Tour de France: Tom Boonen wins stage 12

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tom Boonen wearing the green jersey in 2005.
Image: EmmanuelFAIVRE.

Tom Boonen of Belgium has won stage 12 of the 2007 Tour de France. Boonen edged out Erik Zabel and Robbie Hunter, the winner of yesterday's stage, in a tight sprint.

Boonen continues to wear the green jersey, which has been his since stage 6. The green jersey is award for the points classification, which is often considered the sprinters competition.

Boonen was among the favorites in this category in both 2005 and 2006, but ended up withdrawing during the Tour. Zabel has won the points classification six times, all in a row (1996 through 2001). Last year's winner was Robbie McEwen, but he retired after stage 8 with a knee injury.

Michael Rasmussen of Denmark retains the overall lead, finishing the stage with the peleton. Saturday's stage is a time-trial, which is considered a weakness for Rasmussen as he defends his 2'35" lead.

Pierrick Pierrick Fédrigo and Amets Txurruka had a two-man break-away. They led by as much as 11 minutes with 85 km to go. But as so often happens, the peleton caught up with them just before the finish, and neither of them could hang on for a top ten finish.

The 178.5 km stage 12, from Montpellier to Castres, is the second of two transition stages between the Alps and the Pyrenees, with just one category 2 climb.

The top ten standings in the overall, remain unchanged as they all finished with the peleton.

General classification after stage 12

Rank Rider Team Time
1 Michael Rasmussen Rabobank 57h 37' 10"
2 Alejandro Valverde Caisse d'Epargne +2' 35"
3 Iban Mayo Saunier Duval-Prodir +2' 39"
4 Cadel Evans Predictor-Lotto +2' 41"
5 Alberto Contador Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team +3' 08"
6 Carlos Sastre Team CSC +3' 39"
7 Andreas Klöden Astana Team +3' 50"
8 Levi Leipheimer Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team +3' 53"
9 Kim Kirchen T-Mobile Team +5' 06"
10 Mikel Astarloza Euskaltel-Euskadi +5' 20"