After Tony Galliopin’s win of the hill-filled eleventh stage of the Tour de France, fans watched at the edge of their seats as the following stage unraveled. The twelfth stage has also come to an end and Alexander Kristoff has emerged as the victor while Vicenzo Nibali still kept the yellow jersey on (this yellow jersey is worn by the overall leader of the race). At the start were also French rider Romain Bardet (in the best young rider’s white jersey) as well as the best climber (in the dotted jersey), Joaquim Rodriguez. This twelfth stage started in Bourg-en-Bresse and went on for 185.5 kilometers (a bit over 115 miles) to end up in Saint-Etienne. The route itself is mostly flat terrain and it does favor fast riders, as the finish of the race was indeed a sprint.
Sadly, the American rider Andrew Talansky could not partake in this stage of the race due to severe pains in his back that had been caused by crashes in previous races. During the eleventh stage of the race, the young American, who is also a winner of the Dauphiné Libéré, had to pull into the side of the road. Barely being able to straighten his back as he dismounted his bicycle, he sat down and only got back on his bike minutes later, after serious discussion with team personnel.
Vicenzo Nibali currently holds the lead in the overall tournament, with a lead of 2 minutes and 23 seconds over Richie Porte, the Australian rider and a lead of 2 minutes and 47 seconds over Alejandro Valverde before the start of the race. Previous stages have tested Nibali to the limits (as well as other riders). Alberto Contador, for instance, was forced to abandon the 2014 Tour de France (and did so while breaking down in tears) as a result of a serious leg break sustained during the 10th stage.
At the end of this last stage, Alexander Kristoff led the pluton, followed by the Slovakian rider Peter Sagan, Arnaud Démare, and Michael Albasini. The overall standings have Vicenzo Nibali in the lead, followed by Porte (2 minutes 23 seconds behind), Belmonte Valverde (2 minutes 47 seconds), French riders Bardet and Pinot, American Tejay Van Garderen and Jean-Christophe Peraud.
What remains to be seen is if and when Nibali will impress us again or if there is still a chance that the yellow jersey be worn by another rider.