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Summary

  1. Katusha's Alexander Kristoff wins stage 12
  2. Vincenzo Nibali retains race leader's yellow jersey
  3. Team Sky's Richie Porte stays second, +2:23 behind
  4. Tony Gallopin loses 5:45; drops out of GC top 10
  5. Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates only GB riders left

Live Reporting

By Peter Scrivener

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    And that feels like a decent place to leave it. Thanks for your texts and tweets this afternoon.

    We are heading into the mountains on Friday and the first hors categories (ridiculously difficult) climb to a summit finish at Chamrousse.

    Expect a big battle among the likes of race leader Vincenzo Nibali, Richie Porte, Alejandro Valverde et al. Who will emerge with the psychological advantage as we head into the Alps?

    Join me from 13:00 BST to find out - and we will have live radio commentary from 15:00 BST.

  2. Post update

    A quick word from stage winner Alexander Kristoff, who is tasting Tour victory for the first time: "I have been dreaming about this since I was a child. I have been close before and it is great to have my first time on the top of the podium."

  3. General Classification

    Yellow Jersey

    Classification

    Standings after stage 12:

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 51hrs 31mins 34secs

    2. Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) +2mins 23secs

    3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 47secs

    4. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +3mins 01secs

    5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/FDJ.fr) +3mins 47secs

  4. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "No change in the General Classification with Vincenzo Nibali, Richie Porte and Alejandro Valverde all finishing together - apart from poor old Tony Gallopin. He started fifth this morning and on the run-in to the finish he lost time but he won't be too disappointed given how his race has gone, winning a stage and wearing the yellow jersey.

    "Tomorrow is a day for the GC guys - for those who are trying to claw some time back on Nibali."

  5. Stage 12 result

    1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha) 4hrs 32mins 11secs

    2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Cannondale) Same time

    3. Arnaud Demare (Fra/FDJ.fr)

    4. Michael Albasini (Swi/Orica)

    5. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania / Garmin)

  6. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I think Sagan is missing a bit of top end. Had he ridden in a more conservative way he may have won a stage. He desperately wants one and he should be winning them. Today he did everything right but just didn't have the legs."

  7. Post update

    Well, hands up who saw that coming? Kristoff has been sprinting without a lead-out train all Tour and he has been left feeding off scraps but today he managed to get on the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step train and the Norwegian used it to full effect.

  8. Post update

    Courtesy of Tim Peach, the 5 live producer out in Saint Etienne - here's Kristoff winning stage 12.

    Alexander Kristoff (red and white jersey) wins stage 12
  9. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Sagan can only blame his legs there which perhaps goes to show he has lost a little bit. Greipel will be ruing his bad luck. But no taking away from Kristoff who finished that perfectly."

  10. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "The Katusha rider finishes ahead of Sagan, who played it right but he just didn't have the legs. Demare, the French national champion got third."

  11. CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    ALEXANDER KRISTOFF WINS STAGE 12.

  12. Post update

    Demare, Trentin, Sagan, Kristoff. all fighting this out, who is going to get home first?

  13. Post update

    Here we go under the Flamme Rouge. 1km to go. Peter Sagan and Matteo Trentin are right up there.

  14. Post update

    Sylvain Chavanel is getting both barrels from Greipel at the back of the bunch. Think we can suss out whose fault that crash was.

  15. Post update

    A four-man Cannondale train setting this up for Sagan - they are looking very well organised but don't count out Matteo Trentin who has four OPQS team-mate pacing him. There's an uphill drag coming up though. 2km to go.

  16. OUCH!

    Andre Greipel is down - he will not make this sprint. Just 3km to go.

  17. Post update

    Looks like we're in for a nice big bunch sprint folks. Team Sky are out on the left side of the road, staying safe.

    French champion Arnaud Demare has made the final selection, could the FDJ rider take this. But then, here comes the green Cannondale machine round the the side of the peloton trying to set this up for Sagan.

