Tour de France 2015

July 4-26, 2015, Utrecht (ITT), France, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage from stage 8 of the Tour de France from Rennes to Mûr-de-Bretagne.

 

Tour de France stage 7 report
The Cyclingnews Tour de France Podcast episode 8
Tour de France 2015 stage 8 forum
Tour de France 2015 preview
Tour de France 2015 start list
Paolini apologises for damage done by cocaine positive
 

  1. 13:17:39 CEST

    The terrain today might look straightforward – apart from the third-category climb at the finish, there’s only one other categorised climb, mid-stage. But the road will be constantly dipping and rising, especially in the second half. The stage comes at the end of a very hard opening phase of the Tour.

     

    The stage is 181.5km in length but the final climb is crucial. The race visited the Mur de Bretagne in 2011, although with a slightly different approach to the ascent. That day Cadel Evans came out on top - just  - ahead of Alberto Contador.

  2. 13:19:22 CEST

    The stage is likely to come down to the painful slow-motion sprint up the final two kilometre climb above the town of Mûr-de-Bretagne. It’s a difficult climb to judge – not quite as steep as the Mur de Huy in stage three, but longer. It’s also dead straight for the first kilometre and a half, which makes it psychologically harder – riders on the limit often break climbs down to smaller targets, like the next bend, but that’s not possible here.

  3. 13:20:12 CEST

    The teams and riders at at the start and already signing on for the stage. The conditions: dry but cloudy, and a lot cooler than yesterday.

  4. 13:24:08 CEST

    Here's a closer look at the schedule for today, along with Greg LeMond's thoughts on the profile:
     

    0km Start Rennes 12:40
    99.5km Cat 4 climb Côte du Mont Bel-Air 15:22
    108.5km Sprint Gare de Moncontour 15:35
    181.5km Finish Mûr de Bretagne 17:19


    LeMond:

     

    “I think I raced this finish once in a criterium. I can see this being a finish for someone like Sagan. The roads in Brittany are lumpy but you shouldn’t really get caught out unless the weather is doing something crazy. The favourites will be up there, and there’ll no doubt be a dozen crashes before the bottom of that final climb… but I can’t see it having a major impact on the general classification. The hill itself should suit Contador and Froome; they’re both pretty explosive. I’m also glad that time bonuses have been brought back for stages like this.”

  5. 13:25:49 CEST

    • Yellow Jersey

    In terms of GC, here's where things stand with Chris Froome in yellow and then a gaggle of GC riders just behind him:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 26:40:51
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:11
    3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
    4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:26
    5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:28
    6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:34
    7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:36
    8 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:52
    9 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:03
    10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:07

  6. 13:28:15 CEST

    • Green Jersey

    A quick look at the battle for the Green jersey, as Mark Cavendish has brought himself back into the picture thanks to his win yesterday. However Greipel still has a heathly lead with Peter Sagan his closest concern:
     

    1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 199 pts
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 187
    3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 151
    4 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 148
    5 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar 96
    6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step 63
    7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 58
    8 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 50
    9 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar 46
    10 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN - Qhubeka 45

     

    We have an intermediate sprint today at 73km and it could be crucial. When it comes to the final sprint, Sagan and Degenkolb could certainly feature but Cavendish and Greipel are likely to fade, the climb is simply not suited to them.

  7. 13:33:01 CEST

    • Red Polka Dot Jersey

    In the KOM competition Daniel Teklehaimanot leads by two points. Rodriguez could take the jersey if Teklehaimanot fails to extend his advantage and the Katusha leader finishes high up today.

     

    1 Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka 4 pts
    2 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 2
    3 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team 1

  8. 13:33:56 CEST

    Briefly over to Susan Westemeyer for more pre-race news.

  9. 13:37:37 CEST

     We have an interesting finale today, turning up the Mur de Bretagne, and may well see the top contenders -- Froome, Contador, Nibali, and Quintana -- fight it out for top honours. But don't be surprised to see Peter Sagan in the mix, too. He is hungry for his first stage win, and it could give him the yellow jersey as well.

