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Tour de France 2017: Stage 8


Full rolling coverage of stage 8 of the 2017 Tour de France, with the finish line positioned 12km beyond the top of a first-category climb.


Tour de France race hub

Full start list

Stage 8 preview


Stage 7 report: Kittel makes it three in Nuits-Saint-Georges

Froome primed for important block in Tour de France mountains

Podcast: The fall and rise of Thomas Dekker



Good morning and welcome back to Cyclingnews' live race centre for full coverage of stage 8 of the Tour de France. 


After a sprint-friendly opening week, we're heading into the mountains - the Jura mountains - for a key weekend as far as the general classification is concerned. Tomorrow's stage is the monster, but today's leg from Dole to Station des Rousses, with a first-category climb 12km from the line, is still replete with pitfalls. 

The buses are parked up, the crowds have gathered, and the riders are signing on and posing for selfies. They will roll out of Dole at 12.10 local time. 

Here is a closer look at that final climb, and the subsequent 12km stretch to the finish line. 



You can read more about it in our stage 8 preview.

.@tonygallopin : "je suis remis, c'est une étape idéale, je vais tout faire pour être dans l'échappée / I'm fit ag…

@LeTour Sat, 8th Jul 2017 09:32:02


Breakaways have been kept on a short leash so far in this Tour de France, but the general consensus this morning is that this could well be the day that one finally sticks and makes it all the way to the finish. Chris Froome's Sky team could certainly ease the burden on their shoulders - both on the stage and in the stages to come - by letting a break up the road, as DS Nico Portal told us yesterday. 


Team Sky could let yellow go as they save their powder for final week


Here's how the GC stands after 7 stages


1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 28:47:51
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:14
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:25
5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:39
6 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:43
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:47
8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:52
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:54
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:01

Big day for the break, expecting a very fast start with lots of guys maybe trying. 30k before the road goes up.

@swiftybswift Sat, 8th Jul 2017 09:50:17

Chavanel (DEN) has great memories from the last #TDF finish at Station des Rousses (2010): he won the stage and too…

@letourdata Sat, 8th Jul 2017 09:44:04

Before we get underway, now's the time to catch up on yesterday's action. 


Kittel makes it three in Nuits-Saint-Georges



Greg Van Avermaet has won on medium mountain days in the past two Tours and, provided he gets the freedom from BMC leader Richie Porte, he could well be a candidate today. 


"It will be hard because everyone wants to go in the breakaway today," he tells ITV's Daniel Friebe. "Today everyone is nervous to go, and everyone wants to go after the easy days we’ve had so far."


They're off


The riders have rolled out of Dole and are currently making their way through the neutralised section.

Pretty much everyone is predicting a big fight to get in the breakaway. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck was the sole candidate a few days ago but there will be no shortage of pretenders on a stage like this. Expect a fast and furious start to proceedings - we'll keep you up to speed with all the moves as they unfold.

#TDF2017: It's another ice sock kind of day. Expect a fierce battle for the break to kick start the stage…

@OricaScott Sat, 8th Jul 2017 10:15:21


It's a lengthy neutralised section today. We're still a couple of minutes away from the flag dropping.

Tiesj Benoot, Tony Gallopin, Tim Wellens, Thomas De Gendt. Lotto Soudal have no shortage of options today, and they're all up at the front of the bunch as they follow Prudhomme's car...

And there is Prudhomme, emerging from the roof of the car to wave the flag. 


The race is underway!

Jan Bakelants accelerates and the Lotto riders follow. It's all strung out immediately.


Tsgabu Grmay is there for Bahrain Merida, trying to drag a move clear. 

Benoot, Serge Pauwels, and a Fortuneo rider have a small gap but more riders are coming up to them.


Thiago Machado comes to the front and it's lined out, but no splits yet. 


The road is flat for 28 kilometres. With so many wanting to get in the break, this might continue until the road starts to pitch uphill. 


Steve Cummings is taking a gamble here. He's the bookies' favourite, but he's still in his standard spot at the back of the peloton. He's decided not to waste his energy on these early skirmishes, hoping the race will still be together by that early climb, where he can then show his hand and still have a little more freshness in the legs. 


"I have to be really calm because you can waste a lot of energy, so I'd wait until the race is hard then there’s only so many riders who can go," he told ITV. "It’ s not really in my control."


Sylvain Chavanel is indeed rolling back the years, getting away in a three-man move with Gianluca Brambilla and Alberto Bettiol.


