13/07/17 - 7:10 PM
Pau - Peyragudes
Tour de France • Stage12

Pau - Peyragudes
Tour de France - 13 July 2017

Tour de France – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 19:10 on 13 July 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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And here's the new top ten, with Fabio Aru leapfrogging Froome by six seconds...


Here's the top ten today, with Landa, Meintjes and Martin all finishing above Froome after he hit the wall on the Peyragudes airstrip.


So, Bardet won that by two seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran, who pipped Fabio Aru.


Froome couldn't deal with that crazy gradient and he came home more than 20 seconds down... Aru was third - but with the bonus seconds, it puts him in the lead by about six seconds I think...


Fabio Aru is the new yellow jersey!


Victory for Romain Bardet of Ag2R-La Mondiale!


Froome cannot cope with this slope...


Aru makes the first move on the ramp... with Martin behind and then Bardet and Ura... Froome struggling...


Bennett is reeled in after his rush of blood to the head... and they're approaching that ramp now.


Bennett attacks! No reaction from the others...


Landa still leads this nine-man leading break as they approach the flamme rouge... Dan Martin moves up now...


Quintana is riding with Barguil and Caruso. They may catch Contador before the finish...


Nieve has dropped back so Froome *just* has Landa now. Aru and Bardet are tucked in behind, but they're entirely impotent for now.


They're onto the final Cat.2 climb to Peyragudes (2.4km at 8.4%).


That last climb was the reverse of the descent that Froome rinsed en route to winning in Bagneres-de-Luchon last year. He's now doing his frame-hugging again in this little downhill run towards the final climb to the finish.


Nieve takes the maximum 10pts over the summit with Landa picking up 8pts and Froome 6pts. No big change in the polka dot standings, so Barguil won't be too concerned - although the likes of Froome and Martin are lurking.


Contador is starting to lose ground now near the summit...


Just one kilometre from the summit now and this is pretty turgid stuff, Sky squeezing the life out of this stage and the race in general.


Here was that earlier scare for Froome and Aru, who followed Nieve off the road and towards some caravans.


Quintana is rallying but he's over a minute back on this penultimate climb, with 2km of the ascent still to go.


The Sky train sweeps past Cummings. It's all over for our last escapee - despite a valiant effort.


Only 32 seconds now for Cummings, who won't win his stage today.


After an absolutely titanic effort, Kwiatkowski is now sinking with no trace - the Pole has hit the wall after his pacing for Froome, handing over the baton to Landa and Nieve. Even without Geraint Thomas, Sky are such a formidable force.


It's still touch-and-go here with Cummings still 5km from the summit with a 1:25 gap. The problem is that once the attacks come from behind, the Dimension Data rider will struggle to maintain that gap and stay out ahead.


Who else is in this main pack? Besides those Sky riders, there's Contador, Bardet, Martin, Uran, Meintjes, Yates, Aru and Bennett.


Nairo Quintana has been dropped! With Froome riding on the front with Landa, Kwiatkowski and Nieve (who was the rider who led his leader off the road earlier), Quintana can't keep up with the tempo in this group of favourites. Warren Barguil has also been dropped.


The upshot of that is that Steve Cummings now has a much bigger chance at staying out and winning this one. He still has two minutes to play with...


The group of favourites sit up and wait for Aru and Froome who, once they've sorted out their gearing, get back ok. But that was a heart-in-mouth moment.


CRASH: FROOME AND ARU RIDE OFF THE ROAD! They don't go down, but they miscalculated the roundabout at the start of the climb and rode into a grass verge alongside specators. It looks like Froome was following the wheel of one of his team-mates - Landa, Kwiatkowski or Nieve - who themselves had to ride between two caravans rather than hit the deck at speed.


Cummings has managed to open up his gap back to two minutes, so he may yet pull this one off yet... as he swings onto the Cat.1 Col de Peyresourd (9.7km at 7.8%).


We're hearing that Jakob Fuglsang is riding six minutes down from the other GC favourites. The Dane fractured two bones yesterday - in his wrist and elbow - and is clearly suffering today. The Astana rider will drop out of the top five - probably at the expense of Dan Martin.


Cummings breaks through the clouds and into the sunshine... ah, we were promised it would come - and here it is!


Here was that crash by Gautier...


Just De Gendt and Cummings out ahead now, and the Briton has 1:30 to play with ahead of the Col de Peyresourd - so it won't be enough, unfortunately.


No news on Gautier yet, but Barguil is about to be caught by the pack as Kwiatkowski sets a strong tempo for Sky on this descent.