  10. 13:42:51 CEST

    This is a big day for the Pro Conti team Bretagne-Seche Environnement, as they move into their home territory. We certainly expect to see them in the break group today!

     

  11. 13:46:37 CEST

    • Cannondale Garmin 2015 team jersey

    Here's another rider to keep an eye on at the finish today: Dan Martin of Cannondale-Garmin. It is just the kind of finish the Irishman likes, and he is looking forward to making it his. 

     

  12. 13:49:32 CEST

    What will the finale be like? "The stage is likely to come down to the painful slow-motion sprint up the final two kilometre climb above the town of Mûr-de-Bretagne." Check out the rest of our stage preview here. 

  13. 13:51:09 CEST

    We have 185 riders at the start today. The only DNS is Luca Paolini (Katusha).

     

  14. 13:54:13 CEST

    • Team Katusha 2015 team jersey

    Paolini, you will remember, was sent home last night after the UCI announce he had a non-negative control for cocaine. The Italian has said that he will request the B-sample be tested.

     

  15. 13:55:46 CEST

    The field is already underway in the neutralized section. The sharp start comes in about 5 minutes.

     

  16. 13:59:22 CEST

    Another rider to look for today is Warren Barguil, of Giant-Alpecin. This is his homeland, and he will no doubt want to do his very best.

     

  17. 14:02:38 CEST

    Off they go! And you will not be in the least surprised to learn that a Bretagne-Seche rider attacked from the get-go!

     

  18. 14:05:34 CEST

    He is still in the lead, and three more riders have given chase. We don't have any names yet.

     

  19. 174.7km remaining from 181.5km

    14:09:02 CEST

    All the attackers have been caught, and the field is together and moving quite fast.

     

  20. 14:11:28 CEST

    Our weather today? Couldn't be better: 22°C, sun and a light breeze.

     

  21. 171.8km remaining from 181.5km

    14:14:14 CEST

    Did we say things are moving fast? They certainly are! We now have Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) and Barz Huzarski (Bora) in the lead, 20 seconds ahead of Romain Sicard (Europcar) and Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretagne-Seche), with the peloton 43 seconds behind them.

     

  22. 169.2km remaining from 181.5km

    14:17:08 CEST

    The two lead groups have joined forces, giving us four riders up front. The peloton is at 2:15, so this may well be our group of the day.

     

  23. 164.9km remaining from 181.5km

    14:23:12 CEST

     Yes, the field is letting this group go. The gap is now 3:35.

  24. 14:26:24 CEST

    Sky was leading the field, but as the gap started nudging the four-minute mark, Lotto-Soudal moved up to take over.

     

  25. 14:30:37 CEST

    There are two ranked climbs today, the cat. 4 Col du Mont Bel-Air halfway along, and the closing climb up the Mur, cat. 3. There is also one intermediate sprint, shortly after the first climb.

     

  26. 14:32:53 CEST

    Astana and Movistar have now lined up behind Lotto-Soudal to help with the chase.

     

  27. 14:35:26 CEST

    Thanks, and now back to Daniel.

  28. 14:38:01 CEST

    We've had a number of breaks in this year's Tour but this is really the first one in which we've seen a real breakaway specialist such as Chavanel.

     

    The experienced IAM rider has been told by the team that he his surplus to requirements and will not be kept on for next year, so he is effectively riding for a contract now, should he wish to continue in the sport.

  29. 14:39:02 CEST

    There's a tailwind out there too at the moment and that's certainly going to help the break as they look to establish their lead over the peloton. The gap is currently at 3:35 after 27km of racing.

  30. 14:40:11 CEST

    • Lotto-Soudal 2015 team jersey

    Lotto are on the front at the moment, looking to protect Greipel's sprint ambitions and Gallopin's prospects for the final climb - which suits him quite well.

  31. 14:48:07 CEST

    • Team Europcar 2015 team jersey

    Sicard, also in the break, and possibly riding for his future too with Europcar set to pull the plug at the end of the current campaign. Sicard hasn't kicked on since winning the U23 Worlds a few years back, with injuries certainly a factor but today he's made the break and along with Chavanel, Huzarski and Perichon, will be hoping to survive until the finish.