This won't be our break. There's a fierce chase behind, with plenty of riders accelerating. Here comes Edvald Boasson Hagen. 


Boasson Hagen makes the bridge to that trio. Great effort. The peloton continues to ride hard behind. 


Lotto Soudal are chasing and more riders ping off the front. 


The leading quartet sits up as more attackers drag the peloton back.

There goes Van Avermaet.


Chavanel is on the wheel of the Olympic champion. Astana's Alexey Lutsenko skips over to join them.


It's scattering here. There's a group of six behind the leading trio, then another trio, then Grmay, then the peloton. 


Michael Matthews is in this chase group. LottoNL-Jumbo are chasing in the peloton behind, though.

Riders continue to ping off the front of the bunch as the predicted frantic start to the day is certainly materialising. 


The three leaders have 24 seconds over the peloton, with Sunweb pulling the peloton. 

160km remaining from 187km

Sunweb commit four riders to the head of the bunch as the gap goes out to 38 seconds. 


Sunweb will be eyeing the intermediate sprint after 45 kilometres. That comes after the short, uncategorised climb, where Sunweb will hope to set such a tempo as to drop the likes of Marcel Kittel. 

Team Sky have set up shop behind Sunweb as some order is restored in the peloton. 


Van Avermaet, Lutsenko, and Chavanel have no option but to press on with their effort, even if it's taking a lot out of their legs for the reward it's yielding - the gap comes under 30 seconds.

Van Avermaet, Chavanel, and Lutsenko are caught. 


153km remaining from 187km

The riders are heading uphill now and fresh attacks are going.

Arnaud Demare, Luke Rowe and Mark Renshaw are among the riders being dropped as the difficulty ramps up.

Groenewegen and McLay are also spat out as Sunweb's work bears fruit. 


Chavanel goes again! The veteran Frenchman is clearly on a good day, and he's away again, this time with Serge Pauwels. 


UAE Team Emirates drag the duo back, with a number of riders now coming over. 


Diego Ulissi, after receiving a sling shot to the front of the race by Vegard Stake Laengen, is looking to take this one on. But there's something of a regrouping behind him.


Much looking around at the front of the bunch as the riders anticipate the next attacks. The intermediate sprint is coming up in just over 5km.

147km remaining from 187km

The first 40km have been ticked off in just 50 minutes. 

QuickStep hit the front of the peloton, and there is the green jersey of Marcel Kittel. Sunweb failed to drop him and the German will be hungry for these points. 

Cummings and Voeckler, two riders who are normally found at the back of the bunch, have now come up towards the front, possibly preparing to go for the breakaway after this sprint. 


Kittel tightens up his shoes, Quick-Step in full lead-out mode 1.5km from the sprint. 


The Quick-Steps peel off one-by-one and Kittel launches his sprint, but he's challenged by Greipel, who grabs it.


Greipel, Kittel, Matthews, who was coming up fast on the right-hand side. 


And now we return to the fight for the break. Lots of riders off the front here. 


Riders swing across the road as the moves come and go. What an exacting start to the day. 


138km remaining from 187km

The average speed so far has been a brisk 47.42km/h.


Four riders off the front here. Marcus Burghardt is there with Cyril Lemoine, a Movistar and an AG2R.


The counter attacks are coming thick and fast. Steve Cummings sets off. 


It's Jasha Sutterlin for Movistar and Mathias Frank for AG2R - Frank being a mountain domestique for Romain Bardet.


The race comes through some narrow streets in a town centre and Sky try to block the road and slow things down. But not everyone's having that. 


Lilian Calmejane attacks the bunch now as things show no sign of letting up. The leading quartet has a lead of 30 seconds but that looks far from safe. 


Chavanel is going again! He's in a counter attack with Ulissi, Naesen, Stybar, Dani Navarro, Pierre Rolland, and an Astana. 

Ulissi hits the front now as he swaps places with Sutterlin. Behind that quartet is a big group of chasing riders, including Sky's Sergio Henao.


The riders are on another short uncategorised climb and Greipel and Kristoff have been dropped.


125km remaining from 187km

Ulissi, Burghardt, Frank and Lemoine have a lead of 15 seconds.

119km remaining from 187km

There's a large group off the front of the peloton as the race situation still hangs in the balance. 

The quartet is caught by the chase group. The peloton is only a matter of metres behind, so the race is pretty much all together again.


