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Stage 8 at this year’s Tour de France was an exciting one, ridden from Libourne to Limoges for over 200 kilometers. Libourne saw off the riders in nice sunny weather and after the peloton had left the city centre, race leader Christian Prudhomme signalled the start of the stage.
Mads Pedersen was the strongest in the sprint, but Stage 8 was overshadowed by the crash that ended Marc Cavendish’s career. Not only had he had to abandon this year’s Tour de France, it is a tragic end to a great career that took him to 34 stage wins at the Tour de France, on par with Eddy Merckx.
Tour de France Stage 8: Results and Summary
Little changes were expected in the standing for the four different jerseys at the start of the stage in Libourne:
- In yellow was Jonas Vingegaard
- In green, the best sprinter so far was Jasper Philipsen with 215 points
- In the polka-dot jersey was Wilson Powless with 36 points
- In white was Tadej Pogacar who was also second of the overall rankings
From the off, little groups formed to get away from the peloton. The initial speed was a horrendous 63km/h! The first decisive point was the intermediate sprint after 80 km which Anthony Delaplace decided for him ahead of Anthony Turgis and Tim Declercq. The sprint of the peloton was decided by Jasper Philipsen, who extended his lead in the sprint classification.
After that, the pace was kept up by Alpecin but the gap between the three men upfront and the peloton was more than 4 minutes. At the day’s first climb, however the lead has been reduced to 3 minutes. First over the Côte de Champs Romain was Anthony Turgis who claimed two points for the King of the Mountains jersey; Declercq got one point.
Marc Cavendish crashes and abandons the Tour
Then, with 60 kilometres to go, disaster struck for Marc Cavendish. After a slight touch of wheels, the ManxMan found himself on the tarmac, holding his right shoulder in agony. He was up on his legs but unable to remount his bike. It was the end of a wonderful cycling career. While he was denied a record 35th stage win yesterday, he had hoped to amend the record books today. Alas, Cavendish went out of the race on the back of the rotten luck.
The closer the finishing line got, the more the nervousness among the riders increased. The three men group at the head of the race were largely unfussed by this, though. It was Kasper Asgreen who took his chance to jump away from the pack and opened a gap of 20 seconds while that of the leaders was slowly coming down. It was to no avail.
Another crash close to the finish ine
With 8 kilometres left, Anthony Turgis was caught by the peloton which prepared for the mass sprint in Limoges. There was another crash, 6 kilometres form the finish. This time Simon Yates went down but got up quickly to rejoin the peloton to avoid losing his fourth place in the overall classement.
From then on it was all scuffles and fights for the best wheel. Wout van Aert, Jasper Phiilipsen, Mads Pedersen, Bryan Coquard, Julian Alaphilippe and Dylan Groenewegen were all there and well-prepared for the sprint which was uphill.
The lucky man was Mads Pedersen for Lidl-Trek who beat Philipsen, van Aert – two of the best sprinters this year. However, it looked as though Wout van Aert lost the stage due to an error of his lead-out man Christophe Laporte who failed to give way when van Aert was accelerating, forcing him to brake briefly before trying to catch up.
The Top Ten for Stage 8
- Mads Pedersen (DEN, Lidl-Trek) 4hr 12min 26sec
- Jasper Philipsen (BEL, Alpecin-Deceuninck) +0″
- Wout van Aert (BEL, Jumbo-Visma) +0″
- Dylan Groenewegen (NED, Jayo-Alula) +0″
- Nils Eekhoff (NED, DSM-Firmenich) +0″
- Bryan Coquard (FRA, Cofidis) +0″
- Jasper de Buyst (BEL, Lotto Dstny) +0″
- Rasmus Tiller (NOR, Uno-x Pro Cycling Team) +0″
- Corbyn Strong (AUS, Israel – Premier Tech) +0″
- Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0″
Overall Tour de France results after Stage 8:
In the ranking for the respective jerseys, there were no major changes, but Simon Yates dropped to 6th place after his crash. So, this is how the Top 10 looks ahead of Stage 9 tomorrow.
- Jonas Vingegaard
- Tadej Pogacar + 25
- Jai Hindley +1’34”
- Carlos Rodriguez Cano +3’30”
- Adam Yates +3’40”
- Simon Yates +4’01”
- David Gaudu +4’03”
- Romain Bardet +4’43”
- Thomas Pidcock +4’43”
- Sepp Kuss +5’28”
Tour de France sprint leaders after Stage 8
In the sprint, the green jersey the top five look as follows:
- Jasper Philipsen 258 points
- Bryan Coquard 149 pts
- Mads Pedersen 143
- Wout van Aert 112
- Tadej Pogacar 81
This was a thrilling stage, as expected. The sprinters managed to get over the climbs in order to line for the sprint royal in Limoges, where Mads Pedersen was the best of the bunch. The stage will be remembered for the tragic end of Marc Cavendish’s career as a professional rider.
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