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Tour de France 2018: Stage 8


Good morning to you all and welcome to another day of racing action at the 2018 Tour de France. 

After yesterday's transition stage of an eye-watering 231km, we have a slightly shorter day out for the riders. The 181km ride, which includes two classified climbs, is more than likely to conclude with a sprint finish in Amiens. 


Who will be the king of the sprints today? The first sprint stages were split between Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan but yesterday saw Dylan Groenewegen join in the party. It was the first time at the Tour that we've really seen Gaviria out-gunned in a straightforward sprint. Is that a sign of things to come or a blip? Only time will tell. 


This was how things finished yesterday and it makes for some interesting reading ahead of today's stage. 


1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 5:43:42
2 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
6 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
8 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
9 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data


Mark Cavendish is looking to add to his tally of 30 Tour de France stage wins but he finished 10th yesterday and admitted after the stage that he wasn't fast enough. Read the Manxman's full comments here.


The riders will be rolling out of the start town of Dreux in just under 10 minutes. They've got a seven-kilometre neutral zone before the flag drops at kilometre zero. 


The general classification is unlikely to see much of a change today, unless something extraordinary happens. Greg Van Avermaet should be safe in yellow for at least another day after taking some bonus seconds to add to his slight buffer over Geraint Thomas. This is how it all looks this morning. 


1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 28:19:25
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:06
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:08
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:09
5 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:15
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:21
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:48
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:54
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:55
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:56


The riders have set off from Dreux and we should have racing in around 15 minutes. It's another glorious day is northern France and the crowds are out in force once again. It's Bastille day today and we can expect plenty of festivities on the side of the road, but will they have a French winner to toast? 


A puncture for Alexander Kristoff already but there's no panic as he gets a new wheel. He'll be hoping that he's got his mechanical issues out of the way for today. 


If the French are to have a winner today, it's going to have to come for their sprinting ranks. Both Arnaud Demare and Christophe Laporte finished in the top-five yesterday and are the home nation's best shots at victory. 


Thomas De Gendt is nestled right beside the race director's car. Will he be in the move today? Meanwhile, we hear that Mark Cavendish is having some shoe problems at the back of the bunch. 


There has been a small crash in the pack, but thankfully all the riders appear to be ok. Nils Politt has a mechanical issue as a result and his hand goes up and calls for the car. These things can happen when the bunch is a bit more relaxed and a touch of wheels sets off a domino effect. 


Due to that crash, the neutral zone has been extended as the riders get back to the bunch. Warren Barguil also receives some mechanical assistance and is riding back through the cars. 


The flag has been waved and we have racing!


Marcus Burghardt has gone on a solo attack. Nobody appears to want to go with him and the bunch sits up. 


Burghardt wrote this on twitter last night, "I understand you guys when u say that this was boring stage. But for us riders it was a welcomed stage after the stressful stages before and the ones that are still to come. AND if it has wind on this today its maybe the most interesting stage." But, now it seems he's looking for a bit more action himself. 


Burghardt isn't exactly going full bore right now and he's radioing into the team car. Will he carry on or sit up? At least with the German out front Bora-Hansgrohe can avoid work duties in the peloton. 


Marcus Burghardt has decided to sit up. He stands on the side of the road and cheers the peloton as they go by before climbing back on the bike. A little bit of light relief for the riders. 


Hearing from former Wanty-Groupe Gobert press officer Jose Been that the team's directeur sportif Hilaire van der Schueren was very displeased that Offredo wasn't given the combativity prize yesterday, despite a long solo break, and the team has chosen not to go on the attack today. 


So, we currently have no riders interested in making it into the breakaway. Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is enjoying a chat with Quick-Step Floors DS Davide Bramati. 


While we wait for someone to have a go, why not let me know your predictions for today's finale. Will Gaviria, Sagan or Groenewegen add another to their tally or will we see a new winner? You can get me on Twitter on @SadhbhOS


After chatting to what seemed like all of the team cars on the way back up to the bunch, Sagan is sitting on the back and chatting to Vincenzo Nibali and Fernando Gaviria. The Colombian starts imitating kick-starting his bike like a motorbike. What japes. I wonder, though, if we'll see some action prior to the bunch sprint at the end of the day. 


Stefan Kung and Richie Porte have pulled out a small gap on the bunch. They have a look at each other and have a bit of a laugh. Porte drops back to the bunch, leaving Kung along. Will he go it alone? A shake of the head indicates that he might just be having a bit of fun and he'll be back in the peloton soon enough. 


Kung pulls over to have a bit of a comfort break and we go back to gruppo compatto. 