Incroyable, le peloton est encore groupé après 70 km ! Incredible, still no real breakaway after 70 km ! #allezalm #TDF2017

@AG2RLMCyclisme Sat, 8th Jul 2017 11:54:43

This large group are pulling away from the peloton again as riders call for collaboration. Ulissi is driving it. 


Sky have put Knees and Henao in this leading group. There are over 30 riders in there. 


71km covered in 90 minutes (47.3km/h avg.) and a breakaway still can't get clear

The peloton appears to be slowing up, and letting this one go.

113km remaining from 187km

Not everyone is happy, and Ben Swift is in a small chase group.


Sky lead the peloton with the rest of their men, but they're setting an easy pace, and the breakaway is building up a proper advantage. Pretty much every team has at least one rider in there, meaning there's no one team chasing in the bunch. 

We'll bring you the composition of the group shortly. This huge group may break up further in the coming kilometres, potentially decisively so on the first categorised climb of the day - the cat 3 Col de la Joux, which comes after just under 100km.

The names in the break


Latour, Buchmann, Landa, Talansky, Pauwels, Roche, Henao, Caruso, Frank, Chavanel, Molard, Edet, Calmejane, Brajkovic, Bakelants, Ten Dam, Kiserlovski, Barguil, Minnaard, Bouet, Gilbert, Ulissi, Impey, Castroviejo, Clarke, Mori
Van Avermaet, Gautier, Bettiol, Keukeleire, Matthews, De Kort, Quemeneur, Burghardt, Gesink, Bauer, Valgren, Lammertink, Felline, Knees, Bole, Amador, Sütterlin, Schär, Sicard, De Gendt, Lemoine, Pichon, Trentin, Kozhatayev.


Does 50 riders count as a break, or is it a peloton?

@EdwardPickering Sat, 8th Jul 2017 12:07:18

Latour is a big name there. He's 12th overall and in the running for the white jersey. Buchmann, 14th, is also a white jersey contender.


The breakaway is so big that it's pretty much a new race, and it's splitting up, with around 15 riders going clear. 


Here are the 13 riders who have made the selection at the head of the race.


Greg Van Avermaet, Michael Schar (BMC), Jan Bakelants, Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale), Koen De Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Valgren (Astana), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Emmanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Laurens Ten Dam (Sunweb), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac).


That leading group has a lead of 45 seconds on the 33-rider group behind. The peloton is at 3:30.


Burghardt, Trentin, and Barguil have bridged across to the lead group to make it 16.


This could well be a big coup for Buchmann, the talented young German. He came to this Tour to help Rafal Majka but, after finishing 7th at the Dauphine, was also expected to ride strongly on GC, with a possible view to the white jersey. He started the day 14th, at 1:29, meaning he is now the virtual leader of the Tour de France. Having Burghardt up there for support will be vital, too. 

Arnaud Demare, dropped earlier, is some nine minutes behind the peloton now...

 Warren Barguill (Sunweb) doesn't like the big group and jumps. They are starting up the first ranked climb of the day.

Bernie Eisel took a tumble at the feed zone ealier. He is back at the race doctor's car, getting sprayed on his left arm and elbow and the big open wound on his left thigh, peeking out through his torn shorts.


Barguill is not alone in the lead. He has been joined by Pauwels.


It looks as if Barguill and Pauwels are still in the lead, but that the two chase groups behind them have come back together, forming a very large group once again.


The two leaders are a minute ahead of the chase group, with the Froome group at 3:34. When last heard of, the Demare group was over 12 minutes down, with the real climbing only yet starting. tells us that Demare is ill. He has decided to try and hang on and hopefully meet the time limit. He has teammates Delage and Konovalovas with him, and they are at nearly 15 minutes down.


Barguill takes the two points atop the day's first climb, with Pauwels right behind him.


 That was the cat. 3 Col de la Joux.

The Sky-led peloton crosses the mountain top at 3:38 down.


Thomas Dekker has been through it all - and somehow survived. He sat down with Cyclingnews for a podcast to talk about his rise and fall and ultimate redemption.


The chase group is falling apart on the descent, breaking into multiple small groups.


Meanwhile teh gap to the peloton is falling slighlty, now at 2:47.


A small group including Matthews, Burghardt and Bakelants is nearing the leading duo.


Trentin, Uissi and Van Avermaet are also in that group. And they have in fact caught the leaders.


The situation is still quite fluid. The lead group is oly about 20 seconds ahead of the large chase group, with the field at 2:41. We have 70 km to go.


This weekend's Jura mountains stages will decide the Tour, AG2R's Bardet says. Read about it here. 


