Tour de France: Stage 8 Preview

Stage 8 at the 2023 Tour de France is scheduled for Saturday, July 8th, and we will see an interesting stage with long distances and an exciting, hilly finale.

With that in mind, we have prepared a preview of Tour de France stage 8 just for you, so keep reading to learn more about it.

Tour de France Stage 8 Preview
BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM – Photo by Icon sport

Tour de France Stage 8 Set-Up

The first traditional mountain range characteristic of the Tour de France has been successfully mastered by the riders and the contenders for the general classification are now almost among themselves.

The capital of the Sprinters, Bordeaux, saw exactly that: a sprint royal that was thrilling with Jasper Philipsen the strongest among the bunch. He secured his third victory in as many days.

Tour de France Stage 7 Results

  1. Jasper Philipsen (BEL, Alpecin-Deceuninck) 3hr 46’28”
  2. Mark Cavendish (GBR, Astana Qazaqstan Team) +0″
  3. Biniam Girmay (ERI, Intermarché – Circus – Wanty) +0″
  4. Luca Mozzato (ITA, Team Arkéa Samsic) +0″
  5. Dylan Groenewegen (NED, Team Jayco AlUla) +0″
  6. Jordi Meeus (BEL, BORA – hansgrohe) +0″
  7. Phil Bauhaus (GER, Bahrain – Victorious) +0″
  8. Bryan Coquard (FRA, Cofidis) +0″
  9. Alexander Kristoff (NOR, Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) +0″
  10. Mads Pedersen (DEN, Lidl – Trek) +0″

Tour de France Stage 8 Profile – Libourne – Limoges, 200.9 Kilometers

The start will be in Libourne, which is hosting the Tour for the fifth time. In 1957 Jacques Anquetil won the time trial stage here. The last time the event stopped at Libourne, Matej Mohoric, recorded his second stage win of the 2021 edition. The sprinters may have a quiet day as today’s stage very much is a transition stage from the coast towards the Massif Central. However, there are some challenges ahead, though these are mostly towards the end of the race.

Following this year’s tour profile, stage 8 is a right fit: hilly with many small climbs that provide opportunities aplenty for those toying with the idea of initiating a breakaway and trying to stretch the field and break it up into as many groups as possible.

With 130km done, the riders will face the first category 3 climb of the day: the Côte de Champs Romain, which also indicates the historical origins of this place. Over a distance of just under 3km, the climb goes up with an average 5.2% gradient which may be just enough for a bigger shake-up of the peloton. From then on it will be hilly for the remaining 70 kilometres until the finish line in Limoges. Within the final 20 kilometres the riders face two category 4 climbs, which will make the legs burn.

Who to look out for

This is very much the terrain for riders like Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel: hilly and even an uphill finish in Limoges. The Dutchman van der Poel has successfully led out the sprint for Philipsen and may feel the wear of the three sprint finishes and thus feels a little bit tired. There is one thing that will make him eager to win today: stage 9 will start in the little village St-Léonard-de-Noblat, where a certain Raymond Poulidor lived and who happens to be the grandfather of Mathieu van der Poel.

Mathieu van der Poel

Likewise, Jumbo-Visma have already the maillot jaune and Wout can Aert has worked a lot for his captain, Jonas Vingegaard. Again, tiredness may play a key role for those two to take it easy today.

We must not forget riders of the calibre of Julian Alaphilippe and Matej Mohoric but also Bryan Coquard who missed out on a stage victory in 2016 when the finish line was in Limoges. The winner back then was Marcel Kittel and Coquard is very much on the hunt for his first sprint victory at the Tour de France. His advantage: there is no pressure on his team as they have already one stage win, so he is free to have a go.

The heat, the hills and the prospect of the rest day on Monday will have a day in the outcome of this stage. We may be in for a surprise or will see a familiar face on the podium.

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