Stage 12 of the Tour de France promised spectacle and it delivered. Jonas Vingegaard resisted the attacks of Tadej Pogacar at the Alpe d'Huez and defended the yellow jersey, as Tom Pidcock took the stage for INEOS Grenadiers from the breakaway.
The start of the day saw a hard ascent of the Col du Galibier. It was a chaotic start with some very large groups going up the road, and a small early group making it over the Galibier in front, blown to bits. After the descent the race recollected, with Chris Froome (Israel - Premier Tech) and Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) who attacked over the top of the climb, joining Louis Meintjes and Kobe Goossens (Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux), Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Giulio Ciccone (Trek - Segafredo), Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels-KTM).
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Over the Col de la Croix de Fer the race consolidated, with Jumbo-Visma controlling the peloton with a conservative pace, whilst in the front only five were left: Froome; Pidcock, Meintjes, Ciccone and Powless. In the peloton it was all to be decided in the final ascent as the riders conserved their legs for the mythical Alpe d'Huez.
The breakaway entered the final climb with six minutes of advantage, with Tom Pidcock attacking near the base. Meintjes and Froome briefly tried to bridge across, however with ten kilometers to go the gap started to expand. In the pack, Jumbo-Visma set a strong pace, preventing attacks from surging behind deep into the ascent.
Tadej Pogacar attacked inside the final five kilometers but was unable to drop Vingegaard. Shortly after joined again by Sepp Kuss who showed his best form once again and Geraint Thomas. Pogacar tried one more time but without success, being perfectly matched by the Jumbo-Visma leader, as they arrived at the finish together.
In the front Tom Pidcock took the stage win, with Louis Meintjes and Chris Froome completing the podium.
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