Stage 7 of the 2012 Tour de France will take place on Saturday morning and it will be the debut of this particular route in the famous event. The hills will begin in earnest in Stage 10, but Saturday's trek from Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles will be a grueling climb.
The 199 km route will finish with a simply agonizing 6 km climb, which the official Tour de France website helpfully illustrates:
There will be an additional two 3.1 km Stage 3 climbs in the stage, which figures to be the first real separation of the elite riders from the rest of the pack. This may also be the stage that sees Fabian Cancellara relinquish the yellow jersey for the first time since the Tour began.
Saturday's Stage 7 will be the first stage this year to be televised live on national network television. The coverage starts at 5:00 a.m. PT on NBC. Streaming coverage will be available via NBC Sports.
For all news and information regarding the 2012 Tour de France, please stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all things cycling, please visit Podium Cafe.