CRASH: Gautier makes a right hash of one of the corners and is forced to bunny-hop onto a rocky slope on the side of the road to avoid hitting the curb. A photographer was right there so he'll get some interesting shots of that fall.


This is a big descent for Cummings, who will need to maintain as big an advantage as possible if he wants any chance of winning today.


Barguil is pushing on as the summit approaches. Cummings has gone over the top in pole position to pocket 20pts. De Gendt kicks clear of Gautier to take second place and 15pts, with the Frenchman taking 12pts. Barguil move was a good one - he crests the summit for fourth place just behind Gautier and takes 10pts for his troubles. So he's up to 70pts in the KOM standings and consolidates his lead.


Simon and De Kort are the latest of the escapees to be caught by this Sky-led pack. They trail Cummings by 2:05 who is approaching the summit of this misty climb.


Froome still has Kwiatkowski, Nieve and Landa. Sky are in control of this and their tempo is such that no one can put in any meaningful attack - as we just saw with Contador and Barguil.


Barguil, Bertie and Brice are reeled in by this select pack of favourites - we only have about 20 riders here now. Cummings is 2:15 ahead of them. Gautier has De Gendt in his sights.


ATTACK: Moments after Warren Barguil jumps clear of the peloton, Alberto Contador puts in an attack. They catch Feillu but really can't make much headway and are riding just 10 metres or so ahead of the pack.


The pack continue to catch numerous distanced escapees. And then Steve Cummings puts in an attack to drop De Gendt...


Feillu is 2:20 down on the two leaders, De Gendt and Cummings, while the peloton is only 25 seconds further back thanks to that pacing from Kiryienka and Sky. Gautier is doing his best to bridge over to the duo ahead, while Kung is a further 20 seconds back.


Here's daddy! Stev Cummings rides clear of Kung and Gautier and catches De Gendt. Still damp and misty here - even through the finish is apparently basked in sunshine.


De Gendt rides clear of Kung, Cummings and Gautier on the front of the race. Meanwhile, Ulissi has already been caught by the pack, which goes to show that Feillu isn't that far ahead despite the zip with which he passed the Italian.


Feillu has dropped his pilot, Bouet, and is really on the charge - he's just passed Ulissi, who is pedalling squares. But Sky behind have reduced the gap of the leaders to just 2:50 so it's all coming back together on this HC climb of the Port de Bales.


Behind the leaders, Politt and De Kort have dropped Erviti and Ulissi. The chasing Fortuneo riders are two minutes down from the six leaders, with the pack now 3:15 down.


Luke Rowe peels off the front, his work for the day done for Team Sky. Vasil Kiryienka takes up the baton for Froome. Numerous riders have been distanced by the pack - including all the sprinters, Greg van Avermaet and even Thibaut Pinot (who is probably keeping himself fresh for a tilt at the win tomorrow on Bastille Day). The same can be said for Lilian Calmejane, too.


The break is beginning to fragment now as Thomas De Gendt drives a high pace. Bauer, Gautier, Simon, Cummings and Kung manage to follow the Belgian's tempo.


Matthews has been dropped by the break. The Australian did extremely well to take the intermediate sprint - but it was somewhat tempered by Marcel Kittel's presence in the break. Matthews will soon be caught by Bouet and Feillu, who are going hell for leather.


We're approaching the Cat.HC Port de Bales (11.7km a 7.7%). Don't let that average gradient deceive you because this is one of the hardest climbs in the Pyrenees, with several double-digit ramps. It's the fourth of six HC climbs in this year's Tour.


Fortuneo-Oscaro duo Feillu and Maxime Bouet are 3:30 behind the leaders and about a minute ahead of the pack.


We're not yet onto the Port de Bales, even though the gradient is getting steeper. Keen to climb faster without being fitter? Well, watch this video from our pals at GCN...


ATTACK: And, yes, there it is - Feillu bounds clear with one of his team-mates. No reaction from Sky. The Frenchman is 11:43 down on GC and is clearly eyeing a stage win or a rise up the standings today. It's been eight years now since his stage win on the 2009 Tour.


A few Fortuneo-Oscaro riders are moving up to the front of the peloton - perhaps they're planning something for Brice Feillu, who is 20th on GC and riding this Tour very well.


We're about to hit the business end of this stage with three more climbs coming right up. So far, it's been a bit cagey, but hopefully there'll be some sparks and fireworks soon.


A taste of how steep the finish ramp today at the alti-port at Peyragudes is... courtesy of Astana and their manager Alexandre Vinokourov, who rolled back the years to ride the finale earlier today.


