Stage 7 of the 2012 Tour de France is the race's first hilltop finish, and that means a crucial early opportunity for many riders. The 199km run from Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles features three climbs in the second half, a pair of Category 3 climbs and the final Category 1 climb.
With the 2012 Tour de France route heavy on time trials, riders like Frank Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) will need to make the most of every hill if they want to gain time on their GC rivals. Both men lost time in Stage 6's crash, meaning Stage 7 becomes all the more crucial.
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