Stage 12 Tour de France 2024

Stage 11 | Stage 12 | Stage 13

Rocamadour
Rocamadour, by dynamosquito, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Stage 12 of the Tour de France 2024 is a 203.6km flat stage from Aurillac to Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

Although classified flat there are plenty of hills in the first half of the route, including the Côte de Rocamadour. That characteristic of the parcours should give a breakaway a chance.

The total climbing on the stage is 2,200m.

The sprinters' teams will be looking to catch the breakaway riders in the flatter second half of the stage, to set up a bunch sprint in Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: Video Highlights and Blog

These are video highlights of Stage 12.



This is the Stage 12 blog/race report.

Race Details | Poll | Map & Profile | Timings | Videos | Food & Drink | Route Notes | Favourites

Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: Race Details

Race details - Stage 12, Tour de France 2024
Date Thursday 11th July 2024
Stage classification Flat
Distance 203.6km
Intermediate sprint Gourdon
Climbs Côte d'Autoire
Côte de Rocamadour
Côte de Montcléra
Total climbing 2,200m

Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: Poll

Vote for one of the main contenders to win Stage 12.


Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: Map & Stage Profile

This is a map of the route of Stage 12, Tour de France 2024.

Map of Stage 12 Tour de France 2024
Map of Stage 12 Tour de France 2024, ©ASO/Tour de France

This is a zoom-able map of the route of Stage 12 of the 2024 Tour de France.


Note: this routemap was produced a long time in advance of the race, and could be subject to changes.

This is the profile of Stage 12 Tour de France 2024.

Profile of Stage 12 Tour de France 2024
Profile of Stage 12 Tour de France 2024, © ASO/Tour de France

Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: Timings

Timings - Stage 12, Tour de France 2024

Caravan Fast Schedule Slow Schedule
Start Time (départ fictif) 1035
1235
1235
Start Time (départ réel) 1050
1250
1250
Intermediate Sprint Gourdon 1327
1513
1527
Côte de Montcléra Climb 1404
1547
1604
Finish Line (203.6km) 1541
1716
1741

Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: Videos

This is a video of the route of Stage 12 Tour de France 2024.

The last time the Tour de France visited Rocamadour was for an individual time trial on Stage 20 of the 2022 race.



Food and Drink to Accompany Stage 12 Tour de France 2024

Cahors Malbec
Cahors Malbec (affiliate link)

Rocamadour gives its name to a goat's cheese that goes well in a goat's cheese salad.

Rocamadour goats cheese
Rocamadour goats' cheese, by Jeremysoul62, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The historic Quercy region around Cahors is known for walnuts, used to make walnut tarts, walnut wine, and walnut-based confectionary.

Quercy also produces black truffles, saffron and melons.

Cahors wine is a red with its own AOC. The dominant grape variety is Malbec. The wine is typically dark in colour with notes of spiced black cherries and cedar.

Buy a bottle of Cahors wine on Amazon (affiliate link).


Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: Route Notes

The stage starts in Aurillac (départ fictif).

Aurillac

Aurillac
Aurillac, by Chatsam, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Aurillac is the capital of the Cantal département, and stands at the foot of the Cantal hills. The name stems from the Latin Aureliacum, and refers to a Roman villa of Aurelius.

It's on the banks of the Jordanne, near its confluence with the Cère. Its population is around 28,000. Aurillac has an airport.

Aurillac's Medieval history is known from 856, when Count Gerald of Aurillac was born at the Château de Saint-Etienne. Gerald founded a Benedictine monastery in 885.

Chateau de Saint-Etienne, Aurillac
Château de Saint-Etienne, Aurillac, by Krzysztof Golik, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Cantal is the name of a cheese which is processed and packaged in Aurillac.

Aurillac also manufactures umbrellas. L'Aurillac parapluie accounts for around half of French umbrella production. Aurillac has an oceanic climate, with a relatively high level of precipitation - so at least the umbrellas are useful to locals.

Umbrellas, Aurillac
Umbrellas, Aurillac, by Walther Schönleber, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

This is a military town, with an Infantry Regiment and a squadron of CRS based here.

Rugby is the most popular sport in Aurillac.

Aurillac is twinned with Bassetlaw in the UK.