While all of this is going on, or not as the case may be, why not have a look through this gallery of Mark Cavendish's custom Cervelo S5. The Manxman himself also tells Cyclingnews about the constant tinkering he does during stages. Have a look here.


158km remaining from 181km

We have an attack from Laurens ten Dam. Will this one last a little longer than the others? 


Ten Dam's move has sparked a bit more action with riders from Wanty and Direct Energie now chasing down Ten Dam. Is this, dare I say it, a breakaway/


The trio are together and our three gluttons for punishment are Grellier, Minnaard and Ten Dam and they now have close to a minute on the peloton. 


With the peloton taking it a bit piano today, the three-rider break has quickly built a lead of 2:30 on the bunch. 


Ten Dam trying to get the attention of the race direction car. Ha's been calling them for some time but it's not quite clear what the issue is. 


Ten Dam is, of course, one of the key riders for Tom Dumoulin, but with this looking to be quite a calm day they can spare the Dutchman for a short while. This is Ten Dam's 10th Tour de France and 17th Grand Tour. He has been a professional since 2005, turning pro with Skil-Moser (which is now Team Sunweb). He left the team for a few seasons before returning in 2016. 


The leaders have rolled through the first of two classified climbs today without any contest. There isn't much point in wasting the effort as Toms Skuijns is unbeatable in that particular competition at the moment. 


1 Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo 6 pts
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie 4
3 Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 4
4 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie 3
5 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 2
6 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 1
7 Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic 1
8 Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1
9 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1
10 Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott 1


141km remaining from 181km

Ten Dam spent a long time talking to his team car and and now the Dutchman has sat up to wait for the peloton. He sparked the breakaway but now he's decided that he's done for the day. It is just Grellier and Minnaard up front now. 


After two hours of racing, the average speed has been 37.2kph. That is currently quite a lot slower than the slowest predicted average speed for today's stage. 


Talking across enemy lines. Defending champion Chris Froome is busy chatting with Movistar's Imanol Erviti. After a challenging opening to his title defence, Froome has had a relatively quiet couple of days and he'll be hoping for more of the same today. 


While today is another transition day for the Tour de France, it's a big day at the Giro Rosa as the peloton tackles the mighty Zoncolan. The first time the formidable climb featured in a professional bike race was at the Giro Rosa in 1997 and Fabiana Luperini was the first rider to claim victory atop it. We spoke to her as she relived her efforts of 21 years ago. Find the full story here.


132km remaining from 181km

The peloton is strung out in a long line under the efforts of Quick-Step Floors. Meanwhile, Ten Dam has finally been brought back as the gap levels out at just under six minutes.  

Today's stage is the second time this week that Fabien Grellier has been in the breakaway. The 23-year-old Frenchman got into the break on stage 6 too. Direct Energie have been possibly the most aggressive team of this year's race. Having turned professional in 2016, this is Grellier's first ever appearance at the Tour de France. 


This is the first time that Minnaard has been in the break at this year's Tour de France, his second appearance at the Grand Tour. I imagine the team will be very displeased if he's not given the honours of most aggressive after yesterday's interesting choice. 


A mechanical problem for Dan Martin and he pulls over to the side of the road to get an entirely new bike. The peloton is going a little bit faster but there is plenty of time for him to make the juncture back to the bunch. 


Speaking to Eurosport, Alexander Kristoff says that he's in the second line of sprinters at the moment, behind the young upstarts of Fernando Gaviria and Dylan Groenewegen. "Maybe we're getting a bit too old and slow," the Norwegian jokes. He is only 30 years old, but sport does very much skew a person's view of what is old. 


Another bike change for Dan Martin as he picks up his original bike following that earlier mechanical issue. Bike riders are picky about their bikes and will always go for their number one bike if the option is available. This change was a little smoother than the last. 


Tim Declercq in his usual position at the front of the peloton. After some disagreements earlier in the week, Lotto Soudal are also pitching in with the workload on the front of the pack. LottoNL-Jumbo have also put a man up towards the front after their victory yesterday. 


Chris Froome has had a brief stop for a comfort break and he is being guided back to the bunch by Michal Kwiatkowski. He's looking very relaxed as he jumps some road furniture. The reception to Froome was a little frosty at the start of the Tour but it has tempered as the race has progressed. 


After growing to just beyond six minutes, our two plucky escapees has been cut by the peloton to 4:13 as they approach the second climb of the day. 


Grellier takes the points at the top of the climb, but it wasn't really a contest. Toms Skujins is firmly in the lead of the polka dot jersey competition and he will be in that jersey until at least next week. 