So, Direct Energie had four men in the initial 46-rider breakaway, and none of them have managed to get up the road. They have therefore hit the front of the chase group to track down the eight-man lead group. 

56km remaining from 187km

The lead group hits the second categorised climb of the day, and it's getting serious now. The Côte de Viry is 7.6km long at 5.2%.


Cannondale also have numbers in the chase group, and they've joined Direct Energie in working on the front.


Team Sky are maintaining a strong grip on proceedings here. They've pulled Knees back from the break and the German is currently setting a decent pace on the front of the peloton, which is just 2:25 back from the front of the race. After all this, today's winner still could come from the yellow jersey group. 

As the climb bites, Matthews and Trentin lose ground in the lead group. 

Talanksy and Calmejane are the riders from Cannondale and Direct Energie respectively who have now launched their bids for the front of the race.


Talansky and Calmejane bypass Matthews, Trentin, and Burghardt on their way to the head of affairs. 


Talansky is 19th overall, 1:57 down. The American has finished top 10 at the Tour and was top-five in last year's Vuelta. 

52km remaining from 187km

As the impetus disappears from the chase group - with Canndonale and Direct Energie having done their jobs - Buchmann attacks.


I'd be surprised if they didn't drop back Landa and Henao from the front as Thomas, Kwiatkowski can only work for so long

@willfoth Sat, 8th Jul 2017 13:25:39

Things just don't want to settle down for a single minute. We've had a regrouping at the head of the race, so make that 40-odd out front once again. 


50km remaining from 187km

Van Avermaet isn't impressed and accelerates away. Pauwels, Barguil, and Bakelants follow. 


Clarke, Calmejane, Gesink have settled into a chasing trio. We're under a kilometre from the top of the climb.


49km remaining from 187km

Barguil once again clips away to take maximum KOM points. 


2:20 is the gap to the peloton at the top of the climb.

Now we have a descent - interrupted by a short kick up - to the bottom of the first-category climb, which is followed by that 12km drag to the finish line. 


Gesink, Calmejane, and Clarke, along with BMC's Nico Roche, are up with the lead group. 8 in there now.

Chris Froome overcooks a corner and veers off the road. A momentary lapse that could have been costly for the race leader. 


The pace in the peloton slows as Froome makes his way back up. Thomas is drifting back now, with just Nieve and Kwiatkowski flanking Froome now. 


The gap to the front of the race has gone out to just below three minutes.


A reminder that we have a special podcast for you today. Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson travelled to the Netherlands to visit former Rabobank rider Thomas Dekker. From precocious talent to doping, destruction, and, finally, redemption, Dekker discusses his fascinating story. You can bookmark it for post-stage listening, perhaps, but here it is. 


The fall and rise of Thomas Dekker - Podcast


#TDF2017 Still 8 leaders with 40km left. They have 40" on a chasing group and 3' on the peloton.

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 8th Jul 2017 13:46:11

Valgren has clipped off the front of the chase group in pursuit of the head of the race.

36km remaining from 187km

The final climb will begin with 23.7km to go. 

Here is how it looks. 



The pace has picked up in the peloton once again, and the gap is falling pretty quickly. It's down to 2 minutes. 


Kwiatkowski, arms folded over his bars, is turning it up here. This has been a chaotic day so far but Sky have managed things pretty well so far. 


Sky's upping of pace means they will soon be up with the remnants of that large initial breakaway group. 

Kwiatkowski has reduced the gap to the leading group of 8 to 1:40.


26km remaining from 187km

The Sky-led peloton sweeps past the breakaway remnants on the approach to the climb.


25km remaining from 187km

Valgren makes the bridge. Cracking effort from the Astana rider to make up almost a minute there. 


Landa and Henao, originally in the break, can now slot into the Sky train for this climb.


1:30 for the nine leaders as they prepare for the climb. Is that enough against a Sky-led peloton?


24km remaining from 187km

Barguil leads the break onto the climb.

Bakelants is dropped as the gradients start to bite.


As is Van Avermaet. 


Thomas is back up in the Sky train as they continue their march, with Kwiatkowski pulling over. With the gap down to just 1:20, that's a job well done from the former world champion.

20km remaining from 187km

Roche, who ordinarily works for Richie Porte, attacks on the climb, after seeing his teammate Van Avermaet spat out. 

Simon Clarke has also lost contact so there are just six riders left out front. Pauwels jumps over to Roche, while Calmejane, Gesink, Valgren, and Barguiil give chase. 