  18. Break over

    Gautier leads Clarke and the Aussie is happy to get a tow here. The Frenchman keeps asking Clarke to help out but he's staying put so Gautier attacks and Clarke finds a bit of something in his legs to stay with him.

    The peloton comes sweeping by though as they enter the final 5km.

  19. Post update

    Lotto-Belisol, the team of sprinter Andre Greipel hits the front and Omega Pharma - Quick-Step show their faces for the first time today. Could Matteo Trentin fancy this finish again?

    Simon Clarke glances behind him and grimaces as he sees the peloton closing in - he knows this is not going to be his day. 7.5km remaining.

  20. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Quemeneur's jacket is open and flapping in the breeze and that is putting him at a huge disadvantage. It is an extra 10-15% of effort wasted. And he's had one big effort there and swung away."

  21. Post update

    Clarke continues to be the vegemite in the Europcar sandwich as Giant-Shimano bomb down the hill into Saint Etienne and continue to shave seconds off the escaped trio.

    Just 10km to go.

  22. In the break

    Gautier attacks and Quemeneur sits tight, forcing Clarke to set off in pursuit. They have to work together if they want to reach the finish line alone.

    And now Quemeneur goes. A real ding-dong up front with Europcar ganging up on poor old Clarke who has been out in the break all day and must be on his final legs.

  23. In the peloton

    The peloton is stretched out, which is a sign of how fast they are going. They are just 30 seconds back with 15.5km to go. Are they timing this to perfection again.

  24. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "On this descent Clarke can afford to freewheel in the slipstream and take on some fluids and energy gels. He can afford to sit in there because there's two Europcar riders with him, although they won't want to take him all the way to the finish."

  25. Post update

    The Astana team of race leader Vincenzo Nibali moves to the front of the peloton as they descend into Saint Etienne. Team Sky are also up near the front. Giant-Shimano continue to make the pace though and the peloton is just 45 seconds back.

  26. Post update

    Team Sky: Team Sky today terminated Jonathan Tiernan-Locke's contract with immediate effect.

  27. Post update

    The two Breton riders from Europcar are just 20 seconds behind Clarke as they go over the summit of Cote de Grammond and they catch the Australian as they start on the descent.

    Team Sky's Bernie Eisel snatches a tactical food bag at the top of the climb - a couple of snacks for his team-mates and vital energy on the run-in to the finish.

  28. Post update

    Gallopin won't be repeating his stage victory from Wednesday, he is firmly towards the back of the peloton, which is being led by Giant-Shimano, now those two Europcar boys have shot off.

    The peloton is 72 seconds behind Clarke with the Quemeneur and Gautier inbetween.

    Langeveld's day disintegrated quickly - he has already gone through the back of the peloton.

  29. Get involved

    Matt Bright, via text on 81111: Re: Gallopin's well deserved 1V, would like to think Cav's would have said at least 27V by now.

  30. In the break

    I'll bring you more on that as and when I get it. In the meantime, Simon Clarke has attacked his fellow breakaway rider Langeveld with 26km remaining.

  31. Post update

    Tiernan-Locke has been suspended for two years for anomalies in his biological passport.

    He won the Tour of Britain in 2012 but this victory has now been taken off him.

  32. Breaking news

    News also coming in that Team Sky's Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been given a two-year ban.

  33. Post update

    Cyril Gautier and Perrig Quemeneur are the two men in the racing green of Europcar to ride clear of the peloton.

    At the back of the peloton sprinter Marcel Kittel is dropping out of the back of the peloton - that clears things up in the Giant team then, it's full gas for John Degenkolb.

  34. Attack from the peloton

    Langeveld and Clarke are on the final climb, it's only a category four climb but it's 9.8km in length. The average gradient is just 2.9%.

    Their lead immediately diminishes by 15 seconds as a couple of Europcar riders zip off the front of the peloton.

  35. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "If you bring a break back too early it entices teams who aren't interested in a bunch sprint to go on the attack. It happened yesterday with Gallopin who didn't fancy a sprint against Sagan, so went off on his own."