  32. 14:51:02 CEST

    • Team Katusha 2015 team jersey

    More now on Katusha, with general manager Ekimov talking to the press outside the team bus this morning. As I'm sure you're aware Luca Paolini returned an a-sample positive for cocaine early in the race and has been suspended by the team and the UCI. The B-sample is yet to be analyised but for now the team are focused on the race. You can read what Ekimov has to say, right here.

  33. 148.5km remaining from 181.5km

    14:51:54 CEST

    And back to the action here and the gap has been brought back to 2:50 after 33km of racing. Lotto once again doing some work on the front, along with Team Sky.

  34. 14:58:44 CEST

    No GC threat from the break today with Chavanel - a two time wearer of yellow in the race - the best placed rider at 7.52, and down in 32nd place. The peloton are keep close tabs on this move though, and the gap is down to 2:29.

  35. 15:05:50 CEST

    Remember you can download (for free) the Cyclingnews podcast. Last night's episode features both Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome. You can find it here.

  36. 135.5km remaining from 181.5km

    15:07:06 CEST

    Back to the break, and despite their best efforts the gap continues to come down. It's now at 2:19 after 46km of racing.

  37. 15:12:25 CEST

    The break have responded, and the bunch have eased slightly, it must be said, and the gap is moving back out to three minutes. We're still some way off the cat 4 climb and the intermediate sprint for today.

  38. 131.5km remaining from 181.5km

    15:13:15 CEST

    So with a tad over 50km covered, the four man break have 2'56 over the peloton with a further 131km to go.

  39. 15:22:23 CEST

    Lotto have one man on the front, De Gent, and he's charged with keeping the break at around the 2'40 mark.

  40. 15:23:34 CEST

    Behind De Gendt is a run of Tinkoff Saxo riders and then BMC. Team Sky are taking a backseat at the moment.

  41. 15:24:51 CEST

    Froome has his team around him, and he's currently in conversation with Richie Porte. A little further back we see Nibali and Rodriguez, both of whom could feature in the finale today.

  42. 15:28:41 CEST

    LottoNL have also placed a man on the front and he's talking to De Gent about the current pace at the head of the peloton. Meanwhile Sagan, another candidate for the finish today, is at the back of the peloton. He could take the Green Jersey at the end of today's stage.

  43. 15:34:04 CEST

    Orica GreenEDge could also try something today but a lot depends on the health of Michael Matthews who is stil recovering from an earlier crash in the race. They only have 6 men left in the Tour so it's survival mode for tomorrow's TTT.

  44. 15:37:47 CEST

    A reminder of where we stand on GC:

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 26:40:51
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:11
    3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
    4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:26
    5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:28
    6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:34
    7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:36
    8 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:52
    9 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:03
    10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:07

  45. 15:38:51 CEST

    De Gendt is stil ploughing along, it's almost like a long team time trial for him but he's holding the break at 2;58

  46. 15:46:40 CEST

     The peloton pass through the village of Broons with the gap to the break moving out towards the four minute mark. The leaders take a quick comfort break and then get back to work. 

  47. 15:48:48 CEST

    Back in the bunch and Team Sky continue to sit back and let others do the work. They dont mind if the break survives today and simply want to keep Froome out of trouble and save as much energy as possible ahead of tomorrow's TTT. They were poor in the event at the Dauphine last month but this is the one that really counts. 

     

  48. 106km remaining from 181.5km

    15:51:27 CEST

    No change at the front of the bunch with De Gendt still on the front. Astana, BMC and Movistar are all near the front and looking after their team leaders. The gap is at 3'04 with 106km to go. 

     

  49. 15:52:58 CEST

    Three TInkoff riders sit just behind De Gendt but both Contador and Sagan are further back in the main field. The bunch have the break well and truly under control at this point in the race. 

     

  50. 16:00:03 CEST

    De Gendt finally has some support with a few more Lotto Soudal riders joining him on the front of the peloton. 

