Date: Wednesday July 11
Type: High mountains
Having enjoyed a rest day, the riders have 50 miles to prepare themselves for the first climb in the high Alps. With the time trial behind them and some order having taken place, this is surely a stage for a breakaway of those buried in the depths of the GC.
The Col du Grand Colombier is given hors-catégorie status and it is a steep slog for the first truly Alpine effort of the Tour. At 18.3km long with an average gradient of 6.9 per cent and another third-category lump in the way before the line, it might end in tears for a favourite struggling to find his climbing legs.
Tour de France 2012: Coverage index