Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne (185.5km)
Thursday, July 17th 7:05 a.m. – 11:18 a.m. EDT
The second so-called “transition” stage could suit the plans of either the attackers or the sprinters. Although this year’s Tour features a lot of short stages with a jagged profile, it also offers up real opportunities to the candidates for the green jersey. These riders will have at least eight stages on which to do battle for this title, including stage 12, which crosses the Beaujolais hills on the road from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne. Because of its central position on the map of France, the “city of weapons and bicycles,” failed to be on the course of the Tour before the war, but has hosted it 22 times since 1950. Some big names have triumphed there, including Geminiani, Bobet, Hinault, Herrera, and Zoetemelk. The last visit of the Tour to Saint-Etienne was back in 2008. After close to 130kms, breakaway companions Marcus Burghardt and Carlos Barredo battled it out in a final sprint to the line of stage 18, with Burghardt taking the win.