Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) claimed his first Tour de France win, ahead of Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team) and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the first stage of in the Pyrenees.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka once again went orange for stage 12 of the Tour de France as part of the annual Mandela Day celebrations, celebrating the life of former President Nelson Mandela.
The start of the stage, departing from Toulouse, was fast with multiple attacks coming off the front. After 40km of racing a break of 40 riders got away and we had Edvald Boasson Hagen and Michael Valgren in the move.
The first category one climb whittled the break down by half, including Boasson Hagen. Valgren held steady though, and only on the second climb of Horquette d’Ancizan, the break started to fracture.
Yates, Bilbao and Mühlberger managed to distance the remnants of the break over the summit and between the three of them, they would go on to make up the stage podium, with Yates holding off the other two.
Valgren rolled in with the rest of the break, but only after puncturing on the descent and needing to chase back in the closing kilometers, finishing 1’30” behind the stage winner and 18th on the stage. Roman Kreuziger finished with the bunch and held on to his 17th place in the general classification.
Sadly, Giacomo Nizzolo was forced to withdraw from the race today, following on from his nasty crash yesterday.