Moncoutie Wins Stage 12 of Tour
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) has come through for France.
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) has come through for France. The Cofidis rider soloed home to win Stage 12 of the Tour de France, a rugged, 187-km ride from Briancon to Digne-les-Bains, in 4:20:06. Sandy Casar (La Francaise des Jeux) outsprinted Angel Vicioso (Liberty Seguros) for second at 0:57. Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) remains the maillot jaune .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The stage was ridden in sunny, hot weather. After numerous abortive sallies, Juan Manuel Garate (Saunier Duval) and Vicioso attacked at about 60 km. Nine other riders joined them. They were Stephan Schreck (T-Mobile), Giovanni Lombardi (CSC), Jose Luis Arrieta (Illes Balears), Axel Merckx (Davitamon), Massimo Giunti (Fassa Bortolo), Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Moncoutie, Casar, Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), and Stuart O?Grady (Cofidis). At 88 km, the bunch led the break by 4:07. Because no GC threats were in the break, Discovery Channel merely rode tempo to peg the lead.
With 43 km left, O?Grady accelerated on the Category 2 Col de Corobin. Merckx attacked, and Halgand, Vicioso, Moncoutie, and Garate followed him. Moncoutie countered. At the summit, the Frenchman led Arrieta, Merckx, Garate, Halgand, Casar, and Vicioso by 0:38 and the peloton by 7:42. With 10 km left, Moncoutie breasted the Category 4 Col de l?Orme with a 30-second lead. He had plenty of time to celebrate his and France?s triumph.
In the overall, Armstrong leads Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) by 0:38 and Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) by 2:34. A solo break will probably not decide Stage 13. The flattish, 173.5-km run from Miramas to Montpellier is tailor-made for a sprint finish. Who will win? Robbie McEwen (Davitamon)? Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)? Stuart O?Grady (Cofidis)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!