Alexander Kristoff won Stage 12 of Tour de France 2014Reuters

Tour de France 2014's Stage 12 saw Norwegian Alexander Kristoff of the Katusha team emerge triumphant. The twelfth stage witnessed the contestants ride from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint Etienne as victory came Kristoff's way.

It was a hard-fought stage but in the end the Katusha man finished the strongest. A stage win continues to be elusive for Peter Sagan of the Cannondale team. He stood second. France's Arnaud Demare too found a place on the podium as he came third. This is the fourth time Sagan has finished second.

"It's a great feeling," said Kristoff, according to Velonews. This was a childhood dream that came true added the Stage 12 winner. He was delighted with the win. "There will be champagne but Friday is a hard stage so there cannot be too much party," BBC Sport quoted him as saying.

The going wasn't easy for Kristoff as Sagan, who desperately wanted a win after three runners-up positions, provided him stiff competition. In the end, as the battle for supremacy reigned, Kristoff managed to fend off the challenge from Sagan.

He was ably assisted by his Italian teammate Luca Paolini who pushed him to stay ahead. With 500 metres left Kristoff was staying close to Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Italian contestant Matteo Trentin and then as he saw the German John Degenkolb of the Giant-Shimano team advance he too decided it was time for a surge.

"Luca did a great job to keep me up front, I was just sitting on Trentin the last 500 meters. I saw Degenkolb start, so I decided to start," said the winner.

The General Classification standings remained unaffected. Italian Vincenzo Nibali still holds the yellow jersey in his grasp. Australian Riche Porte is two minutes and 23 seconds behind Nibali in the standings.

The next two days in the hilly Alpine terrain, according to Porte will be the most important.

"It's not an easy two days coming up. I think it's going to be absolutely crucial for the general classification so I'm looking forward to taking more time on the guys behind me," said the Team Sky leader.

Here are the top five teams and riders after Stage 12

1. Alexander Kristoff [Nor/Katusha] 4 hours 32 minutes 11 seconds

2. Peter Sagan [Svk/Cannondale]

3. Arnaud Demare[(Fra/]

4. Michael Albasini [Sui/Orica]

5. Ramunas Navardauskas [Ltu/Garmin]

General Classification[GC] riders

1. Vincenzo Nibali [Ita/Astana] 51hours 31minutes 34seconds

2. Richie Porte [Aus/Team Sky] +2minutes 23seconds

3. Alejandro Valverde [Spa/Movistar] +2minutes 47seconds

4. Romain Bardet [Fra/AG2R] +3minutes 1seconds

5. Thibaut Pinot [Fra/] +3minutes 47seconds