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TDF 2021: Stage 12, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Nîmes 159.4 km **Spoilers**

blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,077
edited 7 July in Pro race

Stage 12, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Nîmes 159.4 km

9-7-2021
Start 12-30am


After the double ascent of Mont Ventoux on stage 11 the race returns to less testing terrain with a 159.4 kilometre stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nîmes. Along the way, the Tour peloton moves through the stunning Gorges de l’Ardèche. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux has been a regular host to Tour starts over the past decade. Although there is only one short climb positioned mid-way through the stage there’s another chance that echelons a
nd crosswinds. Much of the stage heads south, following the broad valley of the lower Rhône and enters the Gard department.



The race to Nîmes is predominantly played out on flat to rolling roads. The exposed roads at this point could be a key if the wind picks up before the peloton hits the third cat climb of the Côte du Belvédère de Tharaux.
The last decade saw two Tour de France stage finishes in Nîmes. Most memorably in 2014, when in pouring rain, breakaway rider Jack Bauer was caught in the dying metres of the race before Alexander Kristoff sprinted to victory.



The Climb.



Final Kilometres




The area around Nîmes is known for weather phenomena such as the the Mistral, Tramontana and Sirocco. In short, strong winds are not uncommon. So, this could be either a relatively quiet day in the Tour or one of the most intense battles of the race so far.
All eyes will be on the the weather forecast......

Favourites stage 12 Tour de France 2021

***** Mark Cavendish
**** Wout van Aert,, Jasper Philpsen
*** Cees Bol, Nacer Bouhanni
** Christophe Laporte, Danny van Poppel, Peter Sagan
* André Greipel, Niccolò Bonifazio, Max Walscheid, Michael Matthews, Sonny Colbrelli


Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

Stage town for the 4th time
Population: 8,850

Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux has many assets that make this town of 9,500 inhabitants an emblematic place in the Drôme provençale. It has the charm of a village and the assets of a dynamic town.
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux has been used as a relay for the Tour de France in the Rhône Valley on three occasions.
In 2011, the peloton headed for Gap where Thor Hushovd won ahead of his compatriot Edvald Boasson-Hagen. The following year, the race finished here again on its way to Cap d'Agde, where André Greipel made a show of strength and speed.
Finally, in 2018, the riders set off for a stage that ended in Mende with the victory of Omar Fraile.



TO DRINK:

Wines of Grignan-les-Adhémar
Hindered by the notoriety of the nuclear power plant of the same name, but also by the small size of their vineyard, the former Coteaux du Tricastin obtained from the 2010 harvest onwards, by exceptional decision of the INAO, to rename their appellation Grignan-Les Adhémar. The red wines represent more than 70% of the production and express their own personality within the Rhone Valley by a successful marriage of six red grape varieties: Syrah and Grenache, assisted by Carignan, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Marselan.



On the road
Km 18

Saint-Marcel cave
The cave was discovered in 1836 by a hunter whose ferret had slipped into a cavity. To date, 57 km of galleries have been explored and catalogued. The Saint Marcel cave contains a vast network of underground galleries, cascading pools, sumptuous cathedrals, strange concretions, huge rooms with evocative names.




Nîmes

Stage town for the 19th time
Population: 154,300

Dubbed the most Roman city outside Italy, Nîmes has a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire when the city was a regional capital. The site on which the built-up area of Nîmes has become established in the course of centuries is part of the edge of the alluvial plain of the Vistrenque River.
The 18 stages of the Tour de France to finish in Nîmes often favoured sprinters. One of the very first passages through the town, in 1904, remains famous: unhappy with the disqualification of their favourite, Ferdinand Payan, Nîmes fans had welcomed the peloton with stones! But the most beautiful legend of the Tour forged in Nîmes was that of Abdel-Kader Zaaf, who broke clear with Marcel Molinès and who, after a crash, set off again in the opposite direction of the race. It was said that he had accepted a flask of wine handed to him by the spectators.



Les Arènes
Dating from the 1st century BC, it is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. Oval in shape, it is 133 metres long and 101 metres wide with a track measuring 68 by 38 metres. Measuring 21 metres high, its exterior façade is two-storey with 60 superimposed arcades and an attic, separated by a cornice.



Nîmes brandade
Brandade is a speciality of Nîmes made from cod or, more precisely, hake, which was the name given to salted and dried hake, a fish caught in the Mediterranean, before becoming the local name for cod.
The brandade was born from the meeting of three ingredients that could only be found in Nîmes: sea salt harvested fifty kilometres away, local hake later replaced by cod, and olive oil, which is abundant here.












"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
«13456

Posts

  • above_the_cowsabove_the_cows Posts: 11,278
    Well quite frankly Saint Paul is just being greedy. What does he need three château for?
    Correlation is not causation.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,325
    I believe the story is actually that he saw three cats weeing - it's just been bowdlerised at the behest of the tourist board.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,667 Lives Here
    WvA to go for the next in the HC mountain, sprint stage, TT hattrick?
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,704
    Inner ring says there is a climb with 10km to go that might enough to dislodge some sprinters.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,077

    Inner ring says there is a climb with 10km to go that might enough to dislodge some sprinters.

    From CN. Apparently this is it. Same as in 2019. The finish however is different and looks.....................tres technical.