A great quote coming through from BMC sport director Yvon Ledanois, who told letour.com this morning: "Even without Richie Porte, we still have a role to play in this Tour [Stefan Kung is currently in the breakaway]. But in any case, Chris Froome is going to kill the Tour today.”


Still Team Sky drive the peloton, paving the way for their man Chris Froome. The Astana army of Aru are tucked in just behind, ahead of Romain Bardet's Ag2R-La Mondiale.


The calm before the storm... the gap has come down to 4:20 for the break, and the gruppetto has almost regained contact with the peloton. We should also add that Marcel Kittel has been caught by the pack after his cameo in the break.


Down in the valley, Matthews has been caught by his fellow escapees after sitting up. The roads are dry here and it's much clearer too: that bad weather was very much localised to the other side of the mountain.


Michael Matthews has opened up a decent gap over the other escapees on this descent. He had a head-start after zipping clear for those KOM points, and he's shown his downhill skills by extending that by about 30 seconds.


Matthews opens up the sprint and he has too much in the tank for De Gendt, who has to settle for second place behind the Australian. So Matthews doing a superb job to protect his team-mate Warren Barguil's lead in the KOM standings. He takes the 10pts while De Gendt pockets 8pts and moves onto 17pts in the standings - joint level with Thibaut Pinot, who is currently in 6th place. A reminder that Barguil has 60pts and so his polka dot jersey is very secure for now.


The average speed today has been 40kmph. The rain has stopped but it's still very misty for now. The break are about 1km from the summit so prepare to see De Gendt readying himself. The Team Sky-led peloton has reduced the gap to 5:15.


De Kort, Gautier and Matthews ride on the front of this break, with Simon and De Gendt just behind. None of these 11 leaders are in any trouble at the moment as they take it in turns riding tempo. The gap is down to 5:50 as the peloton passes the 5km-to-go marker.


Numerous riders have been dropped off the back of the peloton, including British sprinter Dan McLay, whose Fortuneo-Oscaro team-mate Romain Hardy drops back to help pace him on this climb. They won't want McLay to finish outside the time cut today.


Kung, Erviti, Simon and De Gendt lead the break on this climb, while with the peloton it's Rowe, Kiryienka and Knees of Team Sky who are controlling the pace.


CORRECTION: The Cat.1 Col de Mente has only just officially started... The road has been heading up for quite some time, but the break is only now on the actual start of this 6.9km climb.


He may be usually a mountain domestique for Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde at Movistar, but Imanol Erviti is a capable climber himself. The 33-year-old Spaniard has twice won stages in the Vuelta (2008 and 2010) and also finished top ten in both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders last year.


Kittel has been dropped now by the leaders. The Quick-Step Floors rider is the first to be distanced by the break, and he'll now begin his gradual journey from escapee to key component of the gruppetto - via a swallowing-up and spitting-out of the peloton.


The break is on the Cat.1 Col de Mente (6.9km at a steep 8.1%) and it's that man De Gendt who is pacing the 11 others up. Back in the pack, it's still Luke Rowe, the Lanterne Rouge, setting the tempo for Sky. The gap is still a stable 6:10.


It's crazy, with this rain, to think that at the finish it's all blue skies and bright sun. And what a finish it is, too - at the top of a steep ramp of the Peyragudes altiport (an altitude airport).


Sprinters Kittel and Matthews lead the break - but don't expect that to be the case when the climb starts proper. Back in the valley with the peloton, and it's raining cats and dogs.


Right, the break is approaching the third climb of the day with six minutes still to play with, so it's looking good. Back in the pack, Astana's Fabio Aru looks focused in his slick Italian national champion's jersey - although he'll be under pressure to deliver today without Dario Cataldo, who crashed out with a broken wrist yesterday, and with Jakob Fuglsang also probably handicapped after fracturing bones in his wrist and elbow in the same incident.


The peloton - really strung out - is taking these winding descents quite gingerly, and it's hardly surprising because of the conditions: it's not pounding down, but there's drizzle and the roads are wet and slippery, plus the visibility isn't great either.


The break came back together on the descent and they're now on a little uphill drag down in the valley before the next climb. It's Simon and Cummings who set the tempo on the front, with the gap still 6:05 over the pack.


Great stat here... Unfortunately, the Housewives' Favourite (copyright Carlton Kirby, circa 2010) didn't make it a quadruple today...


Thomas De Gendt and Michael Matthews ride clear of the break... the die is cast. Although they're just going for the mountains points - with the Australian keen to protect the lead of his team-mate Warren Barguil. And it's the Belgian who takes the maximum 5pts to move onto 9pts in the KOM competition - still 51 behind Barguil. Matthews is second and De Kort third.


