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Watch: Tour de France Stage 12 video highlights

Stu Bowers
14 Jul 2017

For all but the final 500m it looked like Team Sky had it in the bag, but Romain Bardet and Fabio Aru had other ideas

Summary - Stage 12 - Tour de France 2017 by tourdefrance_en

As the gruelling 214.5km Stage 12 of the 2017 Tour de France reached its final few kilometres you would have been forgiven for thinking it had all gone like clockwork for Chris Froome and Team Sky. But that script was about to get torn up.

After a long day militantly keeping the breakaway’s time gains at bay, Sky looked unflappable on the front of the peloton and it looked set to be a routine deliverance of their yellow-jersey-clad team leader to the finish.

What ensued, though, was anything but routine.

Mad scramble

The super steep 20% gradient of the last 200m up to the finish in Peyragudes turned into a mad scramble for the line, in which a flagging Froome lost valuable time to his main rivals and the race lead with it.

Crossing the line seventh out of a lead group of 10 was not the finishing position most would have predicted for Froome but it wasn’t so much the placings as the time gaps that caused the biggest shakeup.

Froome finished 22 seconds behind stage winner Romain Bardet, but more importantly was 20 seconds down on Fabio Aru. That, and the 4-second time bonus the Italian picked up for his third place stage finish, meant he now leads the race by 6 seconds over Froome, with Bardet now up to third, just 25 seconds back overall.

It leaves Froome and his Team Sky tacticians plenty to worry about going into the second half of the race.