Ilnur Zakarin is sitting near the back of the peloton. Zakarin is currently 2:05 down on the yellow jersey after losing time in a crash earlier in the week. There was reportedly a miscommunication, which meant that nobody dropped back to help the Russian get back to the peloton.


There have been some tensions among the Katusa team at this year's Tour de France with DS Dimitri Konyshev labelling Marcel Kittel “egotistical” in an interview with L'Equipe, and saying that he was only interested in himself. 


After taking on two fourth category climbs, the next point of interest for the riders will be the intermediate sprint in La Neuve-Grange. We are likely to see a bit of action in the bunch there as the sprinters try to nab points for the green jersey competition. 


The green jersey could well change hands today with Sagan and Gaviria close together in the standings. 


1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 234 pts
2 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors 203
3 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 105
4 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 85
5 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 82
6 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 75
7 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 60
8 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 56
9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 53
10 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 52


While the two KOMs weren't much of a contest, the sprint is a different thing altogether. The two leaders have a proper sprint contest to the line with Minnaard the first to go but Grellier coming over him and pipping him to the line. 

Arnaud Demare joins in the competition for the sprint points and leads Sagan over the line with Gaviria in third. Interestingly, Kristoff did not contest it, which he did yesterday, perhaps trying to save his energy for later on today. 


Normal service has been resumed following that little flurry of action with a headwind tackling the riders. The gap to the two escapees is staying around the four-minute mark. 


84km remaining from 181km

At present, the peloton is around 20 minutes behind the slowest predicted schedule, which was an average speed of 44kph. So far, the average speed has been below 40kph. 


The riders are passing through the feed zone for a spot of lunch. I too am taking the opportunity to cram a little bit of lunch. Rice cakes and brie, if you want to know. Getting into the French mood. 


The two escapees have been on the run since the 150k to go marker, after Laurens ten Dam sparked it all. 


75km remaining from 181km

Quick-Step Floors put in a little injection of pace into the peloton and string things out again. The gap to the escapees drops down to 3:40.


I mentioned those comments about Marcel Kittel and his ego, by his DS Dimitri Konyshev. If you haven't already, you can read the full story here.


The gap is falling quite quickly at the moment as the riders pass through Oise. They have just 3:10 now as the bunch tracks them down. 


Meanwhile, the average speed has nudged up a little bit after a painfully slow opening hour of racing. They riders have been going along at 39kph over the last hour. 


Tomorrow will perhaps be the most important stage of the opening week of the 2018 Tour de France with the cobbles coming out in full force. Some riders, such as Van Avermaet and Sagan, will get a chance to go for the stage win but Vanmarcke will not as he puts everything behind keeping his team leader Uran safe from trouble. We spoke to him ahead of tomorrow's key stage


Today's finale is a little different to yesterday's but with one key similarity, a short descent before the run to the line. That should make it a very quick run-in. However, the sharp left-hand turn inside the final kilometre could cause a few issues for some. 


This is the profile of today's finale. 


Marcel Kittel believes that today's stage is the best one for a pure sprinter. He admitted to not feeling his best today but can he turn things around today? 


There are a whole host of sprinters that will be looking for something today as there are very few chances after today for the fast men with the mountains rearing up next week. Andre Greipel has been knocking on the door this week and could be a solid outside bet, as too is Arnaud Demare. However, it is hard to look past Fernando Gaviria and, after his ride yesterday, Dylan Groenewegen. You can never count out Peter Sagan either. 


Sonny Colbrelli has also been going well this year, though he would prefer a slightly trickier finish, such as the one the riders had on stage 5. Other sprinters to watch for are Mark Cavendish, Christophe Laporte, John Degenkolb, Magnus Cort and Andrea Pasqualon.


While this is going on, the Giro Rosa's queen stage has just come to its conclusion and the maglia rosa is all but decided. I won't spoil the result, but I can tell you it was a ding-dong battle on the Monte Zoncolan. Find out more, here


Bit by bit, the gap continues to edge down and our two leaders have just two minutes on the peloton behind. Lots of teams now moving up towards the front to try and keep this under control. 


A multitude of colours at the head of the peloton.


Today's stage finish town of Amiens has featured in the Tour de France before. It last played a part in 2015when the peloton arrived there on stage 5. Andre Greipel won on that particular day, while wearing green, beating Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff. 


It must be noted that Arnaud Demare is from very near Amiens too. He was born just down the road Beauvais and will have friends and family at the finish to cheer him on. 


