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Gallery: A day of rest at the Tour de France

Nils Politt of Bora-Hansgrohe takes centre stage on Stage 12 as peloton shows fatigue

Joe Robinson
9 Jul 2021

This is a weary peloton. The Tour de France is barely past the halfway point but it is obvious the mixture of that frantic first week and the double ascent of Mont Ventoux on Stage 11 had taken its toll on the peloton.

So it comes as no surprise that Stage 12 to Nimes was taken by a big, burly Classics man in the form of Bora-Hansgrohe's Nils Politt.

The rangy German has top five finishes at Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders among his palmares yet it was this first Grand Tour stage victory that eclipsed his previous best result, a stage of the Deutschland Tour in 2018. 

After a nervous start to the stage where crosswinds threatened to cause carnage, the peloton realised today was no the day for full-throttle racing. Instead, a 13-man breakaway were allowed up the road and given a margin of over 10 minutes to enjoy. 

On the approach to Nimes, the break splintered with Politt finding himself away with Imanol Erviti (Movistar) and first-year pro Harry Sweeny (Lotto-Soudal). With 12km left, Politt decicded it was his time to move, breaking away and eventually soloing to the line, a great gift for his Bora team that had seen Peter Sagan abandon earlier that day.

As for the race for malliot jaune and malliot vert, no change.

Below, Chris Auld's images from the stage:

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