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Tour de France 2012, Stage 18: TV Coverage, Route And More

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Stage 18 of the Tour de France isn't as mountainous as the previous couple stages, but riders will have to cover 222.5 kilometers in order to complete it. The cyclists are nearing in on the race's end in Paris, with Bradley Wiggins still holding the yellow jersey through 17 stages.

Here's a brief overview of Stage 18 from Jean-François Pescheux:

Blagnac-Brive-la-Gaillarde: a 222.5 km hop to bring us a little closer to Paris and give leaders the chance to spin their legs before the Bonneval-Chartres time trial. This is obviously a golden opportunity for sprinters to shine again. I have already said that this Tour is not especially sprinter-friendly, since we have always chucked in one or two climbs to scatter the bunch. In fact, everything points to intermediate sprints being more important for the green jersey than the stage finishes. All in all, a race within the race, very strategic and exciting. There are 65 points up for grabs today!

The NBC Sports Network will have coverage of Stage 18 beginning at 7:00 a.m. CT. For more information on this stage, including maps and other route details, check out the Tour's website.

For more on the Tour de France, please be sure to check out cycling blog Podium Cafeand SB Nation Chicago for all the latest news and updates. More coverage can be found in SB Nation's Tour de France StoryStream.