photo credit @ Twitter
Alexis Vuillermoz delivered France’s first stage victory of this year’s Tour de France, with a well executed counter-attacked against Chris Froome, who initiated a surge of his own during the final 800 meters.
185 riders started today’s stage in Rennes, with a four-man breakaway group containing Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), Romain Sicard (Europcar) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), getting underway from the start of the race.
From there, the escapees succeeded in building up a sizable advantage of 3.55 over the peloton – after 16 kilometers of racing.
After the intermediate sprint at Gare de Moncontour (km 108.5), a group of 17 riders containing Lars Boom (Astana), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Lars Bak, Thomas de Gendt and André Greipel (Lotto), John Degenkolb, Roy Curvers and Koen de Kort (Giant), Michal Kwiatkowski, Mark Cavendish and Michal Golas (Etixx), Pierre Rolland, Bryan Coquard and Angelo Tulik (Europcar), Frédéric Brun and Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), came to form the day’s chase group. And, as the race reached the final 69 kilometer mark, they succeeded in reeling in the breakaway group.
Once the catch was made, Bak, Golas and Huzarski, decided to form a breakaway group of their own.
Huzarski was the first escapee to fall back into the clutches of the chase, while Bak and Golas continued to forge on. However, as the race entered into the final 8 kilometers, the remaining duo relented to the chase’s vigorous pursuit.
With the flamme rouge behind them, Froome decided to initiate an attack. However, Vuillermoz was keen to follow the British rider’s move – subsequently riding clear and on to a solo victory.
Meanwhile, Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) tried to latch onto Vuillermoz, as did Alejandro Valverde, but either could catch the AG2R rider in time.
Stage 8 Results
FRA 1 VUILLERMOZ, Alexis (AG2R LA MONDIALE) 4:20:55
IRL 2 MARTIN, Daniel (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 5
ESP 3 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 10
SVK 4 SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF – SAXO)
FRA 5 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
BEL 6 VAN AVERMAET, Greg (BMC RACING)
GBR 7 YATES, Adam (ORICA GreenEDGE)
GBR 8 FROOME, Christopher (SKY)
NED 9 MOLLEMA, Bauke (TREK FACTORY RACING)
USA 10 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING)
General Classification after Stage 8
GBR 1 FROOME, Christopher (SKY)
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