     

  51. 16:03:38 CEST

    Greipel is near the front as well. He'll aim to takes points at the intermediate and then work for Tony Gallopin later in the stage. 

     

  52. 16:09:47 CEST

    Into the final 100km of racing and the gap moves down to 2'10. Froome takes a drink and just sits on Luke Rowe's wheel. The yellow jersey has had a relatively comfortable day so far. 

     

  53. 16:10:59 CEST

    And Sagan is starting to move us as well with the intermediate sprint coming in around 20km from now. 

     

  54. 16:12:16 CEST

    Etixx, they've also moved up and sit just behind Lotto Soudal.

     

  55. 16:12:53 CEST

    At the back of the field Alberto Contador is being brought back after a quick trip back to his Tinkoff Saxo team car. 

     

  56. 16:13:30 CEST

    It's still De Gendt on the front as Sagan and Cavendish have a quick catch up as they ride side-by-side. 

     

  57. 16:15:24 CEST

    Contador second on this climb back in 2011 and was just beaten to the line by Cadel Evans. That's an indication of how difficult the final climb is, although we saw a large group finish together back then. 

     

  58. 16:18:39 CEST

    Through the feedzone for the break with their advantage over the bunch at 2'18. It could move out to three minutes again when the bunch pass through and take their food.

     

  59. 16:22:40 CEST

    We get a decent side on shot of the defending champion, Vincenzo Nibali, as he paced back to the peloton by his Astana teammates. The Italian could well feature in the finale today as well. 

     

  60. 85km remaining from 181.5km

    16:28:29 CEST

    85km to go and the gap is at 2'08.

     

  61. 16:29:37 CEST

    We're closing in on the fourth cat climb today. The break continue to share the work but there's very little chance of them surviving out there today. 

     

  62. 16:32:42 CEST

    Onto the fourth category climb, with just one point avaiable in the KOM competition. 

     

  63. 16:35:18 CEST

    Huge crowds on the climb as Chavanel drifts to the back of the group and Sicard takes the single point on offer. 

     

  64. 16:35:55 CEST

    10km to go now until the race hits the intermediate sprint. Lotto - and of course it's De Gendt - lead with the gap at 2'05. 

     

  65. 16:38:08 CEST

    • MTN - Qhubeka 2015 team jersey

    Edvald Boasson Hagen is at the back of the bunch. Could he feature near the front at the finish? He's had a relatively quiet Tour de France so far but can't be ruled out. 

     

  66. 16:44:41 CEST

    Etixx have moved up near the front of the bunch with Cavendish well placed ahead of the intermediate sprint. The bulk of the points will be taken by the break though. 

     

  67. 16:45:24 CEST

    The Brittany crowds, as one might expect, have turned out in the thousands as the break pass through with 73km to go.

     

  68. 16:46:59 CEST

    Cavendish is right on Greipel's wheel and the German looks around to give him a quick look. 

     

  69. 16:47:54 CEST

    There's a move off the front of the break and Perichon takes top points with HUzarski second. Giant have now moved to the front of the peloton for Degenkolb. 

     

  70. 16:49:45 CEST

    Greipel takes it ahead of Degenkolb. Sagan was too far back and Cavendish seemed to find the gradient a little too tough but he had enough in the tank to hold off the Tinkoff Saxo rider, so Greipel extends his lead in the Green Jersey competition.

     

  71. 16:51:24 CEST

    And there's a flurry of attacks from the front of the peloton here with a large group going clear. A lot of the sprinters are there.

     

  72. 16:52:34 CEST

    Barguil and Boom are both in the move and this is quite an interesting group with 70km to go. The world champion is also in the break, Sagan too and Rolland. The gap to the field is around 15 seconds. 

     

  73. 16:54:08 CEST

    And now Team Sky have come to the front of the peloton as they want to shut this one down as  Kwiatkowski and company push on. The first break of the day has been caught and the race is starting to split. 

     

  74. 16:54:46 CEST

    Team Sky have two men on the front with the gap to the new break at 22 seconds. 

