Sorensen Wins Stage 12 of Tour
Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank) has won Stage 12 of the 2009 Tour. With five km left, the Dane surged away from Sylvain Calzati (Agritubel) to take the hilly, 211.5-km ride from Tonnerre to Vittel in 4:52:24. Laurent Lefevre (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) outsprinted Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) for second at 0:48. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r) remains the maillot jaune.
From the start, the peloton was on the lookout. It snuffed out several attacks before seven men escaped at 75 km. The seven riders were Sorensen, Lefevre, Pellizotti, Calzati, Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), Remi Pauriol (Cofidis), and Markus Fothen (Milram). None of the riders was a GC threat, so the bunch let them go.
With about 20 km remaining, the septet led the field by more than four minutes. Sorensen and Calzati attacked their companions and forged a 10-second lead. The lead remained at 0:10 until Sorensen dropped Calzati with five km remaining. The chase group picked up Calzati, and Sorensen powered home for the win.
In the last three km, Cadel Evans (Silence) and Levi Leipheimer (Astana) were involved in crashes. Because they were less than three km from the finish and with the peloton when the mishaps occurred, both received the same time as the bunch. Leipheimer, however, would withdraw from the Tour with a broken wrist.
In the overall, Nocentini leads Alberto Contador (Astana) by 0:06 and Lance Armstrong (Astana) by 0:08. Stage 13 could create a change in the standings. The 200-km ride from Vittel to Colmar will feature the Category 1 Cols du Platzerwasel and Firstplan. The latter is only 20 km from the finish. Will the field break up enough to give us a new yellow jersey wearer? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!