Tom Pidcock cemented his name in the history books when the British rider from Ineos Grenadiers completed an impressive breakaway victory in Stage 12 of the 2022 Tour de France at the iconic Alpe d’Huez.

Tom Pidcock Stage 12 Tour de France Alpe d'Huez
Rowdy fans cheer on Tom Pidcock during his remarkable win at Alpe d’Huez in Stage 12 of the Tour de France. (Image: Daniel Cole/AP)

Pidcock — an Olympic gold medalist for England — has a bright future ahead of him, but now everyone will remember him for his dominating win at Alpe d’Huez on Bastille Day during his first-ever Tour de France.

The 165 km route between Briancon and Alpe d’Huez is scenic, but it featured three insane beyond categorized (HC) climbs. The peloton had another ascent to Col Du Galibier before a tough route to the summit of Col de la Croix de Fer, before they reached the iconic and historic Alpe d’Huez.

  1. Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) 4:55:24
  2. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:48
  3. Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech) +2:06

Pidcock chased down Louis Meintjes (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) for the victory and finished 48 seconds ahead. Meintjes settled on second place, while Chris Froome (Israel-Premier Tech) had an impressive third-place finish. Froome — a four-time winner of the Tour de France — had a long and painful recovery from a gruesome crash a few years ago. American Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) finished in fourth place.

Tadej Pogcar (UAE Team Emirates) took fifth place, with Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) right behind him in sixth place. Vingegaard successfully defended the yellow jersey in the first day he rode in it after snatching it from Pogacar in Stage 11. Pogacar still trails Vingegaard by 2:22.

Stage 12: Briancon > Alpe d’Huez

The initial breakaway was five deep that was 6:11 ahead of the peloton which included Pidcock, Meintjes, Poweless, Froome, and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo). With 10.5 km to go, Pidcock made a move and only Meintjes stayed on his wheel. Froome and Powless struggled to keep up and Ciccone got dropped.

A couple kilometers later, Pidcock dropped Meintjes and opened up a 30-second gap. Meanwhile the peloton trailed Pidcock by 4:20, and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) attacked to try to set up his teammate Vingegaard.

When Pogacar made a move, Vingegaard stayed on his wheel, but they shaved time of Pidcock’s lead by over 40 seconds. Pogacar launched another attacked with 4 km to the finish, but he couldn’t shake Vingegaard.

Pidcock locked up the victory in front a jubilant crowd at the Stage 12 finish line in Alpe D’Huez.

“One of my best experiences in cycling, it was unreal,” said Pidcock. “When you are literally slaloming through people’s flags, fists and God knows what else, you can’t experience that anywhere else, in anything, other than on Alpe d’Huez at the Tour de France. A stage win at my first Tour, it’s not bad.”

Fans from all over the world arrived five or six days before Stage 12 began to claim camping spots along with switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez, where it’s a nonstop party leading up to the stage. Different countries claim different corners, so there’s a bit of nationalist pride going on as they cheer their countrymen up the hellacious climb to the summit of Alpe d’Huez.

Preview Stage 13: Le Bourg d’Oisans > Saint-Etienne

It’s essentially a flat route in Stage 13, but might not be a day for the sprinters after a lengthy 193 km ride from Le Bourg d’Oisans into Saint-Etienne. The peloton welcomes the flat stage after two punishing days in the Alps punctuated by ascents over Col du Galibier, Col du Granon, and Alpe d’Huez. Stage 13 is supposed to be another hot day with a couple of modest categorized climbs to the top of Cote de Brie, Col de Parmenie, and Cote de Saint-Romain-en-Gal.

Will Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) win another stage? Or is this another breakaway victory from a stage hunter that’s out of the GC contention? Or will one of the Americans take a shot like Kuss, Powless, or Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo)?

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 46:28:46
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +2:22
  3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:26
  4. Romain Bardet (DSM) +2:35
  5. Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) +3:44

The time difference between Vingegaard, Pogacar, and Thomas did not change even though Pogacar moved into second place and Thomas moved into third place. After a disappointing and rough Stage 12, Romain Bardet (DSM) lost nearly 20 seconds and slipped to fourth overall. Adam Yates (Ineos) returned into the top five, but he’s 3:44 back.

“After yesterday, I didn’t have the best legs today,” said Vingegaard. “Pogacar attacked me a few times at the end and expected him to, luckily I was able to follow him every time.”

Vingegaard is still the betting favorite to win the 2022 Tour de France at -330 odds. Pogacar is the second-favorite on the board at +275 odds. Thomas saw a slight bump in his odds to +1600.

Check out OG’s complete coverage of the 2022 Tour de France.