     

  75. 16:55:50 CEST

    Canndonale, how missed the split, have man on the front as well to help Team Sky. The break isnt really working though, even though they hold a gap of 24 seconds. 

     

  76. 16:57:35 CEST

    Lars Bak has attacked with Golas and Huzarski so we now have three riders, then the rest of the break and then the peloton at 33 seconds. 

     

  77. 16:59:47 CEST

    Cannondale Garmin have out more riders on the front of the peloton but the gap to the three leaders is out to 39 seconds. 

     

  78. 17:00:34 CEST

    There were 17 riders off the front but that number has been reduced to less than 10. Bak, Golas and Huzarski still lead. 

     

  79. 17:02:27 CEST

    The three leaders are working well but with 60km to go and a gap of just 40 seconds...

     

  80. 17:09:07 CEST

    Kelderman is on bottle duty for LottoNL as the three leaders move their advantage out to 52 seconds. 

     

  81. 17:09:56 CEST

    The rest of the break has been caught so it's just the three leaders ahead of the peloton with 56km to go. 

     

  82. 17:11:46 CEST

    Cannondale Garmin on the front with most of their team. They're trying to set the finish up for Dan Martin. It's Nathan Haas setting the pace at the moment. 

     

  83. 17:14:09 CEST

    Sound tactics from Etixx who have man in the break and then Uran, the world champion and Stybar back in the bunch. 

     

  84. 17:16:25 CEST

    There's some decent firepower in the lead group as Bak takes a turn on the front. The gap moves out to 1'03 with 50km to go.

     

  85. 17:17:17 CEST

    Just behind the Cannondale Garmin train are Team Sky with Froome tucked in just behind British national champion, Peter Kennaugh.

  86. 17:18:22 CEST

    Bak and Golas take the wrong away around a turn and they have to chase the Bora rider. They quickly make contact but that was an error on their part. 

     

  87. 17:19:29 CEST

    A quick reminder that you can download our latest Tour de France podcast, right here

     

  88. 17:19:52 CEST

    While our complete Tour de France coverage is just here.

     

  89. 17:27:00 CEST

    The gap hasnt come down to Tinkoff Saxo take over and start to chase. The gap is at 1'14 with 41km to go. 

     

  90. 17:29:48 CEST

    Cannondale Garmin on the front, Tinkoff just to their right wing as Haas takes another long turn. It's all about Dan Martin for the American outfit.

     

  91. 17:32:33 CEST

    Bak on the front of the break now and these three leaders are continuing to hold the peloton off. Gallopin can therefore sit back and save the rest of his men for the final climb  - assuming that this all comes back together. 

     

  92. 17:36:30 CEST

    More of a cross-headwind for the riders and that will help the bunch more than the break, who hold a 1'03 gap with 33km to go.

     

  93. 17:40:14 CEST

    It's under one minute now for the three leaders as Dan Martin's men continue their effort. Van Garderen is also near the front and he and his teammate Greg Van Avermaet will aiming to compete for the stage win today. 

     

  94. 26km remaining from 181.5km

    17:46:27 CEST

    26km to go, the gap at 55 seconds with Garmin still setting the pace. Katusha have also moved into play, along with Lotto, Team Sky and Tinkoff. 

     

  95. 17:50:37 CEST

    The peloton are closing in on the break, the gap at 45 seconds as Team Sky pull alongside Garmin with Rowe and Kennaugh riding into action. 

     

  96. 17:51:37 CEST

    The gap is now at 32 seconds but Garmin have lost a couple of riders from the front of the bunch.

     

  97. 17:52:19 CEST

    Hesjedal is there as the break  - up ahead - make it through a couple of tricky corners. 

     

  98. 20km remaining from 181.5km

    17:54:03 CEST

    Just 20km to go now in this stage and the Mûr-de-Bretagne isn't far away. 

     

  99. 17:54:58 CEST

    Talansky is also in the Cannodale train and workin for Dan Martin as Contador moves to the front of the peloton with his team around him. Quintana is also at the front of the peloton with his Movistar men. 

     

  100. 17:57:04 CEST

    The break lose a bit more time , the gap down to 30 seconds. 17km to go.

