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2012 Tour de France- Stage 7 as it happened
By Mark Sharon
Date: 7/7/2012
2012 Tour de France- Stage 7 as it happened

Volta a Catalunya

Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles – 199 km

Welcome to DP's coverage of Stage 7 of the 2012 Tour de France.

Chris Froome took the stage several bike lengths ahead of Cadel Evans. While Bradley Wiggins becomes the fifth Briton to wear the yellow jersey (the others were Tommy Simpson, Chris Boardman, David Millar).

GC top five looks like this:

1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY
2. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC at 10"
3. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 16"
4. Rein Taaramae (EST) COF at 32"
5. Denis Menchov (RUS) KAT at 54"

Then the rest of the favourites, big gaps to some - it's a absolute carnage at the top of the GC - broken hearts.

Chris Froome, "I'm not complaining, from the start the team was riding on the front,. The guys did a fantastic job, Richie Porte set a blistering place - it wasn't actually the plan to go for the stage it was just to keep Brad up there. I saw the stage and decided to go with it. I was surprised that Cadel didn't make a move. I saw he was hurting. I am speechless. I never thought of winning a stage here. And we have Brad in the yellow jersey."

Stage 7 - top 10 Result:

1. Chris Froome (GBR) SKY
2. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC at 2"
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY at 2"
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 7"
5. Rein Taaramae (EST) COF at 19"
6. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP) RNT at 44"
7. Pierre Rolland (FRA) EUC at 46"
8. Janez Brajkovic (SLO) AST at 46"
9. Denis Menchov (RUS) KAT at 50"
10. Maxime Monfort BEL) RNT at 56"

This is how it happened:

CET: 16.15: Evans is second, Wiggins, Nibali

Chris Froome WINNSSSSS! at least 10 bike lengths.

Chris Froome is in the lead - he'll win.

Evans has attacked, Fromme follows.

Wait for the last 500m - terribly steep. Someone has to attack! Nibali is still there.

1.3km to go. Olympic Champion Sanchez is well gone. Menchov and Taaramae are losing ground too.

2km to go - still eight riders. Froome leads Wiggins with Evans behind.

Just 2.4km for anyone to save their day as Sky just powers on. Fans are running alongside - so close. Cancellara is passing riders.

Just eight riders left to contest the finish - Sanchez, Nibali, Taaramae, Evans, Menchov, Froome, Porte, Wiggins, Roche. Roche is starting to wilt.

3.1km to go. Cadel Evans looks calm. Nicholas Roche is still in the group - great stuff. Pierre Rolland is strong. Cancellara passes Kloden - on a hill!

Sky is wielding the hammer, or a wrecking ball. Andreas Kloden is another casualty, with Samuel Sanchez falling away.

4.2km to go. Fabian Cancellara is riding strong but out of touch. Ivan Basso is going, Frank Schleck too - carnage!

Levi Leipheimer is suffering with Robert Gesink. Boassen Hagen, Richie Porte and Chris Frokme drive on for Sky. So who's strong and waiting for his chance. Frank Schleck, Michele Scarponi?

The climb starts - and its steep. Sanchez is gone from the break. 39x25 gearing? Tony Martin hasn't got low enough gear and goes out he back. Chris Anker Sorensen attacks. Cadel Evans shadows Bradley Wiggins, with Sky driving on.

CET 16.56, 6.7km, the gap is 19". It won't be Sagen - he has slipped out of the lead group of the peloton. The pace is too high for all but 25 or so riders.

Alejandro Valverde is another with a problem and immediately loses a lot of time.

Gap down to 40" with 11km to go. Jurgen Van den Broeck has had a mechanical, and is back on quickly with a shove from Lars Bak. He will have to motor to get back on the front. There is a short descent then it is up. Nick Noyens is giving Van Den Broeck a tow, but they are 20" back. Sky isn't making it easy with Boassen Hagen driving on.

Jonny Hoogerland is down! and up again. Cyril Gautier has been shed at last under the pressure of an up in pace form Dmitriy Fofonov. David Zabriskie is off the back of the peloton.

CET 16.45, 15km to go. The break is starting to fracture as they attack each other. Gautier is struggling in the break, while Cavendish is off the back of the peloton which is accelerating. The gap is now 1'09".

