July 21, 2018
Tour de France 2018: Stage 12
Bourg-St-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez, 175.5km
Thomas takes back-to-back stage win on Alpe d'Huez. Chaotic scenes on the Alpe see Nibali crah out with broken back.
Geraint Thomas became the first British winner at Alpe d’Huez on the occasion of the 30th finish in the ski resort of the Oisans. He’s also tbecame the first rider to win a road stage to Alpe d’Huez wearing the yellow jersey. The Welshman capped a titanic battle on the Alpe by outsprinting a GC contingent of rivals led by Tom Dumoulin. Romain Bardet was third followed by Chris Froome and Mikel Landa . Th ewin extended Thomas' lead in in the overall ranking.
Nibali brought down by fan
Conditions on Alpe d'Huez were even more chaotic than the normal cauldron of support that accompanies the riders assualt on this mythical climb. 21 hairpin of cacophony, clouds of smole from flares, provided a sensorty overload. It was a dangling camera strap that caused the most damage, when a careless fan allowed his to snag on Vicenzo Nibali's handlebars yanking him to the ground. The Italian landed hard and a gramice of pain showed that the fall had done some damage.
Amazingly Nibali remounted and completed the stage finishing seventh even though ipain was etched on his face and it turned out to be very serious - a cracked vertabrae as a statement form Bahrain-Merida confirmed:
"The clinical examinations have shown the vertebral body fracture of the tenth thoracic vertebra and therefore its impossibility to continue the competition. Tomorrow in the morning, Vincenzo Nibali will return to Italy where, in the next days, he will undergo a new clinical evaluation."
It's not clear whether Nibali knew at first hat he had been brought down by a fan:
"The road became narrower and there were no barriers. There were two police motorbikes. When Froome accelerated, I followed him, I was feeling good. Then we slowed down and I hit the ground"
A spectator caught the moment of the crash:
Later reports sugggested that the actual damage to Nibali's back was caused by a motocycle hitting him immediately after he hit the deck.
Nibali, was not the only one to reitire. Dylan Groenewegen, Fernando Gaviria, Rigoberto Uran, André Greipel and Tony Gallopin all called it quits.
Stage 12 Video Highlights (courtesy of ASO) French
Stage 12 Results
July 7, stage one: Noirmoutier-en-l'Île to Fontenay-le-Comte, 201km
July 8, stage two: Mouilleron-St-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon, 182.5km
July 9, stage three: Cholet, team time trial, 35.5km
July 10, stage four: La Baule to Sarzeau, 195km
July 11, stage five: Lorient to Quimper, 204.5km
July 12, stage six: Brest to Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan, 181km
July 13, stage seven: Fougères to Chartres, 231km
July 14, stage eight: Dreux to Amiens Métropole, 181km
July 15, stage nine: Arras to Roubaix, 156.5km
July 16: Rest day (Annecy).
July 17, stage 10: Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand, 158.5km
July 18, stage 11: Albertville to La Rosière Espace San Bernardo, 108.5km
July 19, stage 12: Bourg-St-Maurice Les Arcs to Alpe d’Huez, 175.5km
July 20, stage 13: Bourg d’Oisans to Valence, 169.5km
July 21, stage 14: St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Mende, 188km
July 22, stage 15: Millau to Carcassonne, 181.5km
July 23: Rest day (Carcassonne/Bagnères-de-Luchon)
July 24, stage 16: Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon, 218km
July 25, stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan, 65km
July 26, stage 18: Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau, 171km
July 27, stage 19: Lourdes to Laruns, 200.5km
July 28, stage 20: Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle to Espelette; individual time trial, 31km
July 29, stage 21: Houilles to Paris Champs-Élysées, 116km