- Source: http://www.letour.fr
Intro | Prologue | Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7 | Stage 8 | Stage 9 | Stage 10 | Stage 11 | Stage 12 | Stage 13 | Stage 14 | Stage 15 | Stage 16 | Stage 17 | Stage 18 | Stage 19 | Stage 20 |
30 June – 22 July 2012
The 99th edition of the Tour de France consists of 20 stages and one prologue with nine flat stages, four medium mountain stages, five high mountain, two individual time trials and two rest days. Many pundits consider this year’s route as flat, which will favour the puncheurs, classic specialists and sprinters. But the general classification will once again be determined by who climbs and time trials the best.
Time Trials (Prologue, Stage 9, 19)
The positioning of the time trials will be crucial to the final outcome. The first time trial happens after eight days of flat racing so it will be the first chance for the contenders to show their colours.
A strong performance in stage 9 by a GC contender will give them an advantage going into the mountains two days later after the rest day but, more importantly, will give them a psychological edge for the final time trail, on the penultimate day of the tour. That will favour men like defending champion Cadel Evans.
Medium Mountains (Stage 3, 7, 8, 12)
These favour the puncheurs and add even more intrigue to the tour as most of them will be involved in solo attacks and stage wins. Watch for spectacular attacks from men like Phillipe Gilbert, ‘Spartacus’ Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen, all of whom are one-day specialists.
Flat and plain (Stage 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 13, 15, 18, 20)
Two of these stage types come in under 190km, while five of them are over 200km. These stages are scattered all over the first half of the race and placed in between the mountain stages to give the sprinters something to race for and the overall contenders a chance to relax. Last year, Briton Mark Cavendish became the first man to win 20 stages of the Tour de France adding five in 2011, but with
American Tyler Farrar (Garmin) and Australian Matt Goss (GreenEDGE) in top shape it will be far more competitive in 2012.
High Mountains (Stage 10, 11, 14, 16, 17)
The high mountains as usual come into play after the halfway mark of the Tour, and after individual time trial number one. Although there are the same number of high mountain stages as there were in 2011, the layout is far more forgiving than in past years with no more than two high mountain stages in a row, and ample rest between these stages. With the medium mountain stages favouring both the climbers and puncheurs the GC favourites will have to watch for early attacks from the puncheurs.