The break looks like expiring before the finish which leave it up to the peloton - will it be Dan Martin, or even Peter Sagen? Garmin-Sharp has Van de Velde and Millar still leading the peloton for Martin. The last climb will be a real test though with some nasty steep sections - 13%, 11%, 14%

CET 16.37, 20km to go. Jimmy Engoulvert is suffering in the peloton. Andre Greipel is slipping off the back too. They won't be short of company. Albasini and Sanchez are driving the break but the gap is 1'36".

The break has a shortish hill to tackle before tacking the last climb of the day. There are some great shots of Le Corbusier Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut - stunning.

CET 16.24, 30km to go. The gap has dropped to 2'44" so the inevitable is looking just that. David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) is up at the front of the peloton helping Dan Martin reel in this break.

CET 16.14, 36km to go. The peloton has started to push things on a bit with the gap to the break slipping to 3'44". Johan Van Summeren is now acting water carrier! He's managed to take advantage of the flat section to bring bidons up to David Zabriskie

The peloton has been several culled in the last day or so with 17 gone. 13 went yesterday after the crashes took there tool, with another one today.

There is some real humanity in the peloton. Johan van Summeren who suffered very badly in the crash yesterday is receiving push after push from other riders, including rivals like Philipe Gilbert, to make sure he hangs on the back of the peloton as it climbs the 4th cat Col du Mont de Fourche. Tyler Farrar though is well off the back 4'55" down on the peloton. He has company of Gorka Verdugo (EUS).

CET 16.09 40km to go. A little way back Luis-Leon Sanchez found the attention of fans a little too stressful and pushed one away with a well-aimed fore-arm

We have 50km to go and the La Planche des Belles Filles looms - a first cat. climb 5.9km at 8.5% to 1035m.

There is a seven man breakaway, comprising Cyril Gauteir (EUC), Luis-Leon Sanchez (RAB), Chris Sorensen (STB), Dmitriy Fofonov (AST), Martin Velits (OPQ), Michael Albasini (OGE) and Christophe Riblon (ALM), which has a 4'00"


2012 Tour de France Route

Route of the 2012 Tour de France©Photo © Mark Sharon/Daily Peloton

Stage List

Prologue, Sat 30 June : , Liège - Liège 6.1 km
Stage 1 flat, Sun 1 July: Liège - Seraing 198 km;
Stage 2 flat, Mon 2 July, Visé - Tournai 207 km;
Stage 3 medium mountains, Tues 3 July, Orchies - Boulogne-sur-Mer 197 km;
Stage 4 flat, Weds 4 July, Abbeville - Rouen 214 km;
Stage 5, flat Thurs 5 July, Rouen - Saint-Quentin 197 km;
Stage 6 flat, Fri 6 July, Épernay - Metz 210 km;
Stage 7 medium mountain, Sat 7 July, Tomblaine - La Planche des Belles Filles 199 km;s
Stage 8 medium mountains, Sun 8 July, Belfort - Porrentruy 154 km;
Stage 9 Individual Time Trial, Mon 9 July, Arc-et-Senans - Besançon 38 km;
Stage 10 high mountains, Weds 11 July, Mâcon - Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194 km;
Stage 11 high mountains, Thurs 12 July, Albertville - La Toussuire – Les Sybelles 140 km;
Stage 12 medium mountains, Fri 13 July, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Annonay 220 km;
Stage 13 flat, Sat 14 July, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Le Cap d’Agde 215 km;
Stage 14 high mountains, Sun 15 July, Limoux - Foix 192 km;
Stage 15 flat, Mon 16 July, Samatan - Pau 160 km;
Stage 16 high mountains, Weds 18 July, Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon 197 km;
Stage 17 high mountains, Thurs 19 July, Bagnères-de-Luchon - Peyragudes 144 km;
Stage 18 flat, Fri 20 July, Blagnac - Brive-la-Gaillarde 215 km;
Stage 19 Individual Time Trial, Time trial: Sat 21 July, Bonneval - Chartres 52 km;
Stage 20 flat, Sun 22 July, Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Élysées 130 km;

Link: Le Tour Official Website

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