After stage 6 of the Tour de France, Team Sky DS Nicolas Portal suggested the British team would willing to relinquish the yellow jersey. However, on the rolling roads through the Jura mountains to Station des Rousses on stage 8, Sky chased down any move that had the potential to end with Chris Froome losing the yellow jersey.
While Buchmann was unable to improve upon his 14th place as he rolled over the line with the yellow jersey GC group, which also included teammate Raja Majka, the 24-year-old explained he had no regrets.
"I'm very happy with my performance today and with what we have achieved. Following our plan, I went in the big breakaway. In such a big group it was difficult to find a consensus and a number of riders didn't want to cooperate because of my GC position," said Buchmann. "There were many attacks and counterattacks trying to split the big group, but I decided not to follow when, finally, a smaller group escaped on the front. The intermediate climbs weren't too steep, so riders that weren't pure climbers like myself had a chance and had set a very strong pace. I didn't want to go over the limit and chose to ride at my own rhythm, dropping back to the GC group in order to be with Pawel and Rafal for the final climb."
With Buchmann in the breakaway causing some stress for Sky, Majka explained that his job was made easier as a result but is looking to stage 9 as a better option to move up the GC
"It was a very tough stage, with a strong pace from the start and Emu did a great job in the breakaway, putting pressure on our main GC rivals. I didn't have my best form in the first part of the stage and the second category climb was quite tough on my legs," said Majka who sits in tenth place overall. "However, on the final first category climb I felt my form back to what I would have expected and was able to follow the GC group while preserving my energy. I feel confident for tomorrow. I know it will be extremely difficult but I am determined and the morale is very good within the team."
For Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Patxi Vila, the day proved to be important in the context of the overall race as he explained the team plan was to take yellow and tire out the British squad. While Bora came up short in its bid for yellow, Vila explained he was content with the outcome.
"I think we can be satisfied with how the stage played out today and with the performance of our guys, in particular, Emanuel. It was our plan in the morning to send him in the front if a big group broke away. This is what happened and he stayed there, putting pressure on the peloton," Vila said. "Given his standing in the GC and the possibility he could take the Yellow Jersey, we knew that Sky would work very hard in the peloton, doing all the effort to keep the escapees under control. It was our plan to wear them as much as possible ahead of tomorrow's stage, which everybody considers to be the toughest of this year's Tour."
With stage 9 considered as the toughest of this year's Tour, Vila and Bora-Hansgrohe will be aiming to take it up to Sky again and possibility ending the day in Chambéry with a visit to the podium to collect the yellow jersey.
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