Tour De France Stage 8 ; Belfort - Porrentruy

09/07/2012   |   Posted by jeremy

Stage 8 Belfort – Porrentruy :  157.5km

Stage 8 was shorter by comparison of the previous day’s stages at only 157.5km, but with seven categorised climbs it would be a trial for all the non-climbers.

It was nice to see the weather was good, unlike our own country as the riders headed for the Swiss border. I think we were all hoping for an incident free day, but sadly this was not to be as with 92km to go a three man crash left Samuel Sanchez with a broken hand and collarbone.

On the penultimate climb of the day the Swedish former mountain biker Fredrik Kessiakoff was out in front and looking comfortable. He went over the summit of the climb alone, but was soon followed by FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot and Radioshack-Nissan’s Tony Gallopin.  The rest of the bunch came over around 3 minutes behind them.

 The crowds were out in force in the sunshine on the Jura Mountains and as usual there were spectators from many different countries. After an easy descent, the Swede was trying hard for a stage win but the gap was being closed rapidly between him and the youngest rider in the peloton, Thibaut Pinot. As they started the very last climb of the day, The Col de la Croix it started to become clear that Kessiakoff wasn’t going to win it. The young French rider was catching him rapidly. He passed him easily on the climb dancing on the pedals.

With 16.5km remaining and a long fast run down to the finish, it was looking good for the Frenchman in his first Tour de France.  Next over the summit came the group that included Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins. It was going to be a fast run down to see if they could close the gap on Pinot. Evans lead the way and it was up to Wiggins to stay with him as he only had a ten second lead over him.

Kessiakoff almost lost it on a corner on the way down but using his mountain biking skills he stayed upright, but this lost him even more time to the leader on the road. Meanwhile in the chasing group, legendary descender Vincenzo Nibali  went off the front, but the rest of the riders managed to catch him as the road flattened out again.

As they hit the flat to the run in, the lone Frenchman Pinot had  16 seconds over Kessiakoff and around a minute to the group containing the race leaders. They were all working together and exchanging the lead position with a usual flick of the elbow, but with 4.5km still to go and a gap of 47 seconds it was hard to see how they could catch Pinot who was looking to get his first ever stage win. Especially as his team car was right behind him with Marc Madiot the team manager screaming at him to go, go, go. The man was ecstatic as Pinot crossed the line to take the stage. The chasing group came over the line with Evans finishing second and Tony gallopin third, just ahead of Wiggin’s in fourth.

So this means that today’s time trial will see Bradley Wiggins start in last position as the race leader, giving him the advantage of seeing what Evans is doing on the road in front of him. It should be an interesting day. This year’s Tour is now shaping up to be a great one, so let’s all keep watching and hopefully Wiggo can do the business.

 

 

Rank

Name

Team

Time

1

Bradley Wiggins

Team Sky

38hrs 17mins 56secs

2

Cadel Evans

BMC Racing

+10secs

3

Vincenzo Nibali

Liquigas-Cannondale

+16secs

4

Denis Menchov

Katusha

+54secs

5

Haimar Zubeldia

RadioShack-Nissan

+59secs

6

Chris Froome

Team Sky

+1min 32secs

7

Maxime Monfort

RadioShack-Nissan

+2mins 08secs

8

Jurgen Van Den Broeck

Lotto-Belisol

+2mins 11secs

9

Nicolas Roche

AG2R La Mondiale

+2mins 21secs

10

Rein Taaramae

Cofidis

+2mins 27secs

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