Tour de France stage 8 analysis: A team sport for individuals

Nairo Quintana, Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar on the Peyresourde
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The 2020 Tour de France was supposed to be a battle of the superteams. The massive strength in depth of Jumbo-Visma and the Ineos Grenadiers was anticipated to leave slim pickings for riders on other teams. Instead, the Tour detonated on the Col de Peyresourde, the final climb of stage 8 to Loudenvielle, and left most of the GC riders in less than splendid isolation, with quite a long way to the finish.

All the way over the Col de Menté and Port de Balès, the pre-race assumptions looked assured to come true. A rotating vanguard of Jumbo-Visma riders pulled a shrinking peloton up and over the Balès, just as we thought it would. In order, Amund Grøndahl Jansen, Tony Martin, Robert Gesink, Sepp Kuss (surprisingly briefly), Wout Van Aert (unsurprisingly for a very long time) and George Bennett were deployed to squeeze the ambition out of their rivals.

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Edward Pickering is Procycling magazine's editor. He graduated in French and Art History from Leeds University and spent three years teaching English in Japan before returning to do a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism at Harlow College, Essex. He did a two-week internship at Cycling Weekly in late 2001 and didn't leave until 11 years later, by which time he was Cycle Sport magazine's deputy editor. After two years as a freelance writer, he joined Procycling as editor in 2015. He is the author of The Race Against Time, The Yellow Jersey Club and Ronde, and he spends his spare time running, playing the piano and playing taiko drums.