2012 Tour de France

Tour De France 2012 TV Schedule: Where to Catch Colossal Race's Final Stages

BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, FRANCE - JULY 19:  - JULY 19:  Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain and SKY Procycling prepares to start stage seventeen of the 2012 Tour de France from Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes on July 19, 2012 in Bagneres-de-Luchon, France.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2012

Two Britons lead the Tour de France as we enter the final three stages of this year's colossal cycling race. Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome will battle third-place competitor Vincenzo Nibali to the finish line.

It's unlikely that anyone can catch Wiggins at this point, but it will certainly be interesting to watch the rest of the field try.

Make sure you tune in to watch the chase to the finish line in Paris on the Champs-Elysees.

 

*Schedule courtesy of nbcsports.com.

 

NBC SPORTS GROUP'S 2012 TOUR DE FRANCE SCHEDULE

Friday, July 20

Stage 18: Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network

Saturday, July 21
Stage 19: Bonneval to Chartres, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network

Sunday, July 22
Stage 20: Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Elysees, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Recap show, 1 p.m., NBC

Note: All times ET

 

Now that you know when to watch, let's take a brief look at the top three riders. 

 

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins leads by two minutes and five seconds. He's raced consistently well, finishing in the Top 10 of four stages and the Top 15 in four others. 

He's been at, or near, the top of the standings for the duration. Don't expect him to go anywhere. He finished 12th in Stage 17 and seems to have enough left in the tank for the race's final three legs. 

Two minutes is a large margin. If he races like he has for most of this contest, he will win comfortably.

 

Chris Froome

Froome has been quietly consistent through 17 stages. He hasn't finished outside of the Top 100 once, and he's finished third or better in three stages. 

He hasn't displayed Wiggins' brilliance, but the difference isn't much. He's pushed his fellow countryman better than anyone else. Wiggins has raced brilliantly, and nothing less than a world-class effort was even going to close the gap to two minutes and change. 

Froome will need a tremendous effort down the stretch to win this year's race. 

 

Vincenzo Nibali

You can't just talk about two front-runners. You have to go with three. It just makes sense. 

Nibali is two minutes and 41 seconds behind Wiggins. That leaves him 36 seconds behind Froome for second place. He will have a hard enough time catching Froome that first place isn't really an option.

The Italian's momentum peaked between stages eight and ten. He's not going to chase his way into the winners' circle, but he's had an admirable race.

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