Stage 12 of the Tour de France 2022 is another day of traditional Alpine climbs. Over a total distance of 165km, the riders take on three categorised climbs.
The first is a return visit to the Col du Galibier, so if anyone dropped their sunglasses there on Stage 11, they can pick them up. Then comes the Col de la Croix de Fer, before a noisy and chaotic Bastille Day ascent to the finish line at Alpe d'Huez.
This is an exact replica of a Briançon - Alpe d'Huez stage in 1986.
|Date||Thursday 14th July 2022|
|Intermediate sprint||Le Monêtier-les-Bains
|Climbs||Col du Galibier (HC)
Col de la Croix de Fer (HC)
Alpe d'Huez (HC)
There's an annoying video map of Stage 12:
This is the profile of Stage 12, Tour de France 2022:
|Caravan||Fast Schedule||Slow Schedule|
|Start Time (départ fictif)||1105||1305||1305|
|Start Time (départ réel)||1120||1320||1320|
|Intermediate Sprint (11.8km)||1142||1340||1342|
|Col de la Croix de Fer (110.6km)||1447||1624||1647|
|Finish Line (165.1km)||1629
Stage 12 starts in Briançon. The riders head back up the Vallée de la Guisane, which they will have come down the day before. They pass through la Salle-des-Alpes and le Monêtier-les-Bains. The intermediate sprint is at Monêtier-les-Bains after 11.8km.
They then go over the Col du Galibier to Valloire, then on via the Col du Télégraphe (which isn't treated as a categorised climb in this direction).
From Briançon, the Col du Galibier is easy until you reach the Col du Lautaret, according to Cycling Challenge.
At Lautaret, you leave the main road (D1091) and wind up the hairpins of the D902 for 8.5km, passing the monument to founder of the Tour de France Henri Desgranges.
Overall, the climb is 23km at 5.1%.
The race reaches the Arc valley at Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, then continues down river to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.
From Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, the peloton begins the ascent of the Col de la Croix de Fer.
The steepest parts of the climb of the Col de la Croix de Fer come early on. These gradients are from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Pierrepin-Dessous, then after a little drop to Le Crêt, the next stretch to the Tunnel des Quatre Jarriens.
After the tunnel, there are easy slopes past Saint-Jean-d'Arves and to Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves.
The final hairpins to the Col de la Croix de Fer at 2,067m are quite steep once more.
After the top of the Col de la Croix de Fer, the riders descend to the Col du Glandon. They then turn left on the D926 and ride through the Combe d'Olle to the Lac de Grand Maison and the Barrage de Grand Maison at the end of the lake.
Les Grandes Rousses mountains are to the left here, and the Montagne des Sept Laux to the right. After the lake, the race continues through the Défilé de Maupas, and on down to the village of Allemont in the valley.
The riders cross the stream, la Romanche, and join the D1091 valley road. It takes them to Bourg d'Oisans, which is where the Alpe d'Huez climb begins.
Alpe-d'Huez is a ski resort in the Isère département of France.
It was developed from the 1920s, and the first button lift (made by Jean Pomagalski and his Poma lift company) was installed in 1936. Alpe-d'Huez hosted the bobsleigh events of the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics.
The Alpe-d'Huez climb is from Bourg-d'Oisans in the Romanche valley, on the D211. There are 21 hairpin bends, it's 13.8km at an average 8.1%, and the summit is at 1,850m. It was first included in the Tour de France in 1952.
There are often chaotic scenes as thousands of spectators line the route up to Alpe-d'Huez, and it is especially popular with Dutch cycling fans.
As Stage 12 of the 2022 Tour is on Bastille Day, it is quite a brave decision to include an ascent of Alpe-d'Huez.
Stage 12 is likely to see the GC contenders also vying for the stage win. There is a risk of it turning into a damp squib, as Pogacar pedals away with ease. His rivals should include Roglic, Vingegaard, Thomas, O'Connor, Vlasov, Mas, Pinot perhaps, Bardet, and possibly Fuglsang.
If a breakaway happens to survive, then maybe Warren Barguil could triumph on 14th July.
Who do you think will win Stage 12?
Briançon is a town at the confluence of the Durance and the Guisane, in the Hautes Alpes. It's at an altitude of 1,326m. It sits between Italy to the east, and the Parc National des Ecrins to the west. Briançon is one of the towns served by the Serre-Chevalier ski area.
Briançon was called Brigantium by the Romans, and was a settlement where Roman roads through the Alps met.
The historic centre of the town was built by the military architect Vauban in the 1600s. Because Briançon is close to the Col de Montgenèvre route to Turin, it was often involved in conflicts, and had to protect itself; there are other forts higher up. The town has been extended outside the fortifications, to the south west, down by the river Durance.
Luc Alphand is from Briançon. He was a ski racer, who won the overall World Cup title in 1997.
As well as skiing in the winter, Briançon is known for cycling and kayaking in the summer. There's good whitewater on the Durance and its tributaries.
Rough Guide to France.
Price £14.39 from Amazon as at 3rd March 2022.
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Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is a town at the confluence of the Arvan with the Arc. It's named after John the Baptist, and reputedly had relics of John - three fingers brought back from Egypt in the C6th.
The main industries in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne are aluminium production and tourism. Among the visitors it attracts are cyclists who use it as a base to tackle the Alpine cols nearby.