Kittel is still holding on but for how much longer?


The peloton have picked up musettes of food ahead of the business end of the stage - need to keep eating ahead of all these climbs...


Our 12 escapees are onto the second climb of the day, the Cat.2 Col des Ares (7.4km at 4.6%). They have a six-minute advantage to play with. Now the stage really gets going, so keep tuned in...


The pack are 5:45 down as they come through the intermediate sprint. And a reminder where today's stage will finish...


Despite these rainy conditions in the Comminges foothills, it's still very sunny at the finish high up in the Pyrenees. And it's intermediate sprint time, with Michael Matthews opening up first and just holding off Marcel Kittel for the 20pts. Thomas De Gendt takes third and Jack Bauer fourth. Those 20 points puts Matthews onto 222pts while Kittel adds 17pts to move onto 352pts. So, just the small matter of 130pts separating them then...


With the gap now at 5:30, the break approaches the intermediate sprint at Loures Barousse. You'd bet on Kittel and Matthews going head to head there before, perhaps, a selection forms on the next climb - the second of six climbs on the menu today.


FranceTelevisions has just interviewed Nicolas Portal, Team Sky's French directeur sportif. According to letour.com, Portal said: "We're not really interested in winning the stage. But this is the first big mountain stage and the idea is to gain something in the finale. At least we want to maintain Chris Froome's advantage. I foresee attacks starting in the col de Peyresourde, possibly by Nairo Quintana as we see his team-mate Imañol Erviti in the front group now. We've been put under pressure but it has strengthened the morale of the team."


British national champion Steve Cummings is a good tip for the win today - and he has a good track record at picking the right break: Cummings has won a stage in the past two Tours after attacking from the right break. Can he make it three in three today?


The gap edges out to over five minutes now as the break continues its way towards the intermediate sprint. Poor Michael Matthews - the Australian was hoping for a repeat of his effort on Sunday when he got over the climbs to pick up 20pts at the sprint. But today, Marcel Kittel sniffed out his move and joined the break. A bit greedy, to be fair: Kittel leads the green jersey competition with 335pts, with Matthews a distant second at 202pts. With the German still likely to pick up at least one more win, it's hard seeing anyone beat him to Peter Sagan's points crown come Paris.


Watching these climbs can make it look easy - and, to be fair, any of us can get over mountains with the right gears and techniques. Our friends at GCN put together this primer about how to climb like a pro...


The peloton approach the summit of the climb and it's Luke Rowe still on the front after he and his Team Ske colleagues picked up some musettes from their soigneur. The Welshman is the Lanterne Rouge of the race - almost two hours down on his team-mate Chris Froome. So, Sky are bookending this race at the half-way point - at least on GC.


The single KOM point over the summit of that gentle, gradual climb goes to Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal who will move onto 4pts in the polka dot jersey standings - still a fair bit behind Warren Barguil's leading tally of 60pts.


The break is well onto the first climb of the day, the Cat.4 Cote de Capvern (7.7km at 3.1%). It's a steady climb running alongside the motorway - so hardly the most scenic. But because of the rain and fog, that doesn't matter so much.


It's raining again as Welshman Luke Rowe comes to the front of the pack to take over pacing from Knees for Team Sky. The gap is up to 4:05 and that will suit Sky and Froome just fine because it may eliminate the desire for others to ride for bonus seconds.


Given the terrain, you'd have thought Messieurs Pinot and Rolland would have been up for this one. Pinot was fairly active near the start but never made the break, while Rolland may be on pacing duties for team-mate Rigoberto Uran, who is fourth on GC. Both Frenchmen rode the Giro d'Italia in May and may also still be feeling the pinch.


It's been a very fast pace so far today with the break covering 48.5km in the opening hour. Kung currently leads the break on a short uphill rise before Bauer comes through for a pull. 3:40 back, it's Christian Knees of Team Sky who sets a steady chasing tempo on the front of the peloton.


One person who will certainly be watching today's stage is Richie Porte - who is finally back home after hospital treatment for his nasty crash on Sunday. The BMC rider would have been one of the favourites for today's stage...


The gap is up to 3:10 for this break but it remains to be seen if today's winner comes from these 12 riders. There aren't any super strong climbers here, and you get the impression that there will be two races going on behind them: for the yellow jersey and for the polka dot jersey. I may be wrong - and if I am, the likes of Erviti, Gautier, Cummings and Ulissi can come and slap me.