    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • lettingthedaysgobylettingthedaysgoby Posts: 1,664
    WvA should be a shoe in for this, as long as he isn’t too cooked from his efforts on Ventoux.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,325
    Might be one for a break, if teams are a bit tired to chase - DQS were all over the front in the previous stage, and even if some of them later rolled in with Cavendish you'd expect him to call it early if he's definitely not got the legs to save people for the next day. WvA might well be a bit cooked too - one for Colbrelli, perhaps?

    If Cavendish recovers okay I don't think that climb would shift him if he hits it towards the front - he'd drop back but no worse than that.
  • jimmyjamsjimmyjams Posts: 445

    Stage 12, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Nîmes 159.4 km

    9-7-2021
    Start 12-30am


    After the double ascent of Mont Ventoux on stage 11 the race returns to less testing terrain with a 159.4 kilometre stage from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nîmes. Along the way, the Tour peloton moves through the stunning Gorges de l’Ardèche.

    Unless the riders will be in pedalos, it won't be that “the Tour peloton moves through the stunning Gorges de l’Ardèche“, because for the most part there is no road through the gorges, only the first (unspectacular) 5 km from St. Martin d'Ardeche and the last 5 km as one approaches Vallon Pont d'Arc.
    Inbetween there are another 36-37 km of road, 150-200 m above and mostly offset from the gorge (with occasional small parking areas/viewpoints from where one can look down into the gorges).
    That said, the Tour helicopters will surely show lots of views of the fabulous gorges, great for an easy yet stunning canoe trip.

    (Spent wonderful times in the area in 2014 and 2015, on both occasions after having first ridden different several-day routes of the L'Ardéchoise cyclosportive, then moving that bit farther south to be on the edge of the Cevennes National Park – the area of the Tim Krabbe novel)
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,667 Lives Here
    Can’t see Cav surviving that
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,437

    Can’t see Cav surviving that

    If he does, he'll be at the back while BikeExchange, Bahrain and WvA are at the front with 10km to go. Might even things up a bit at least.
  • gweedsgweeds Posts: 2,369
    Doesn't look like a Cav stage to me, but hope I'm proved wrong.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,077
    By my reckoning that climb is 4kms at 3% and tops out 13kms from the finish.
    It's going to take an all out and sustained effort and it still may not work.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,331

    By my reckoning that climb is 4kms at 3% and tops out 13kms from the finish.
    It's going to take an all out and sustained effort and it still may not work.

    Looks a bit like the Poggio to me but further from the finish. It looks too far from the finish to be hugely significant but await to be proven wrong later.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,642
    edited 8 July
    I'm shocked that there are doubts about Cav being in the mix because of Strava cat4 very similar to my local Old Winchester Hill https://www.strava.com/segments/935054 , that takes the "local aliens" approx 7-8mins.

    If he keeps in the group up that 5/6% section, the rest should give him plenty of drafting help.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,575
    Start delayed because of strong winds!
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 22,936
    edited 8 July
    Nîmes brandade
    Brandade is a speciality of Nîmes made from cod or, more precisely, hake, which was the name given to salted and dried hake, a fish caught in the Mediterranean, before becoming the local name for cod.
    The brandade was born from the meeting of three ingredients that could only be found in Nîmes: sea salt harvested fifty kilometres away, local hake later replaced by cod, and olive oil, which is abundant here.




    Cor, I don't like fish much but I reckon even I'd like that! Om nom nom
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,077
    edited 8 July

    Start delayed because of strong winds!

    It's probably because it's going to be up their bums, pretty much all day, so the 10 minute delay is so that the stage doesn't finish too soon.
    I can't see it being much more than 3 hours and loose change.



    Could make for an interesting start though, before they get about 30kms of negative wind.
    The rest should be extremely quick.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 17,437
    Maybe potential for something in the bit before the intermediate sprint?

    If it's strong and coming from the left on this, there's hope
    https://www.google.com/maps/@44.0658749,4.2445438,3a,75y,88.28h,74.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTowctRNTaPLPgdp3dPFrjQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,325
    If that wind holds the section into the intermediate sprint might be raced very hard indeed as it'll be a cross-tailwind. Expect David Millar to mention it a few times.

    From Google Earth there are a few sections that are open to the wind, though though most of them are quite short before there's another set of trees etc. How long does it take to make things snap?


  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,141
    Sagan not starting. He's been utterly anonymous so far, but I didn't see that coming
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 18,077
    Explaining echelons to the masses, Dan Lloyd ended up drawing a large Penis on his screen! :D
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 4,206
    Sagan's abandoned
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,325
    Sagan knee injury, apparently - hurt it when crashing with Ewan, then caught it on the bike in the sprint on stage 10. Was really swollen yesterday evening so doesn't sign on this morning.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,325

    Explaining echelons to the masses, Dan Lloyd ended up drawing a large Penis on his screen! :D

    Fully expecting to see this on the cycling out of context twitter account


  • ddraverddraver Posts: 22,936
    Half watching the highlights from yesterday and noticed that WvA stands up to celebrate on the line...

    How?!? 🤯
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,141
    Very very nervous peloton. In pieces from km0
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 1,040
    ddraver said:

    Half watching the highlights from yesterday and noticed that WvA stands up to celebrate on the line...

    How?!? 🤯

    because he can (but dont try it yourself)

  • ProssPross Posts: 28,975
    DQS already pushing it, a couple of riders dropped
  • poweredbyidrispoweredbyidris Posts: 539
    Here for the klaxon
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,704
    Pross said:

    DQS already pushing it, a couple of riders dropped

    I just don't get this. It's a long way for a team TT.
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