Solo victory at the top of Alpe d’Huez. Tom Pidcock (Ineos) won the 12th stage of the Tour de France, Thursday July 14. The British rider was part of a breakaway that maintained a gap with the peloton at the bottom of the final climb. For his first Tour de France, the Olympic mountain bike champion was the strongest on the climb and won his first stage on a grand tour.

Dane Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo) retained the leader’s yellow jersey without giving up anything to Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE). On the line installed at 1,850 meters above sea level, Pidcock beat South African Louis Meintjes, another member of the breakaway, by 48 seconds. Briton Chris Froome, four-time Tour winner, took third place in the stage, more than two minutes away, by far his best result since his serious accident in June 2019.

Pidcock (22), who is also the reigning cyclo-cross world champion, distinguished himself from his first participation in the Tour. He succeeded the winners of Alpe d’Huez to his team leader, the Welshman Geraint Thomas, who won in 2018.

Pogacar attacked before the last four kilometers without managing to clinch Vingegaard. He tried again two kilometers further, with the same result. The Frenchman Romain Bardet fell slightly in the last kilometers. He dropped around twenty seconds and fell back from second to fourth place in the general classification.

The breakaway was launched in the first hour of the race well before the summit of Galibier, the first of the three non-category climbs of the day in this stage of the Tour de France. Its elements – Powless, Oliveira, Pérez, Goessens, Schönberger, Meintjes, Ciccone – were later joined by Pidcock and Froome. On the final climb, Pidcock took the lead nearly seven miles from the summit. Meintjes and Froome kept him in sight but the young Briton ended up widening the gap approaching the last seven kilometers to claim the second success of his career on the road, in his second year with the pros.