The best placed rider in this break is Gautier, and he's 51 minutes down on Froome. So we have no GC threat here today. The subplot is the green jersey points - what with both Matthews and Kittel here, and the intermediate sprint coming after 94km between the first two climbs. Erviti is a solid climber and could act as a relay for Movistar leader Nairo Quintana, while Gautier, Ulissi and Cummings are the danger men. I would add De Gendt, but he's been climbing like a sprinter in this year's Tour, so it remains to be seen if he can turn things round.


Team Sky are on the front of the peloton now that there's some order to today's stage. It was quite gnarly at the start - especially with that rain - but the break now has 2:30 over the pack. The 12 escapees are: Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Imañol Erviti (Movistar), Koen De Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Stefan Küng (BMC), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel and Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Julien Simon (Cofidis).


Remember, it's the 50th anniversary of the death of Tom Simpson today. The British rider infamously died while climbing Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour - with a cocktail of Cognac and amphetamines in his blood stream. Simpson was world champion in 1965 and won a host of major races: Tour of Flanders, Milan-Sanremo, Giro di Lombardia and Paris-Nice.


This break includes the likes of Steve Cummings, Dani Bennati, Diego Ulissi, Jack Bauer, Nils Politt, Thomas De Gendt, Stefan Kung, Cyril Gautier, Imanol Erviti, Koen de Kort as well as Matthews and Kittel. Full details coming up. They have more than a minute now, so it looks like it's going to stick - at least, for a while.


It's pretty chaotic out there as a break of around 15 riders - including Michael Matthews - opens up a gap. The Australian's presence has forced Marcel Kittel to bound out in pursuit - and the German manages to bridge over. Remember - they are the two riders leading the green jersey competition, albeit the Australian more than 130 points behind the German...


A reminder that Chris Froome of Team Sky is the yellow jersey at this half-way point of the race, having taken over at the top from team-mate Geraint Thomas - who has since withdrawn - after Stage 5 to La Planche des Belles Filles. Winner that day, Fabio Aru (Astana) is second on GC, 18 seconds behind Froome, while Romain Bardet of Ag2R-La Mondiale is third at 51 seconds. Colombian Rigoberto Uran - Cannondale-Drapac's Stage 10 winner - is fourth at 55, with the aforementioned Fuglsang fifth at 1:37.


Another rider struggling today is Alberto Contador of Trek-Segafredo, who is near the back of the pack. The Spaniard crashed twice during that stage to Chambery on Sunday - and he hasn't really been on it in this year's Tour, already more than five minutes down on GC.


Some big hitters near the front now - the likes of Geschke, Chavanel, Gallopin, Roglic, Pinot, Wellens, Barguil... but there's still no break as yet. The whole peloton is strung out and numerous splits are appearing - most notably when Guillaume van Keirsbulck, who tried his hand earlier on, struggles to hold the wheel. The big Belgian has been dropped - it's going to be a long day for him.


Barguil clearly wants to be in the break because he's driving the pace on this uphill drag. We don't have a categorised climb until 64km of racing - but after that they come thick and fast, with 51 points up for grabs. Barguil currently leads the KOM standings with 60 points, with nearest rival Primoz Roglic of LottoNL-Jumbo with half his tally on 30pts.


Those three riders are reeled in and Belgian Tom Wellens of Lotto Soudal ups the tempo, with Frenchman Warren Barguil, the polka dot jersey at Team Sunweb, in pursuit.


Three more riders have attacked to open up a small gap: Adrien Petit (Direct Energie), Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo).


Jakob Fuglsang is riding near the back with his elbow and left wrist strapped up. The Dane fell in the feed zone yesterday alongside Astana team-mate Dario Cataldo, who was forced out with a suspected broken bone in his wrist. As for Fuglsang - he completed the stage and rides on today, but tests showed that he also fractured a bone in his elbow, plus the scaphoid in his wrist. Today is going to be a very hard day for the Dauphine champion, who is currently in fifth place on GC.


It's been quite an active start with numerous riders trying to break clear - including Marcus Burghardt of Bora-Hansgrohe, the German national champion, Michael Gogl (Trek) and Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty). For now, though, nothing has stuck.


It's pretty grim weather in Pau. The rain has more or less eased up but the roads are wet and it's very foggy. Which is odd, because at the finish in Peyragudes, it looks like this...


Christian Prudhomme, the race director, waves his flag from the back of the red Skoda - and we're under way! The remaining 179 riders get this stage going...


But forget Kittel and the one-way battle for green... today is all about riding uphill and zipping down the descents. Here's what the riders have to tackle...


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 12 of the Tour de France as the race hits the Pyrenees with this gruelling 214.5km ride from Pau to Peyragudes, culminating with the second of three mountain-top finishes in this year's race.