The Tour finished in Aurillac on Stage 7 of the 2008 edition. It was a solo win for Luis Leon Sanchez.


The départ réel is on the south western edge of Aurillac, near La Sablière shopping centre.

As soon as the stage starts it goes through a suburb of Aurillac called Ytrac, which was the birthplace of Antonin Magne (Tonin le Sage), who won the Tour de France in 1931 and 1934. He went on to be a sports director for the Mercier team.

The riders leave town on the N122, which crosses the Cère near Sansac-de-Marmiesse.

Sansac-de-Marmiesse
Sansac-de-Marmiesse, by Père Igor, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The race then leaves the N122 and takes the D20 to Le Rouget, Roumégout and Saint-Saury.

The D20 becomes the D140 before Sousceyrac. The peloton continues to Saint-Céré.

Saint-Céré
Saint-Céré on the river Bave, by Krzysztof Golik, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Saint-Céré is on the river Bave, and overlooked by the ruins of the castle of Saint-Laurent-les-Tours.


At Saint-Jean-Lespinasse, the race leaves the valley of the river Bave, and soon the riders are on the first categorised climb of the stage.

Côte d'Autoire (Category 4)

The peloton climbs past the Aérodrome de Saint Médard de Presque.

The climb, called the Côte d'Autoire, is 2.7km at an average 5.9%, to a height of 349m after 62.8km raced.

Gouffre de Padirac

Stage 12 continues to Padirac, famous for the Gouffre de Padirac just to the north of the village - 'un must-see pour les familles'.

Gouffre de Padirac
Gouffre de Padirac, by Gerald Fauvelle, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The roof of the cavern at Padirac collapsed many centuries ago, leaving a chasm 103m deep ('the Devil's Hole).

Apparently people lived in the Gouffre de Padirac from the 1300s to the 1500s.

It has a subterranean river system that's partly negotiable by boat. The whole underground river network is 55km long.

Gouffre de Padirac
Gouffre de Padirac, by Thérèse Gaigé, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Stage 12 continues to Alvignac, a spa town due to the Salmière spring. The sodium sulphate waters 'have an effect on disorders of the digestive system and urinary tract' - precisely what effect is not specified.

Rocamador.

Rocamadour

Sanctuary, Rocamadour
Rocamadour Sanctuary, by Krzysztof Golik, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Rocamadour is known for its religious buildings, and for a goat's milk cheese (Wikipedia).

The name is said to derive from Rocamajor, meaning an important rock shelter. Caves here were home to people in prehistoric times.

Saint Amadour

In 1166, local citizens were digging under a chapel to bury someone when they found a perfectly-preserved body. They believed it to be the remains of a hermit, perhaps Zacheus.

Zacheus features in a Bible story. He was the tax collector who climbed a tree so that he could see Jesus above the crowds of people. According to local legend, he came here from the Holy Land after the death of Jesus, built a chapel in honour of the Virgin Mary, lived as a hermit, and preached.

In this part of France, Zacheus was given the name roc amator, he who likes rock. When his body was found, it was placed near the altar of a chapel and miracles started to happen. Zacheus, or roc amator, became known as called Saint Amadour.

The body of Saint Amadour soon attracted pilgrims, many on their way to Santiago de Compostela. As many as 30,000 pilgrims came here on popular days, and the Alzou valley became a vast campsite.

Henry Plantaganet, who became Henry II of England, was a famous pilgrim here.

In 1562, during the Wars of Religion, Protestant mercenaries wrought destruction on Rocamadour and its treasures and relics. The Protestant captain threw the (still in tact!) body of St Amadour onto a fire, but it would not burn, so he hacked it to pieces with his axe instead.

Rocamadour was looted again at the time of the French Revolution.

Visiting Rocamadour

Since the early C20th, Rocamadour has seen a resurgence of interest, and is a popular destination for pilgrims and holiday makers.

There are buildings at three levels. At the lowest level nearest the river is the main village and the Town Hall.

Take the 216 steps of the Grand Escalier, which pilgrims once climbed on their knees as an act of penance, and you reach a group of buildings known as the Sanctuary of Rocamadour, or the Cité Religieuse, at the middle level. One of those buildings is the Notre-Dame chapel, which contains a walnut wood Black Madonna, reputed to have been carved by Saint Amadour.

