The 218 km ride in Stage 12 of the 2020 Tour de France began in Chauvigny and started smoothly before gradually increasing in difficulty as the race reached Sarran. Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), who came close to winning two other stages, finally broke through with a victory in Stage 12 as he crossed the finish line at Sarran 47 seconds ahead of the chase pack.

2020 Le Tour de France Stage 12 Sarran Marc Hirschi Sunweb
Switzerland’s Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) reaches the finish line first at Stage 12 Sarran. (Image: AP)

In Stage 12, riders faced their longest individual stage of the 2020 Tour de France, and the only ride in excess of 200 kilometers.

Hirschi, 22, edged out Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and his teammate at Sunweb, Soren Kragh Andersen.

TOUR de FRANCE STAGE 12 RESULTS
  1. Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) 05:08:49
  2. Pierre Rolland (B&B HVC) +00:47
  3. Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) +00:52

There was no change in the Tour de France general classification standings as Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) retained the yellow jersey. He continues to hold a 21-second edge over last year’s champ, Egan Bernal (Ineos).

Stage 12: Chauvigny > Sarran

Riders had a steady and flat first 100 km out of Chauvigny before they encountered the hills with a modest climb up Cote de Saint-Martin-Terrasus.

The most challenging ascent of the day was a Category 2 climb up Suc au May (a 7.7% average gradient), which was approximately 25 km from the finish line. The last 10 km included rolling hills, including a slight hill toward the finish at Sarran.

“I was always doubting because they were always close and I always had the picture in mind from the last two stages I was close,” said Hirschi. “The last kilo, I first believed that I could make it. It’s my first pro victory and it’s at Le Tour. It’s like a dream. Incredible.”

Julian Alaphilippe came into Stage 12 as one of the favorites to finish first at Sarran. However, his delayed move on Hirschi cost him the stage.

“I’m disappointed, but tried my best,” said Alaphilippe. “I left it too late and Hirschi was too strong, but I will give it another go (tomorrow) in Stage 13.”

Hirschi had a remarkable breakout in Stage 9, but Primoz Roglic caught him at the finish line at Le Runs. Hirschi broke out early in Stage 2 before the chase pack gobbled him up and he lost to Alaphilippe. As the saying goes, the third time is the charm.

2020 Tour de France - Stage 13 elevation map
2020 Tour de France – Stage 13 elevation map. (Image: LeTour.fr)

On Deck: Stage 13 Chatel-Guyon > Puy Mary Cantal

The Tour de France reaches cheese country or Route de Fromages during Stage 13 and its lengthy 191 km ride from Chatel-Guyon to Puy Mary Cantal. This mountain stage doesn’t have the same ferocity as the Pyrenees or the upcoming Alps. However, there are five climbs.

Riders will be tested early on with a Category 1 ascent up Cole de Ceyssat. That’s followed by a couple of Category 2 climbs before a summit finish atop Pas de Peyrol and Puy Mary Cantal.

Will one of the top riders in the GC make a move during Stage 13? Julian Alaphilippe made up some lost time in Stage 12, but he might be one of the bold riders to breakaway at the start of the race and use the arduous ascent at Cole de Ceyssat to create a time buffer between him and the peloton.

LE TOUR GC STANDINGS THRU STAGE 12
  1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 51:26:43
  2. Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) +00:21
  3. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +00:28
  4. Romain Bardet (ALM) +00:30
  5. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) +00:32

Oddsmakers in Europe didn’t alter their Tour de France futures after a mellow day at the top of the GC. Roglic is still the favorite to win Le Tour at -155 odds, followed by Bernal at +275 odds.

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