164km to go: Thibaut Pinot attacks off the peloton, under orders to get in the breakaway.
166km to go: The five-man breakaway has a lead of 1min 46sec over the peloton. the Sagan group is about a minute behind the breakaway.
171km to go: A group of 13 riders including Peter Sagan, Jack Bauer, Matteo Trentin and Daryl Impey have escaped the peloton and are trying to bridge the gap. None of them are major GC contenders, so Primoz Roglic and his team-mates won’t mind.
172km to go: De Gendt fails in his effort to join the breakaway and is swallowed up by the peloton, where the riders of race leader Primoz Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma team have moved to the front and spread across the road in a bid to stop anyone else escaping. It’s a wide road, so they may have their work cut out. The gap is 48 seconds as we approach the first categorised climb of the day.
176km to go: Remi Cavagna and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Simon Geschke (CCC) and Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) lead, while Thomas De Gendt is trying to bridge the 17-second gap from the peloton, which has already shed several sprinters including – I think – Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett and Edvald Boasson Hagen.
177km to go: Julian Alaphilippe, Dan Martin and Alessandro De Marchi have joined the breakaway, where Alaphilippe is putting the hammer down in a bid to make sure they stay away. Nils Politt, Niccolo Bonifazio and Tejay van Garderen can’t keep up and are quickly dropped. This is a brutal start to a brutal stage.
181km to go: While there’s no guarantee they’ll stay away, ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for today’s early breakaway: Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie), Simon Geschke (CCC), Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Tejay van Garderen (EF).
The gap is 18 seconds but they’re about to be joined by several gate-crashers who have jumped off the front of the peloton.
182km to go: Our six breakaway riders are being kept on a tight rein. They’re 16 seconds clear of the bunch but Dan Martin and Julian Alaphilippe are trying to bridge the gap.
185km to go: Team Groupama FDJ are leading the peloton as they try to chase down the escapees. George Bennett has dropped off the back of the bunch and seems to have a puncture.
187km to go: A group of five or six riders including polka-dot jersey wearer Benoit Cosnefroy and Tejay van Garderen have made a break for it. The gap is only 11 seconds.
They’re racing on stage 13
Francois Marchand semaphores the signal to start racing on the most difficult stage of this year’s Tour so far.
The roll-out has begun …
It’s an early start for the peloton today, who have just begun their roll-out from Chatel Guyon. They’ll ride in procession for six kilometres or so before getting the signal to start racing on what promises to be a very interesting and intriguing day.
Stage 12 recap
The prodigious Marc Hirschi, thwarted on stage two in Nice and again on stage nine to Laruns, finally struck gold to take his debut Tour de France stage victory, writes Jeremy Whittle.
The top 10 on GC after stage 12
Primoz Roglic remains in yellow but Ahead of the Alpine stages, up to 16 other riders will still fancy chances of overall victory in one of the tightest Tours for years.
Stage 13: Chatel-Guton to Puy Mary Pas de Peyrol (191.5km)
From William Fotheringham’s stage-by-stage guide: “Arguably the hardest stage, with seven climbs ending with the highest pass of the Massif Central. It’s a day that should decide the polka-dot best-climber’s jersey, while the finish will show who is looking good for the Alps. Will favour a pure climber such as Mikel Landa or Nairo Quintana, but anyone wanting to win has to show well here.”