  36. In the peloton

    First proper sight of Geraint Thomas - easily recognisable with his white sunglasses and union flag on the right sleeve of his Team Sky jersey. He's looking after Richie Porte of course and they will be content to ride home in the main bunch today.

    Bigger battles to come for them, starting with Friday's summit finish at Chamrousse.

    The lead is down to two minutes and the peloton is trying to time this catch to perfection.

  37. Get involved

    Andy Thompson: Should be an easy day for Nibali, a lot tougher tomorrow though, especially on the climb to Chamrousse.

  38. In the break

    Into the last 40km of the stage for our leaders Sebastian Langeveld and Simon Clarke. Dutch champion Langeveld rides for Garmin-Sharp - listen for the dedications to team-mate Andrew Talansky if he pulls off a victory here.

    The lead remaining the right side of two minutes for the duo.

  39. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "As the riders go under 2km to go banner today, there's a bit of a rise and could put a bit of a sting in the legs if you're struggling to stay in a wheel. It's nice big wide roads though and the finishing straight is flat which should suit Sagan but he's not been riding too cleverly so far."

  40. Get involved

    Patrick in London, via text on 81111: @Luke Smith - Thor Hushovd won the jersey in 2005 without winning a stage I believe.

  41. In the peloton

    Europcar and Giant-Shimano lead the peloton over the line and the pace drops slightly as riders frantically reach out for bottles of juice to power them to the finish.

  42. In the break

    Polkadot Jersey

    Classification

    Our leaders are approaching the summit of Col des Brosses and there are hundreds of fans lining the road, soaking up the rays.

    Simon Clarke is spraying water over his head in an effort to cool himself down. he follows Langeveld over the line - they are not interested in the two and one points for reaching the summit ahead of the peloton.

    They have their eyes on the bigger prize. One category four climb and 47km to survive with a two minutes, 15 seconds advantage.

  43. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "When it is hot it's difficult to refuel. I would've struggled to take on solids on a day like today. It takes a lot of training to get used to doing."

  44. Get involved

    Luke Smith: Has anyone won the green jersey without a stage victory?

    Can anyone help Luke out? I'm a little busy to go searching...

  45. Post update

    If Britain's Mark Cavendish was still up and running in the race, he would have '25V' on his race number on his bike, which was 71 - marking his 25 stage wins in the Tour de France.

    Wednesday's stage winner Tony Gallopin opened his account on Wednesday.

    Lotto-Belisol: From today on, for the rest of his life, '1V', one victory @letour for @tonygallopin

    Tony Gallopin's race number
  46. In the break

    The break is starting to fall apart. First Florian Vachon runs out of gas and rather quickly after Gregory Rast calls it a day. Our leading quartet is down to a duo - Sebastian Langeveld and Simon Clarke push on.

    Their lead is just over two minutes as they continue to ascend Col des Brosses. Once they reach the top, there is a plateau and a descent before the final climb up Cote de Grammond, which tops out some 20km from the finish.

  47. Post update

    Rob Hayles

    Former Great Britain cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Are Giant-Shimano riding for Kittel? Unlikely. It's a similar stage to yesterday. Sagan will be there but I think Giant are riding for Degenkolb. Arnaud Demare has already been back to the FDJ team car and taken a 'sticky bottle'. He was holding on to the bottle while it was being handed to him from the car for about 15 pedal revolutions which is a little bit naughty."

  48. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Rob Hayles and Rob Hatch

    And we have live commentary from Rob Hayles and Rob Hatch on this very website. Click on the live tab at the top of this page to listen in.

  49. In the peloton

    Two Europcar riders continue to pace the peloton with a train of eight Giant-Shimano zebras in their wake, enjoying the blazing sunshine and near 30C temperatures. It's a far cry from the cold and rain of the last week.

  50. In the break

    I've just been watching a replay of the De La Cruz crash. It gets worse on every viewing - he apparently had a front-wheel puncture, so not a lot he could do about that.

