Stage 19, Redemption: David Millar in the 2012 Tour de France

Etape by Richard Moore tour de france stages 2012 David Millar Redemption

We had two and a half weeks to go,” says David Millar, reflecting on the situation he and his team, Garmin- Sharp, found themselves in, just one week into the 2012 Tour. “So we had to pull our heads out of our arses and find a new way of racing.”

Stage 12: The Devil, Claudio Chiappucci, 1992

Richard Moore Etape: 20 Great Stages from the Modern Tour de France: Claudio Chiappucci The Devil 1992

Ten minutes later, the electronic gate clicks and whirs and begins to slide open. Instantly recognizable, the cyclist once known as “El Diablo” (the devil) appears behind the wheel of an SUV with a 20-something girl in the passenger seat. He is 50 but looks and dresses about 30 years younger.

Stage 8: Trilogy, Eddy Merckx, 1971

The trouble with Merckx is that there are so many deeds to choose from. The pick for many is 1969 and his Tour de France début, specifically the stage that tackled the “Circle of Death” in the Pyrenees—Col de Peyresourde, Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, and Col d’Aubisque. Merckx attacked over the top of the Tourmalet, then rode alone for 140 km—about 87 miles—to win in Mourenx. That performance prompted the Tour director, Jacques Goddet, to coin a new word, Merckxissimo.

Stage 7: Dutch Cold War, Marc Sargeant and Frans Maassen, 1992

The trio was over 15 minutes clear of the peloton; now there were only 35 km remaining, just 22 miles, and it was certain that one of them was going to win. Then one of the three, having spoken to his team car, stopped working. He moved to the back. When he moved forward to do his turn on the front, he soft-pedaled. The speed dropped dramatically.

Stage 6: For Fabio, Lance Armstrong, 1995

Etape by Richard Moore - For Fabio - Lance Armstrong Tour de France stage1995

The memory is as vivid as the stain that could be seen darkening the road. It was a damp patch, a small puddle emanating from a stricken rider’s head, expanding on the asphalt as riders sprinted past, rubbernecking at 45 mph to catch a glimpse of the figure on the road. He was lying on his side, curled up in the fetal position.