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Summary

  1. Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez wins stage
  2. Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang second, Frenchman Romain Bardet third
  3. Chris Froome fends off numerous late attacks
  4. His yellow-jersey lead is unscathed
  5. Third and final day in the Pyrenees

Live Reporting

By Paul Fletcher

All times stated are UK

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We've got a transitional stage on Friday, 198.5km from Muret to Rodez.

I've got a rest day but fear not, Chris Osborne will be here to guide you through that one. 

#bbccycling Valverde is taking the time off Thomas so he gets a foot on the podium if Tejay pops in the Alps.

Chris Froome is up next to take his yellow jersey. He has survived, nay, succeeded, in the Pyrenees, building a lead at the top of the GC.

But we've seen enough today to realise that this race is far from over.

Happy days

Joaquim Rodriguez looks absolutely over the moon as he stands on the podium following his stage victory. His children are smiling too.

Why doesn't Britain love Froome?

Lots of words written about Chris Froome this week so we've got our very own Matt Slater to join them.

He has written an excellent feature asking why Britain doesn't love Chris Froome.

Please do take a look. 

Finding form

Was it just me or did Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali look a little stronger today? Nibali in particular had struggled through the Pyrenees.

Yellow jersey

Chris Froome remains two minutes 52 seconds ahead of Tejay van Garderen and three minutes nine seconds in front of Nairo Quintana.

Geraint Thomas is fifth and still looking very strong.

Good day for Froome?

Hmm, so Alejandro Valverde takes one second off Chris Froome after his late dash for the line.

I suspect after that brutal attack-laden climb, Froome would settle for that. 

And....breathe.

Don't know how Geraint Thomas does it...unbelievable ride. #bbccycling

Punchy ride from Rodriguez - cracking show up the hills from a guy in his mid 30s #bbccycling #tdf15

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"It was a great ride by Rodriguez to go out so early on the stage an hold on in the conditions. What a race we had in the yellow jersey group. They all gave body blows and tried to isolate Chris Froome. It was Geraint Thomas who played the biggest part for Froome."

Wow, this has been a brilliant last hour or so.

Mind you, there are plenty of riders still some way from home who probably do not agree.

Alejandro Valverde, who has looked strong today, has a very late dig. He sprints off the front and will probably take a couple of seconds off Chris Froome as the yellow jersey group comes home.

The remains of the earlier 22-man breakaway are coming home.

Happy for Joaquín Rodriguez. One of my favourite punchy riders. Always fancy him on a steep hill. #bbccycling #tdf15

There won't be any big losses for Chris Froome today, if any.

1.5km

The yellow jersey group has 1.5kms to go. Geraint Thomas still on the front.

#bbccycling bizarre décision from froome to attack when he was sitting comfortably at Geraint's wheel, still in control though

Which Grand Tour does Geraint Thomas get to lead Sky at next year? #bbccycling

More attacks?

Geraint Thomas back on the front of the yellow jersey group, Chris Froome behind him, then Nairo Quintana.

Any more for any more anyone?

Jakob Fuglsgang finishes second, Romain Bardet crosses in third.

Joaquim Rodriguez, by the way, has now won two stages this year. He is 36.  

Simon Brotherton

Cycling commentator

"Joaquim Rodriguez has time to blows kisses to the crowd. He caught the world champion on the slopes of Plateau de Beille and it's a great win for the Katusha rider."

Rodriguez wins stage 12

Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver celebrates
Getty Images

Joaquim Rodriguez crosses the line first. Brilliant from him. Meanwhile, back down the road....   

Quintana again

What is that expression on the face of Geraint Thomas? It equates to hard work for sure.

Another move from Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome follows.

1km to go

Meanwhile, up the road Joaquim Rodriguez goes under the 1km to go banner. Superb.

Geraint Thomas catches back up with the yellow jersey group. Incredible stuff. Alejandro Valverde has another dig. I cannot type fast enough.

They catch Chris Froome, who no longer has Geraint Thomas for company. He is being attacked all over the place - all his rivals are like vultures.

Froome makes his move

Chris Froome bursts off the front, Nairo Quintana follows, as does Tejay van Garderen and others.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"It's been like a bar brawl at the front of the group, but the pace Geraint Thomas is setting is doing enough for Chris Froome."

Geraint Thomas is once again on the front of the yellow jersey group. Chris Froome behind him. A multitude of riders desperate to take time off Froome are immediately behind them.

Don't go anywhere.

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Your top speeds

54mph cycling round the Nurburgring at last year's 24h Rad & Run am Ring. Oh, and it was at 4am and pitch black. Terrifying. #bbccycling

3km to go

Joaquim Rodriguez closing in on a stage win - his second of the Tour.  

Richie Porte cracks but Geraint Thomas tries to drive Sky along and he soon closes the gap on Nairo Quintana. This is gripping, fascinating, compelling bike racing.

Sky on the defensive. 

Here it is - Nairo Quintana attacks.

4km to go

Alejandro Valverde is up with Vincenzo Nibali - but there is no panic immediately behind them.

Richie Porte, then Geraint Thomas then Chris Froome. You would not exactly call Froome isolated.

Up the road, Rodriguez has 4km to go.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Is the cold getting to Froome? We know he really likes the heat. The other guys are trying to make the most of it and I wonder if his legs are a little blocked up in the cold."

5km to go

Up the road, Joaquim Rodriguez is out on his own and gritting his teeth. If he can hold it together, glory will be his.

Now Valverde

Nibali is a little way up the road. Now Movistar's Alejandro Valverde is attacking.

It is as though all the teams are working together to try to break Sky and Froome.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"No panic by the yellow jersey with Contador's move. Contador took about 20 lengths out of the group but Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas stood their ground and rode back up to Contador. Nibali's gone and it's as if they are trying to get panic into Froome - but there is no panic yet."

When will Nairo Quintana make his move?

Nibali, of course, is seven minutes behind Froome on the GC.

And now Nibali

Team Sky not panicking at all, steady rhythm all the way. 

Hmm, Alberto Contador is caught and then Vincenzo Nibali has a dash. 

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"There was a lightning strike just out in front of us, but I hope the weather is behind us. It is absolutely chucking it down on Rodriguez out there."