    The leading quartet are 68km from home and heading towards today's biggest climb the category three ascent of Col des Brosses. The average gradient is only 3.3% but the length of the climb is 15.3km. They hold a two minutes, 10 seconds advantage over the peloton.

  51. Get involved

    BBC Sport's Matt Slater: Despite 6 broken ribs, punctured lung, bust collarbone & lots of grazing, Brian Robinson is 'chipper' & eager to get back on bike. Brian's spirits are being lifted by messages he's getting from around cycling world. TdF boss Christian Prudhomme is phoning later.

  52. Post update

    Yellow Jersey

    Classification

    Nibali leads team Sky's Richie Porte in the general classification by two minutes, 23 seconds with Alejandro Valverde a further 24 seconds back. There's some big mountains coming in the next couple of days that could change all that.

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 46hrs 59mins 23secs

    2. Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) +2mins 23secs

    3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 47secs

    4. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) +3mins 01secs

    5. Tony Gallopin (Fra/Lotto-Belisol) +3mins 12secs

  53. Get involved

    John McEnerney: Too early to crown Vincenzo Nibali but he's in good shape & has a strong team, the main threat is Alejandro Valverde who is close & will make a move soon!

    Andrew Harvey: Difficult to see who can topple Nibali for yellow, Valverde/Porte have the strongest claims. Penultimate TT stage will be key.

  54. In the peloton

    Team Europcar have put Alexandre Pichot on the front of the peloton, showing that they mean business for their sprinter Bryan Coquard and that they reckon he can get over these final two climbs and be in with a chance at the finish.

    Behind Pichot is the black-and-white train of Giant-Shimano. Are they riding for Marcel Kittel - the German who won three of the opening four stages? Or are they pulling for John Degenkolb, who is better suited to getting over these types of climbs and then having a sprint for the line.

  55. Get involved

    Adam, via text on 81111: I'm currently suffering from Sacroilitis and the thought of spending 5 hours in the saddle is horrifying. Poor bloke, he could have had a great opportunity with the other big names gone too! Adam

    Iain, via text on 81111: Talansky - previous high-profile appearance of that nerve in Disney's Jungle Book. Kaa the snake lands badly after tangling with the wrong tiger: "Ooh, my s-s-sacroiliac."

  56. In the break

    The leading quartet lost about one minute of their advantage in the aftermath of that De La Cruz and Langeveld crash and are three minutes, 30 seconds clear of the chasing peloton, which is starting to up its pace with just 77km remaining.

  57. Get involved

    We've got a couple of hours or until we reach Saint Etienne, so plenty of time for you to tweet or text me your thoughts on the state of the race so far. Has Vincenzo Nibali got the yellow jersey sewn up? Has Peter Sagan done likewise with the green? Will the Slovakian taste a stage win on this year's Tour though?

    Texts to 81111 - please put CYCLING at the front (so I can find then among the golf and cricket messages) and your name (so I can use it).

    Tweets to #bbccycling

  58. Live radio commentary

    We have live radio commentary coming up on the website from 15:00 BST with the two Robs, Hatch and Hayles in the booth at the finish line in Saint Etienne. It's a little blurry but you get the picture.

    You can get their take on the closing 90 minutes or so of today's stage in 26 minutes.

    Finish line in Saint Etienne
  59. Talansky abandons

    Andrew Talansky on stage 11

    And while I'm dealing with crashes, it's probably a good time to tell you of Andrew Talansky's demise. You may recall that the American, who won June's traditional Tour warm-up race - the Criterium du Dauphine, was the 179th and last rider to finish stage 11, more than 32 minutes behind winner Tony Gallopin and 12 minutes adrift of the group ahead of him on the road.

    Unsurprisingly, the Garmin-Sharp rider did not make the start line today, saying he was "heartbroken" to become the latest high-profile name to pull out.

    Officially, he has quit due to acute sacroilitis - an inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, which connects the iliac bone, in the pelvis, to the spine. No, me neither.

  60. OUCH!

    Brian Robinson

    De La Cruz is not the only one in a bit of pain today.

