Stage 12 saw UAE Team Emirates take on the notorious Alpe d’Heuz; A monstrous 14km climb, featuring 24 painstaking switchbacks at an average gradient of over 8%. It was another day for the General Classification contenders to battle it out for position before the Tour left the mountains.
As the day went on and the climbs became tougher, the peloton began to thin, with riders cracking and retiring from a relentless pace of racing. Dan Martin stuck to his game plan and stayed with the chasing peloton until 8kms from the finish when he was unable to stay with the front men, eventually crossing the line in 12th position – still retaining 10th spot in the GC standings. The stage was won by the yellow jersey, Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) in 5:18:37.
Commenting on his Stage 12 finish Dan Martin said: “By the end of the stage we weren’t racing- it was just about getting to the top. I had nothing left in my legs and just wanted to make the finish line in the best time possible. I felt really good in the first climb of the day, but then general fatigue set in. We’ve had three hard days of racing in the mountains and a week of tough racing before that so it’s not a surprise. Unfortunately I let go of the group to ride at my own tempo, which I think was a mistake as I didn’t realise how much wind there was. I got gapped and couldn’t get back. That said, I’m still happy with my race and there’s plenty of time to go until Paris.”