We're into the final 30 kilometres of today's stage now and the gap is still hovering around at the two-minute mark. The group won't want to bring back the attackers to early or they may have to fend off some more attacks. 


24km remaining from 181km

Things are beginning to light up in the bunch as the riders get a whiff of the finish line. Quick-Step Floors head up proceedings and they've put a few riders in trouble at the back of the bunch as they try and chase on after getting a few last-minute refreshments. Riders can't pick up any food or drinks in the final 20km. 


LottoNL-Jumbo also have a man at the front in the form of Antwan Tolhoek. The 24-year-old is making his Tour de France debut this year. 


20km remaining from 181km

The leaders have just 1:20 on the peloton behind but they have made it to the bonus sprint. Minnaard leads Grellier over the line. That will leave just one bonus second available for the peloton behind. Will anybody fight for that bonus second?


Van Avermaet was given a small leadout to take the bonus seconds to give him and extra second of an advantage over Geraint Thomas in the intermediate sprint. 


Apologies, bonus sprint, rather than intermediate sprint. There are no points for the green jersey available here. 


We've had a crash in the peloton and quite a few rides have been caught out, including Tony Martin, Dan Martin, Julian Alaphlippe and Toms Skujins. 


There is an EF Education First rider who looks like he's in quite a bit of pain. I am not sure who it is, though. Alaphilppe looks like he has hurt his arm, while Dan Martin has a lot of tears to his jersey. 


Alaphilippe now shaking out his leg. It seems as though that was quite a heavy fall for some. Martin is now 2:14 behind the leaders and about 1:30 behind the peloton. 


12km remaining from 181km

Martin has plenty of company in his chase behind the peloton but he is still quite a distance away. He's torn the back of his shorts so must have come down hard on his back. UAE Team Emirates have sent a lot of riders back to help, so Kristoff is likely to be very much on his own in the finale. 


It seems that Dan Martin was the only major GC contender caught in that crash, but it has split the bunch and there are some riders having to work hard to get back on. He is now 1:10 behind the peloton. 


10km remaining from 181km

Minnaard has been dropped from this lead group, leaving Grellier on his own. We can see the peloton looming just behind him and his time out front will not last much longer. 


The GC teams have moved up towards the front and Adam Yates has been guided up the side of the bunch, as had Chris Froome. That crash has caused a few nerves and let's hope those nerves don't spark any more crashes.  


8km remaining from 181km

The peloton is not going full chap in this chase, which could help Martin get back. It's going to be close, though. 


FDJ, Dimension Data, Bahrain-Merida, Lotto Soudal, BMC and Bora all have people close to the front. Meanwhile, Katusa-Alpecin look to be out of place at the moment. Alexander Kristoff is in there on his own. 


Martin and his UAE train are just behind the cars. They have dune a superb ride since that crash to minimise the losses.


The Tour is cruel, just two days ago the Irishman was celebrating a stage win. 


Alaphilippe is in the Martin group, though he is less concerned about time losses. 


3km remaining from 181km

As the pace ramps up in the peloton for the finale, the gap to Martin extends slightly to 40 seconds.


Gilbert pushes on at the head of the race. It almost looks like an attack but he doesn't get far off the front of the bunch. 


2km remaining from 181km

He gets a gap now as a few riders misjudge a corner. He wants the yellow jersey. 


Dimension Data lead the chase behind. 


Mark Renshaw looks over his shoulder, he can't see Mark Cavendish. Sieberg now takes over for Lotto Soudal. 


This is a very fast finish.


Arndt is going for the sprint for Sunweb.


Richeze on the front


Sagan goes


But it is Groenewegen who takes the win


Looks like Greipel was second and Gaviria third .


Dan Martin crosses the line 1:15 behind the winner. That's a massive time loss for him. 


That was a chaotic sprint in Amiens. Sagan tried to go very long but he was quickly overhauled when Greipel started his charge to the line. Groenewegen then overtook the German while Gaviria tried to come up the barriers but didn't have enough speed to make up the deficit. 


A battered and bruised Dan Martin on the finish line. 


And here we have the top 10 from today's sprint finish


1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 4:23:36
2 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
3 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
7 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8 Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
9 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
10 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data


Marcel Kittel was once again well out of contention in that finish. He reportedly threw his bike against the team bus and then got onto the bus before letting out a scream of frustration. This year's Tour is in stark contrast to the last. 


A small change in the overall classification with Alaphilppe dropping out of the top 10 following that late crash. 


1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 32:43:00
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:07
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:09
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:16
5 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:22
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:49
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:55
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:56
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:57
10 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:57


A few short words from Dylan Groenewegen on his second win in two days.