Barguil is losing contact now. 


18km remaining from 187km

Valgren slips back himself as we have a clear selection of the four strongest riders at the head of affairs. 


Roche, Calmejane, Pauwels, and Gesink lead the way with a lead of 1:20 over the peloton. 


Calmejane attacks! The ever-impressive young Frenchman is away, opening up a small gap over the other three.


Roche skips over in pursuit of Calmejane. The Irishman looks strong today. We asked whether Van Avermaet would be afforded the freedom to hunt stage wins, but now we're seeing one of Porte's closest domestiques on the hunt for a stage win.


16km remaining from 187km

Sky continue to lead the peloton. It's Henao, Nieve, Landa, Thomas, Froome, in that order. No attacks from the GC men for the time being. 


Gesink makes it over to Roche, who appears to be paying for his effort. Pauwels is still in tow.

Robert Gesink's riding style is free verse in motion.

@EdwardPickering Sat, 8th Jul 2017 14:28:32

Love watching Calmejane. One of those riders who believes he's got a chance and is ready to give it a go no matter what the terrain

@petercossins Sat, 8th Jul 2017 14:26:02

15km remaining from 187km

Gesink has dropped Pauwels and Roche and, constantly out of the saddle, is chasing down Calmejane. 


It's all calm in the peloton as Sky continue to lead. The gap has grown to 1:35 to Calmejane. This is a category 1 ascent but it's not really hard enough - especially considering the flat 12km to the line, and the brutality of tomorrow's stage - to draw the GC favourites out for open hostilities. 


14km remaining from 187km

Calmejane, a constant grimace on his face, is riding well here, with a couple of kilometres to go to the top of the climb. Gesink is within striking distance but the Frenchman isn't allowing him onto his wheel.


Calmejane is pulling away, with 1km to the top. He has 11 seconds on hand over Gesink. 


Gesink has a decent sprint. Calmejane might need more space. #TDF2017

@VeloHuman Sat, 8th Jul 2017 14:34:02

Calmejane could be on his way to a huge, huge victory. He crests the climb in the lead of this stage and Gesink has slipped to 25 seconds. 


12km remaining from 187km

So, a 12km time trial, in effect, for Calmejane. The road dips down before flattening out, dipping down again, and then rising cruelly once more.


Brice Feillu's attack on the climb comes to nought as the peloton sweep him up over the top. 


The peloton is 1:30 down on Calmejane.


Calmejane quietly impressed throughout his neo-pro season last year, and then he claimed a breakthrough stage win at the Vuelta a Espana. This year he has continued his progress, with three overall stage race victories, at the Etoile des Besseges, Settimana Coppi e Bartali, and Circuit Sarthes. He is the real deal, and a victory here would announce him as a big star in his native France. 


Today has been so fast some of the busses are only just arriving. Caravan got here with 20km to go #TDF2017

@SadhbhOS Sat, 8th Jul 2017 14:41:40

7km remaining from 187km

Calmejane continues to give it his all, and he's not ceding any ground here to Gesink. 

5km remaining from 187km

Calmejane is 37 seconds clear now. Barring disaster, the victory is his. 

And maybe there is a disaster... Calmejane is cramping up. He almost comes to a halt as he tries to loosen up his legs. Wow.

Calmejane is spinning the pedals again but Gesink has fresh hope. 


Calmejane is just spinning a low gear, trying to prevent that lactic acid from clogging up his legs. We're still waiting on an updated time check back to Gesink. 


3km remaining from 187km

Calmejane passes under the 3km banner, and he looks to have ridden out that scare and regained control. He still has more than 30 seconds. 


Attacks in the peloton now, as Pierre Latour goes on the move. Sky are alive to it.

Calmejane, hailed by some as the new Voeckler, sticks out his tongue in the manner of the iconic French veteran. With 1.2km to go, he's got this in the bag now. 

Dan Martin is on the move in the GC group.


Martin is with Betancur and Gallopin.


Here comes Calmejane for his victory parade, with 500 metres to go.

Calmejane lets out a smile as he comes into the final 300 metres. He's beaming now, and he puts his hand in the air. He's going to enjoy this.


Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) wins stage 8 of the Tour de France


The jubilant Frenchman swings his arm in celebration. A huge win in the early stages of an extremely promising career. Gesink comes over for second place.


The peloton comes in now. Martin et al have been caught.


Calmejane embraces Direct Energie manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau. The same Bernaudeau who left Bryan Coquard at home in a controversial sequence of events. The Tour is already a huge success from his point of view. 