From the middle level, you can ascend the stairs of le Chemin de la Croix (Stations of the Cross) to the top level, where you find ramparts which are the remains of a castle dating from the 1300s, built to protect the Sanctuary.

See a map of Rocamadour.


From Rocamadour there's a descent to the river Alzou, which the riders cross.

On the other side of the bridge they then climb away from the river, and this is the Côte de Rocamadour.

Côte de Rocamadour (Category 4)

The Côte de Rocamadour climb is 2km at an average 5.8%, to a height of 265m after 84.3km raced.

Now the race heads south on the D32 to Couzou, and west on the D39 over the A20 autoroute to Saint-Projet, Le Vigan and Gourdon.

Intermediate Sprint at Gourdon

Gourdon
Gourdon, public domain image

The intermediate sprint is at Gourdon, after 110km raced.

Gourdon was once the stronghold of the Fortanier family. One member of this family, Bertrand de Gourdon, is said to have killed Richard the Lionheart with a crossbow shot at the Battle of Chalus in 1199.

The race continues to the Géau river, then to Salviac and Cazals.

Next on the route is the hamlet of Montcléra.

Montclera
Château de Montcléra, by MOSSOT, Licence CC BY 3.0

Soon after Montcléra, the riders tackle the final categorised climb on the stage.

Côte de Montcléra (Category 4)

The Côte de Montcléra climb is 2km at an average 4.6%. The top is at a height of 286m, after 135.5km raced.

Next on Stage 12 is Frayssinet-le-Gelat, then the route passes a lake called the Plan d'eau du Moulin du Mas, and follows the course of La Thèze. It reaches Fumel on the river Lot.

Fumel
Fumel, by MOSSOT, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Fumel is overlooked by the Château de Fumel, first built in the 1100s, although the present edifice dates from the 1500s. It changed hands several times during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion.

There was also a metal factory in Fumel, which closed down in 2018.

Architect Jean Nouvel was born in Fumel.

Next, Stage 12 takes the D124 to Monflanquin, a ville bastide from the 1200s, and one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Monflanquin
Monflanquin, by Bernardg, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Monflanquin's Thursday market has been held in the Place des Arcades every week since 1256.

Finally, the D676 leads south towards the finish town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

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The Finish at Villeneuve-sur-Lot

The race arrives in Villeneuve-sur-Lot on Avenue du Général de Gaulle.

There's a right turn onto Rue des Acacias/Rue du Grelot, then a left on Avenue Jean-Claude Cayrel, which shadows the river Lot.

A roundabout at Place d'Avila brings the riders onto Allées Lamartine/Boulevard de la République, before a bend onto Boulevard Georges Leygues/Boulevard Bernard Palissy.

A right turn at another roundabout leads the peloton onto Rue de la Fraternité and across the Lot on Pont de la Libération.

Another roundabout intervenes, leading to Avenue du Maréchal Leclerc/Avenue d'Agen. The finish line is on Avenue d'Agen, near the Complexe Sportif de la Myre Mory.

Villeneuve-sur-Lot

Villeneuve-sur-Lot
Villeneuve-sur-Lot, by Paternel1, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The Stage 12 finish town is Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

It was founded in 1254 by the Count of Poitiers as a ville bastide.

Villeneuve is still a ville but not that neuve any more. Take note, namers of towns, that if you call your settlement 'new town', after a few years it won't be new any more.

In the 1900s, Villeneuve was known for selling plums and prunes, and tinning peas and beans. That was enough to set local pulses racing.

Villeneuve still has some of its defensive walls, and the striking red church of Saint-Catherine (finished 1934).

Villeneuve-sur-Lot
Villeneuve-sur-Lot, by Gilles Guillamot, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Stage 12 Tour de France 2024: the Favourites

Phil Bauhaus
Phil Bauhaus, by Filip Bossuyt, CC BY 2.0

Assuming Stage 12 ends in a bunch sprint, which of the fast men will win? It could be Phil Bauhaus of Bahrain-Victorious.

Who do you think will win Stage 12 of the 2024 Tour de France?




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