     

  101. 18:00:22 CEST

    It's a long flat run-in but the leaders are giving it everything, as they find another five seconds to move out to 35 seconds with 15km to go. 

     

  102. 18:05:34 CEST

    There's a crash in the main field. MTN and Ag2r riders. 

     

  103. 18:06:14 CEST

    They're all back up, Edet was also down. At the front though it's all change with Tinkoff Saxo replacing Cannondale. 

     

  104. 18:06:36 CEST

    As Bak attacks from the break and takes Golas with him. They have 18 seconds on the peloton. 

     

  105. 18:07:12 CEST

    Astana are also on the front, along with Etixx as we see Cavendish being dropped by the bunch.

     

  106. 18:07:36 CEST

    We have just Golas and Bak out front now with 9.5km to go, with the gap at 12 seconds. 

     

  107. 18:08:01 CEST

    Bak leads on a quick descent, his body arched over his top tube as he looks to cut through the air. 

     

  108. 18:08:50 CEST

    There's a real fight at the front of the peloton though as teams fight to retain control before we hit the final climb. There's  a really tough right hand turn just before the Mur though. 

     

  109. 18:09:14 CEST

    The Mûr-de-Bretagne is coming and the pace is rising and rising. It's all to play for today. 

     

  110. 8km remaining from 181.5km

    18:09:46 CEST

    8km to go and the race is all back together with BMC Racing now setting the pace. 

     

  111. 18:10:50 CEST

    Froome is on the right and Contador near him. The GC riders have to be near the front and they have to pay attention as more and more riders are dropped. The latest... Degenkolb as Dennis sets the pace on the front. 

     

  112. 18:11:08 CEST

    Oss is just behind Dennis and he will take over next with 6.8km to go.

     

  113. 18:11:40 CEST

    Van Garderen could take yellow if he drops Froome and wins the stage. A big ask but certainly not impossible. 

     

  114. 18:12:18 CEST

    They turn right and then they'll go left before they hit the climb as Greipel loses contact with the peloton. Just 6km to go. 

     

  115. 18:12:45 CEST

    Now it's Oss on the front for BMC Racing. There are a few Europcar riders near the front as well. 

     

  116. 18:13:03 CEST

    Voeckler is there. Surely he'll try something on the climb if he can.

     

  117. 18:13:47 CEST

    Thomas now second wheel and Froome just to his right, the peloton are starting to string out as they take the left hand turn.

     

  118. 18:14:03 CEST

    Froome is glued to Thomas right now.

     

  119. 4km remaining from 181.5km

    18:14:54 CEST

    4km to go as the peloton thins out. Now it's Rogers on the front for Tinkoff as Orica start to position themselves. 

     

  120. 18:15:29 CEST

    Dan Martin is still there and with 3km to go we're close to the foot of the final climb. 

     

  121. 18:15:44 CEST

    Here come Katusha...

     

  122. 18:16:49 CEST

    Froome is third wheel as they start the climb. 

     

  123. 18:17:13 CEST

    Froome now in second wheel with Team Sky on the front. Sagan is there. 

     

  124. 18:17:28 CEST

    Yates is there for Orica as well.

     

  125. 18:17:53 CEST

    Thomas is on the front and so are Giant. 

     

  126. 18:18:14 CEST

    Attack from Bora with Giant matching it. All together. 

     

  127. 18:18:32 CEST

    And that's AG2R setting the pace. 

     

  128. 18:18:54 CEST

    Three riders have a short gap. Adam Yates is one of  them. 

     

  129. 18:19:13 CEST

    Froome is leading the chase from the main field 

     

  130. 18:19:28 CEST

    And he's brought it back together with 1km to go Sagan is right on his wheel.

     

  131. 18:19:42 CEST

    And Froome accelerates from the front. 

     

  132. 18:20:00 CEST

    Another attack from AG2R. And Nibali has been dropped.

     

  133. 18:20:20 CEST

    Now Martin attacks but has he left it too late?

     

  134. 18:20:37 CEST

    Vuillermoz is heading for the win.

