Two brave men, Pierrick Fedrigo of Bouygues Telecom and Amets Txurruka of Euskaltel, headed off on a breakaway today in the 52nd kilometre, and led until the very very last kilometre of the 178km stage. Perhaps inevitably, when the peloton caught up, it was the mechanical workings of the Quick Step team, who have led these bunched sprint finishes with clinical precision this year, which delivered their man Tom Boonen to the finish line first.
Interestingly, Amets Txurruka is the lightest rider in the Tour this year, at 56kg (123lb). Hearing this led me to search for some more physical statistics in the 2007 Tour field. Wikipedia has an interesting run-down here. The average rider this year is 1.79 metres (5 ft 10 in) tall, and weighs 70 kg (154 lb). (Wonder if they will weigh the same at the end of the Tour?!) And yesterday's stage winner, Robbie Hunter, is one of the heaviest riders in the field, at 87kg (192lb).
The standings at the end of Stage Twelve remain unchanged:
Yellow Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
Green Jersey: Tom Boonen
Polkadot Jersey: Michael Rasmussen
White Jersey: Alberto Contador
Stage 13 is the all-imporant first time trial, and a shake-up in the Yellow Jersey standings is highly anticipated!
Several of you have big plans for the Time Trial already! Sarah has had to frog the front of Brigitte once she realised that one of the three colours selected was simply not going to do. She has managed to find a replacement colour and will be putting in a huge effort during the time trial to get back on schedule for a 29 July finish!
Kat will be turning the heels on her Sockapalooza Socks during the time trial - let's hope she does not experience any mechanical difficulties!
Stitchy Fingers has nearly finished the first glove of the pair, and her mind is already wandering toward more gloves in colours other than black for herself! Let's help her overcome any possibility of Second Glove Sydrome (a mutation on the more common Second Sock Sydnrome).
Charisse's scarf has seen some progress even while she's on holidays. Even though she's already finished one Tour project, Cindy2paw has decided to continue on - with completing three pairs of socks, all of which are at various stages of non-completedness.
Ingrid is pleased to report that the recipient of her intermediate-sprint TDF project, Beau, is thrilled with his bespoke sweater.
Dotty tried working on 4 socks on 2 circs but has down-shifted to one sock on DPNs for her sanity's sake and I don't blame her! Paisley has finished her Baudelaire socks but we'll have to wait until she finishes the latest Harry Potter book for some modelled photos. Meredith has finished one of her Coupling socks and is nearly up to the heel turn of the second one. Angie has finished her Husbear socks (below) as well as her TdF socks, named after the winner of that day's stage, Soler. She has posted the pattern for her Soler socks so you can make your own!
Cindy has tackled some of the shoulder shaping of her Fawne, seen yesterday, but has decided to frog the sleeves to the elbow and re-make with a bit more ease. Kate has started swatching for her next Tour project, a jumper to be called Sandrine, for her daughter. Sharon has posted photos of her progress after 3, 4, and 5 pattern repeats...and has even counted the number of stitches remaining. Hang in there Sharon! 49,731 isn't that bad!
I'll leave you with that, and look forward to reporting on the Time Trial tomorrow!