"The legs have been better every day. It was a fast final with a lot of corners but the team did an amazing job and put me in a great position. I saw Gaviria and Greipel were fighting for position but I saw the finish line and thought, this is the moment.


"It was a hectic final, but that’s every day in the Tour. I am very happy with my team. The last two days have been very good with two wins."


A few people not best pleased with Fernando Gaviria after that finale. Andre Greipel has said after the finish that Gaviria hit him a couple of times in that finale. John Degenkolb also had this to say: "I was right behind them. Gaviria tried to squeeze through a gap that wasn't there. I was scared. For that reason, I didn't ride flat out in sprint."


Mixed reports as to what caused that crash in the final 20k. Guillaume van Keirsbulck said that it began with UAE rider Roberto Ferrari, though the team itself said it was a rider from another team that touched wheels with Dan Martin. 


We're getting images in from the race and the EF Education First rider that came down in that incident was Simon Clarke. He looked in a bad way but did manage to finish the stage some 11:05 down on the bunch. 


A quick look at the results and it appears that both Gaviria and Greipel have been relegated. Seems a bit harsh for Greipel, I think. 


We've got reporters on the ground finding out more on this and we'll have news as soon as possible on the matter. 


Richie Porte made it through today unscathed and even had a bit of fun when he 'attacked' with his teammate Stefan Kung. This is what he had to say to Eurosport after the stage. 


"It’s never not stressful. It’s easier but there’s still stress. It was a fast day after yesterday, thankfully, and the guys were great. I guess the Tour really kicks off tomorrow.

"We’ve all done a recon of the cobbles and we’ve raced on them before. I’m not sure that us GC guys are fully prepared for what faces us tomorrow.

"Greg has every right to have ambitions. I think that the rest of the guys will be around me. We have a super strong team and it’s going to be a fight to get into those cobbled sections, so bring it on."


More coming out of this mid-sprint tussle between Greipel and Gaviria. According to Quick-Step Floors team boss Patrick Lefevere, Greipel cut across Gaviria and broke his wheel. 


The other incident today was obviously the crash that caught out Dan Martin. We've heard that he has been taken to the x-ray truck after having his wounds cleaned by the team doctor. 



For full results, photos and a report from today's stage, head here


Greg Van Avermaet is looking forward to hitting his favoured terrain of the cobbles tomorrow where he hopes to keep hold of the yellow jersey as well as keeping his team leader Richie Porte safe. 

"Everything is going well. I was hoping for one day in yellow but not as many as this. I am really enjoying it every day. It is something special and it will be great if I can keep it in Roubaix. It will be nice to go onto the cobbles with the yellow jersey and hopefully I get an extra day after tomorrow.

"It is definitely going to be different as this is the first time that there has been this many cobbles on a Tour de France stage. You will have GC riders being protected by their team but they aren't going for the win, they are just going up there to not lose too much time. I think there will be a small group of riders who can have a little bit of freedom so it will be pretty strange. I think it is going to be really hectic, really fast from start to finish and I think positioning will be key on every sector.

"For us, it will be a team effort. We are a team and have had a lot of guys working for Richie and me over these past few days. They are doing a great job so far and hopefully, we can keep up the good work tomorrow and get ourselves into position with Richie in my wheel. That would be the best and then he just has to try and follow for a long as possible and for sure, he can then maybe even gain time on the other contenders."


Dan Martin has confirmed that he didn't break anything in that crash today, though he's in a bit of pain at the moment. 


Martin spoke briefly after leaving the x-ray truck. 


"I’ve felt better but I have nothing broken. I’ve got to try and ride tomorrow on the cobbles but, obviously, it’s going to be sore. My back is a bit of a mess. I think you know it’s bad when they take off the bandages for the scan and they went ‘oh’. It could have been a lot worse but it was wrong place and wrong time.

"This race has been incredibly nervous this year, especially when there are so many people on the side of the road, in the road, and guys are riding millimetres away from them to try and get up.

"I was one of the first riders to crash. There was a bit of a break in the peloton and a rider moved across and took my front wheel out. I couldn’t do anything. You have these movements in the peloton and who knows what is causing all of the crashes.

"Obviously the time loss isn’t the best thing to happen but hopefully I can survive through tomorrow’s stage and we’ll see where we are on the rest day."


You can read a selection of quotes from the finish line here.


That is it from our live coverage today. Tune in again tomorrow for the big cobbled stage. We'll be live from 30 minutes before the stage start at 12:05 CET/11:05 BST all the way through to the finish. 


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