis Meintjes of Intermarché-Wanty anywhere close to hanging on. Even four-time Tour winner Chris Froome of Israel Premier Tech couldn’t hang with Tour debutante Pidcock, finishing two minutes back.
Behind them, the maillot jaune was theoretically up for grabs and defending champion Tadej Pogačar of UAE rebounded from yesterday’s resounding defeat by Jumbo’s Jonas Vingegaard, launching a pair of blistering attacks to see if the Dane would show any weakness. But it wasn’t to be, Vingegaard too had recovered from his effort on the Col du Granon, and was able to latch quickly onto the wheel of Pogačar each time. In the process, the pair distanced second-placed Romain Bardet, who lost 19 seconds and fell to fourth overall. Geraint Thomas of INEOS lost the top two but repeatedly spun back to hang on for third overall, while his teammate Adam Yates conceded time to the leaders and looks like he’s destined to support Thomas’ effort in the Pyrenees next week.
- Tom Pidcock INEOS Grenadiers, 04:55:24
- Louis Meintjes Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, + 48
- Chris Froome Israel-Premier Tech, + 02:06
- Neilson Powless EF Education-EasyPost, + 02:29
- Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates, + 03:23
- Jonas Vingegaard Jumbo-Visma, + 03:23
- Geraint Thomas INEOS Grenadiers, + 03:23
- Enric Mas Movistar Team, + 03:26
- Sepp Kuss Jumbo-Visma, + 03:26
- Giulio Ciccone Trek-Segafredo, + 03:32
- Vingegaard, 46:28:46
- Pogacar, + 02:22
- Thomas, + 02:26
- Bardet, + 02:35
- Yates, + 03:44
- Nairo Quintana, Team Arkéa-Samsic, + 03:58
- David Gaudu, Groupama-FDJ, + 04:07
- Pidcock, + 07:39
- Mas, + 09:32
- Aleksandr Vlasov BORA-hansgrohe, + 10:06
Briançon - Alpe d’Huez 165.1 km
A well rested peloton come to this monster stage after a relaxing and uneventful day yesterday. The Alpe on Bastille Day is a great recipe for madness.
Expected finish: 17:55 - 18:30 CEST
Frenchman of the Day : Bauke Mollema
There is something to be said for tradition and a Dutchman winning on the Dutch mountain fits the bill.