Mark Cavendish remained in the green jersey, which he will wear for the 34th time in his career.
On paper, stage 12 of the Tour de France between Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux and Nîmes was an ideal one for the sprinters, but with an entire peloton coming after the gruelling day that featured two ascents of the infamous Mont Ventoux and with strong crosswinds in the first ten kilometers, it quickly became a stage for the breakaway. It took just a couple of minutes for one to form and put almost ten minutes between them and the bunch in the blink of an eye, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Julian Alaphilippe being one of the main animators.
The escapees worked well together and extended their gap to an astonishing 15 minutes inside 50 kilometers to go, when they began throwing caution to wind and attacking each other. The World Champion was there to react, keeping things together and even putting in a dig on a rolling section. More attacks followed and eventually four riders managed to extricate themselves from the group and pad out their lead to one minute by the time they passed through the intermediate sprint.
The winner came after another attack, this time just a couple of kilometers from the finish, Nils Politt (Bora-hansgrohe) being the one who claimed the victory. Alaphilippe rolled over the finish part of a small group and took ninth for his fourth top 10 at this year’s edition. Mark Cavendish enjoyed a quiet day in the bunch and continues at the top of the points classification, which he will lead for the ninth consecutive stage this year.
“The break was good for us. We had Julian there, who is such a world class rider, and no contenders for the green jersey, so it was a nice scenario for us on a day with some heavy roads and big speed right from the start. It’s another stage ticked off at the race and we will continue to take it day by day and stay focused”, said Mark Cavendish.
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