This weekend should feature a reshuffling in the general classification (GC) of the 2012 Tour de France, with two medium mountain stages on the schedule.
Team BMC successfully kept 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans away from the carnage through the first week, and stage seven and eight should give us a glimpse at his true fitness.
Here is what he said when asked about racing potential this weekend (via CyclingNews):
"Normally the first mountains are a good indicator of who's climbing well and therefore, who will be there in the other mountains. You go in not knowing who's the best climber in the race, or who's bad and so on. But everyone one gets in looking for that, to get an idea of how everyone's going. That's the first thing, but then it's also an opportunity to make some time, hopefully... it's going to be an interesting race.”
Stage seven tomorrow features three climbs, and they aren’t the longest or steepest of the tour, but will certainly hurt the legs. The final climb is a 6km climb—with an average 7 percent gradient—up to the finish, and shouldn’t provide major fireworks. Cycling fans will certainly be able to see who is in shape with good climbing legs.
Team RadioShack-Nissan's Fabian Cancellara has worn the yellow jersey since the start of the Tour in Liege, but will likely let go of the yellow jersey by the end of the day.
Riders such as Frank Schleck and Robert Gesink lost time today, and could seek stage wins—and gain a little bit of time—as Evans, Wiggins and remaining GC hopefuls mark one another.
However, through the rest of the mountain stages, expect remaining GC rivals to try and shut the door on any favorites that lost time today.
Although Michael Morkov has proudly worn the polka dot jersey awarded to best climber, his reign in that jersey is likely over tomorrow. Team Saxo Bank will continue to look for the right breakaway in an effort to hunt for stage wins.
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