Wanty's Guillame Martin led the bunch over the line for third place. 


Top 10


1 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie 4:30:29
2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:37
3 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:00:50
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:50
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott 0:00:50
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:50
7 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:50
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:50
9 Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:50
10 Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro 0:00:50


General classification after stage 8

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 33:19:10
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:12
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:14
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:25
5 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:39
6 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:43
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:47
8 Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:52
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:54
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:01

"I wanted to win but someone else was better," says Gesink.


"I tried to smash through to the front, and I dropped Pauwels and Roche, but I blew. He cramped but my legs weren't much better."

Looks like JRB isn't going to miss Bryan Coquard quite so much now. Clear that Direct Energie have a new leader

@petercossins Sat, 8th Jul 2017 15:04:55

Here's Pauwels


"I went all in to take yellow but Sky didn't want it to happen. We didn't get a big gap. It was very hard to get in the breakaway. I gave a lot but without result."

Dan Martin, who put in a brief dig at the end there, speaks to reporters.


"It was an opportunity, there was a tailwind, and I had momentum. I was coming up fast from behind to move up, and just thought I'd sprint and see what happened. I got a little gap but the others were pretty alert. 


"It was full-on all day, incredible, a really brutal day. Everyone was cautious about attacking before tomorrow. With that finish it deterred attacks on the climb. The last climb was quite easy to sit on the wheel. That's why i thought everybody might be sleeping at the end, and I gave it a shot."

A first finish line shot



And here's where the elation wears off and the pain starts to be felt. 


Geraint Thomas, who crashed on the corner where Froome went off road, speaks to reporters at the Sky bus. He didn't lose any time, and avoided injury. 


"I had just gone back for bottles and had just got back to front and I went into the corner a bit too hot. I was looking to my side and the boys were breaking, there was a split second delay then I hit the gravel. It was a choice between going into the trees or the hay bails, so I chose the hay. I front flipped but it was a better option than the woods. 


"There wasn't time for a leak all day, we were on the pedals, racing all day. We rode well as a team, we had Landa and Sergio up there, and Knees came back to help us ride, so it was all under control in the end really. A tough day, but tough for everyone."

Calmejane pulls on the polka-dot jersey after leading the race over that final first-cat climb. "It's not necessarily an objective, but it could become one," he says. 


Demare is still out on the road, working to avoid the time cut. He's still a good way ahead of the broom wagon, and has teammates, so should be fine. 



Here's Chris Froome in his yellow jersey TV interview


"That was a really tough day, especially with tomorrow in mind. That was really quite selective. My teammates were fantastic today, from start to finish we were in control of the race. The pressure was on, with lots of the guys up there in the break a threat on GC, and my team pulled out all the stops.


"It was tactically an interesting stage. We had the plan of putting Sergio and Landa in the break, seeing as they’re also up there on GC, but there was also [Mathias] Frank and [Pierre] Latour up there. So it was a difficult one, because although we had two guys in the break, we couldn’t really give them much room."

Demare is in, to big cheers from the fans. The national champion lives to fight another day, though tomorrow will be an even greater struggle for him. 


Now we can hear from Lilian Calmejane


"It's incredible. Since the start of the Tour we've been at the front, but I never thought it would lead to a success like this. I'm a rider who likes to animate the race, and I said to my teammates I wanted to try something today. They did such great work today, they allowed me to realise my dream, of winning a stage at the Tour.


"I never imagined such a scenario. I thought that when we went to seven in the break we might have a chance of contesting the stage, but to win solo like that, it's incredible. From kilometre-zero right until the finish it was full gas. At the end there it was a mental battle, you couldn't let your head go. More than legs, it was about the head today."

As always, we've rounded up all the snap post-stage reaction into one place. Here you go:


Tour de France stage 8 finish line quotes


For plenty more photos like this, plus a full report and full results, head to our stage 8 report page.


Tour de France: Calmejane wins stage 8



Today was full gas but tomorrow will be something else. One of the most important days of this year's Tour. 


That was a mad stage. You can re-live it/try to get a handle on it with our highlights video. 


Tour de France stage 8 highlights video

That's it from us today. We'll have stories from Station des Rousses on Calmejane, Froome, Quintana, Contador, and much more over the coming hours. We'll be back right here tomorrow morning for full live coverage of what is set to be one of the most spectacular stages of the 2017 Tour de France. Not to be missed! Thanks for joining us today, looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow. 

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