    A little bid of sad news involving British cycling legend Brian Robinson. The 83-year-old, who in 1955 was the first from these shores to complete the Tour de France, was knocked off bike near his home in west Yorkshire.

    Robinson, who was also the first Brit to win a stage, in 1958, was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone on Wednesday evening and kept in overnight.

    If you're reading Brian - get well soon!

  61. OUCH!

    But as I type that, there's a pile-up in the breakaway. David de la Cruz slides off on a tight right-hander, taking out Sebastian Langeveld, the Dutch road champion, in the process. Langeveld is back up and on his bike but poor old De La Cruz is heading for an early shower, via the X-ray room. He's still on the deck, clutching his collar-bone.

  62. In the break

    The quintet in the daily breakaway are Trek rider Gregory Rast, (who is the best-placed on the road one hour, 20 minutes, 59 seconds adrift of race leader Vincenzo Nibali), Sebastian Langeveld of Garmin-Sharp, Orica GreenEdge's Simon Clarke, David De La Cruz of NetApp Endura and Florian Vachon of Bretagne-Seche.

    Gregory Rast (Trek), Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp), Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge), David De La Cruz (NetApp Endura) and Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Seche).
  63. Stage 12 catch up

    So, on to today's stage. The riders left Bourg-en-Bresse at 12:02 BST and in the opening couple of hours or so have cycled the opening 90km of the 185.5km stage.

    Five riders are in a break and are almost five minutes clear of the peloton. They've been up and down the opening two climbs of the day - the category four Col de Brouilly (1.7km at an average gradient of 5.1%) and the category three Cote du Saule-d'Oingt (3.8km at 4.5%).

  64. Post update

    Green Jersey

    Classification

    However, Sagan and his Cannondale team have not quite found the formula for delivering their star man to the finish line first so far, with his reputation for having a fast finish starting to hamper him.

    The 24-year-old Slovakian chucked his bike away in disgust after Wednesday's finish before calming down to focus on today's race. "I am confident and every day I'm trying to do something better," he said before adding: "But I'm hoping for the green jersey in Paris."

    Today's profile is interesting Bryan Coquard, the man who is second in the green jersey standings. He simple said today's "finish suits me".

  65. Post update

    Green Jersey

    Classification

    Sagan leads the points classification, which rewards consistently high finishes on each stage, by 137 points.

    1. Peter Sagan (Svk/Cannondale) 301

    2. Bryan Coquard (Fra/Europcar) 164

    3. Marcel Kittel (Ger/Giant-Shimano) 157

    4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha) 127

    5. Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto-Belisol) 111

  66. Post update

    Tour de France

    Team Sky rider and BBC columnist Geraint Thomas is among those suggesting 24-year-old Peter Sagan is the one to beat on stage 12. Thomas made his prediction before the Tour started and while Sagan looks to have the green points jersey classification wrapped up, he is yet to win a stage in the 101st edition. Could today be the day?

    Geraint Thomas's view: "This could be an interesting day in the battle for the green points jersey. Riders pick up points depending on where they finish each stage and the points jersey is usually contested by the quicker men in the peloton. It might be a day when the Cannondale team of Peter Sagan try and control the race and go hard up the final climb to try and get rid of the sprinters."

  67. Post update

    Hello and welcome to live text commentary of stage 12 of the 2014 Tour de France. We are in beautiful Beaujolais country today as the riders take on a 185.5km ride from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint Etienne.

    The profile is similar to Wednesday's 11th stage, with four categorised climbs - two cat threes and two cat fours - and that means Peter Sagan is the name on everyone's lips again for the stage victory.

  68. Stage set for Sagan?

    Peter Sagan

    "It's my girlfriend's birthday and I wanted to do well for her and win the stage," said Cannondale team leader Peter Sagan after finishing ninth on Wednesday's stage 11 of the Tour de France.

    "But at least I got the flowers from the podium for her," he added after collecting the green jersey as leader of the points classification.