Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) won a three-man sprint to win Stage 12 as the Tour de France departed Toulouse and reached Bagneres-de-Bigorre in the Pyrenees after a 209.5 km ride during the treacherous mountain stages.
Yates outsprinted Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) during the final stretch of Stage 12 as it ended in the quaint mountain town of Bagneres-de-Bigorre.
STAGE 12 RESULTS:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 4:57:53
2. Pello Bilbao (Astana) 4:57:53
3. Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:57:53
4. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) +1:28
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe did not lose any significant time in the top spot and he still retains the yellow jersey for yet another day.
Defending champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos) is only 1:12 behind Alaphilippe.
In team rankings, Trek-Segafredo leads after Stage 12 with a 9:19 lead over AG2R Le Mondiale. Movistar is third but trailing by only 10:22.
Stage 12: Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre
After arriving in Toulouse on Wednesday, the tour departed the flatlands and headed to the Pyrenees for a 209. km ride. Stage 12 featured a 13 km and 10 km climb that included a difficult Category 4 ascent.
Riders were faced with a pair of gutbusting climbs. Col de Peyresourde had a 7 percent grade for most of the 13.2 km ascent. The second climb up Hourquette d’Ancizan was only 10 km, but had an equally tough with 7-8 percent grades.
Stage 12 concluded with a quick windy descent into the town of Bagneres-de-Bigorre.
The breakaway pack featured a trio of riders Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe).
“I’ve been saving energy all the way until we got here into the mountains,” said Yates. “This was my first time to try something. Normally I’d be back in the peloton helping my brother Adam. Today I got my own chance and I grabbed it with both hands.”
Simon Yates won his first stage of his career. He moved into 84th overall. His big brother, Adam Yates, is currently in seventh overall and trailing Alaphilippe by only 1:47.
On Deck: Stage 13 Time Trial
An individual time trial is next up in Pau set for 27.2 km.
Belgian Wout Can Aert (Jumbo-Visma), winner of Stage 10, is the favorite to win Stage 13. According to European bookies, he’s 7/2 odds to win the time trial.
Defending champ Geraint Thomas is 5/2 odds to win his first stage of this year’s Tour de France. Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) is 18/1 odds along with Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ).
1. Julian Alaphilippe (47:18:14)
2. Geraint Thomas +1:12
3. Egan Bernal +1:16
4. Steven Kruijswijk +1:27
Now that the tour has reached the mountains, defending champ Geraint Thomas is expected to overtake Alaphilippe. However, nothing too crazy occurred on Stage 12.
“We expected attacks today on the Peyresourde,” Thomas said. “But nothing really happened.”
Betting favorites Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal from Team Ineos still remain in second and third place respectively