     

  135. 18:20:56 CEST

    Martin can't catch him and Vuillermoz takes the win.

     

  136. 18:21:25 CEST

    It looks like most of the GC riders are coming over the line together but Nibali and Talansky lost a few seconds there. 

     

  137. 18:22:29 CEST

    What a win for AG2R and Vuillermoz. He timed his attack perfectly but went just as Froome was on the front. Dan Martin with a late attack but he couldn't catch the AG2R rider. Valverde was third.

     

  138. 18:25:48 CEST

    Another impressive show of force from Froome on the climb but wasn't long or tough enough for him to do real damage. Contador and Quintana kept pace but Nibali, interestingly lost contact inside the final 1km of the stage. We'll have to see why that was, if he was held up, had a bad position or simply didn't have the legs. 

     

  139. 18:27:32 CEST

    1 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale 04:20:55
    2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 00:00:05
    3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:10
    4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
    5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
    6 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    7 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge
    8 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
    9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
    10 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team

     

  140. 18:28:11 CEST

    General classification after stage 8
    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 31:01:56
    2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:00:11
    3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:00:13
    4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 00:00:26
    5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:00:26
    6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:00:34
    7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:00:36
    8 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 00:01:07
    9 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:01:15
    10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 00:01:15

     

  141. 18:29:17 CEST

    Dan Martin hit his bars when he crossed the line. That stage was there for the taking but Vuillermoz beat him to it. A fine move from the Frenchman. 

     

  142. 18:32:30 CEST

    In GC Thomas has dropped a few places and out of the top ten but Mollema and Barguil have both moved up.

     

  143. 18:32:54 CEST

    Time gaps: We're hearing that Nibali has lost ten seconds.

     

  144. 18:37:50 CEST

    At the finish, Martin has explained that he was boxed in and that's why he couldn't attack earlier. "I was on the wrong side of the group. I saw the AG2R guy go but I just couldn't get out. When I did it was too late and I'm really disappointed because the guys rode so well and they kept me out of trouble, relaxed, and they believed in me. We'll try again."
     

    "Everyone was stuck on the right hand barrier, I was on the right hand barrier and there was no where to go."

     

  145. 18:39:51 CEST

    Peter Sagan, due to his fourth place finish is in Green. He has 213 points to Greipel on 210.

     

  146. 18:54:21 CEST

    • AG2R La Mondiale 2015 team jersey

    It was not Vuillermoz’ first good experience on a Mur. “I was third on the Mur de Huy, that was obviously amazing,” he said after the stage. “So today I wanted to try and do something special. I tried two or three times to go, and finally on the third time it worked. I knew someone was behind me, but I just put my head down and pedaled for all I was worth. I'm just realizing now that I've won the stage.”

    “I'm not sure that in the mountains I'll be able to take on Chris Froome, but on a finish like this, I'm a puncheur, I can take my chances. It's the sort of climb that suits me, so I feel very good about today. Not in the mountains. Everyone has their specialty, this one is mine. In the mountains I'll be there to help my team leaders.”

     

  147. 19:01:20 CEST

    Confirmation that Nibali lost 10 seconds to his main GC rivals. No one saw that coming.

     

  148. 19:01:41 CEST

    Talansky, Pinot and Bardet also lost time.

     

  149. 19:03:48 CEST

    Rui Costa lost 35 seconds but Nibali is now 1'48 down on Chris Froome, Quintana at 1'56.

     

  150. 19:09:31 CEST

    1 (-) Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 31:01:56
    3 (-) Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
    6 (-) Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:34
    7 (-) Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:36
    8 (+2) Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:07
    10 (+1) Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:32
    11 (+2) Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:39
    12 (+2) Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:47
    13 (-1) Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:48
    16 (-) Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:56
    17 (-) Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:02:00
    18 (-) Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:07
    19 (-) Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:49
    20 (-) Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:15
    29 (-) Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:06:33
    35 (+3) Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:10:02

     

  151. 19:28:38 CEST

    Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back tomorrow for stage 9 and the team time trial. Meanwhile, enjoy our stage report, photos and full results.

     

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