Tour de France: Nans Peters wins stage 8

Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) won stage 8 of the Tour de France, soloing to the finish in Loudenvielle after proving the strongest man of a 13-rider breakaway.

The Frenchman beat Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Carlos Verona (Movistar) by 47 seconds, having dropped eventual fourth-placed man Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team) on the descent of the day's penultimate climb, the Port de Balès.

"This is crazy, absolutely crazy. I had a dream to win a stage in the Tour de France and I've done it," Peters said afterward. "To be honest Zakarin was better than me on the climb but I did everything I could. I kept telling myself, telling myself I'm the best, I'm the strongest. I really did everything I could."

Peters went solo on the descent of the Port de Balès and rode the Peyresourde alone to claim his second Grand Tour stage victory, but the biggest news of the day was the implosion of Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) on the day's final climb.

The Frenchman was dropped 41km from the finish, possibly suffering from injuries sustained in a stage 1 crash. He finished minutes down and out of the GC picture, while the favourites group raced to a detente despite a flurry of attacks on the Peyresourde.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) did, however, regain 38 seconds after attacking 15km out, one day after losing 1:21 in the crosswinds.

"I saw that the other guys were looking at each other and everyone was on the limit, I had the chance to attack and I went full gas for the last 5 km to the top," Pogačar said.

"In the downhill I tried to go as deep as I could and at the end I had 40 seconds of advantage, so it was a good day for me. Tomorrow will be another hard day, we will see day by day how we face each stage."

Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) rolled in over a minute down, while Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) was over two minutes back.

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retains the race lead heading into the second day of the Pyrenean doubleheader on Sunday. He was distanced several times on the Peyresourde but came back to hold on to his three-second lead over Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

How it unfolded

What was arguably the fourth mountain stage of the 2020 Tour de France saw riders take on three categorised climbs on the road from Cazères. The Col de Menté (6.9km at 8.1 per cent), Port de Balès (12.2km at 7.6 per cent) and Col de Peyresourde (9.7km at 7.5 per cent) all lay on the 141km route before a downhill to the finish in Loudenvielle, three times an arrival town in the past.

It didn't take long for the break of the day to form, going away in the opening 10km of the stage. KOM leader Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) was up there, joining climbers Zakarin, Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Neilson Powless (EF Pro Cycling) out front.

The 13-man group we completed by Peters, Verona, Skujinš, Kévin Reza and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Fabien Grellier and Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie), and Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb).

The break quickly built a gap of several minutes as the Mitchelton-Scott-led peloton was happy to let them get away. At the intermediate sprint 42km into the day, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) dragged back two points in the points competition on Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), putting him within seven of the Slovak.

Not long after, the break hit the Col de Menté almost 14 minutes up on the peloton – a sign of who would claim the stage win later on. European champion Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) left the race midway up, suffering from a leg injury, while Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) crashed near the top and cut his elbow.

To nobody's surprise, Cosnefroy extended his KOM lead with a maximum 10 points over the top, before Cousin went it along on the descent and into the valley road ahead of the Port de Balès. His adventure would end there, though, after Zakarin and Peters went on the offensive to leave the break behind with 45km to run.

But the Russian admitted his poor descending abilities cost him on the drop from the Port de Balès.  "[Peters] really was good and for me today the downhill was a very big problem. I know it's my problem. [Peters] was really strong and had good motivation for today," Zakarin said.

The first big shock of the Tour came on the climb, with Pinot dropping from the peloton with 41km to go and 60 riders left in the peloton. The Frenchman clutching his lower back at one point – suffering from his crash on stage 1, perhaps.

The Peyresourde

Up front, Peters distanced Zakarin on the descent to become the sole leader as he hit the Peyresorde while Jumbo-Visma pulled the peloton nine minutes back. Key helpers dropped away on the climb, with the 'superteam' trains evaporating, leaving Jumbo-Visma as the only team with two men remaining in the shape of Roglič and Tom Dumoulin.

Former yellow jersey Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) put in attack with 15km to go before bizarrely being dropped almost immediately afterwards, while Pogačar Quintana and Roglič made a move off the front as Dumoulin pulled off.

A chase group of Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren), Miguel Ángel López (Astana), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Rigoberto Urán (EF Pro Cycling) formed as race leader Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was dropped, but there was a quick regrouping as the likes of Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) also got back on.

“Dumoulin he set a ferocious pace [on last climb] you know, and I just couldn’t hold the wheel. I actually rode my own pace for a little bit, sort of collect myself," Yates said after the stage. 

"Over the top I stayed with the guys, so in all a good day. Tomorrow is a very similar stage. If we can hold on for another day, the day after that is a rest day, so hopefully we can hold on [yellow jersey] until then."

Pogačar went again 4km from the summit and 15km from the line, building a minute's gap by the top of the Peyresourde, while Landa and Porte enjoyed a foray off the front before being caught before the summit.

Closer to the top, attacks from Martin and Quintana looked strong and gained some traction, but neither man managed to land a killer blow, and the group descended all together.

Eight minutes up the road, Peters had passed the Peyresourde alone, a cert for the stage win barring disaster on the descent to Loudenvielle. He duly rode on alone and stayed safe, taking the stage win by some distance.

Further back, Pogačar managed to stay out front to gain back a chunk of time he had lost on stage 7, while a late attack from Bardet saw him take back two seconds on the GC group and shift him up to fourth overall. In addition to the time losses suffered by Buchmann and Dumoulin, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) also lost some time, shedding 38 seconds at the finish.

Full results

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PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale04:02:12
2Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo00:00:47
3Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team00:00:47
4Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team00:01:09
5Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:01:41
6Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation00:03:42
7Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:03:42
8Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb00:04:04
9Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:06:00
10Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:06:38
11Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team00:06:40
12Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott00:06:40
13Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers00:06:40
14Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:06:40
15Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis00:06:40
16Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma00:06:40
17Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:06:40
18Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:06:40
19Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo00:06:40
20Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team00:07:18
21Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:07:18
22Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo00:07:18
23Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers00:07:18
24Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:07:18
25Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:07:43
26Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott00:07:43
27Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:08:47
28Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:08:47
29Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team00:08:47
30Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:08:47
31Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling00:08:47
32Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:08:47
33Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo00:08:47
34Harold Alfonso Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana Pro Team00:11:51
35Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team00:15:03
36Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:16:37
37Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:16:50
38Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:18:07
39Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers00:18:07
40Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren00:18:07
41Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:18:49
42Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:18:49
43Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:18:49
44Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:18:49
45Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:19:44
46Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers00:19:44
47Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:20:10
48Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) EF Pro Cycling00:21:16
49George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma00:21:47
50Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma00:21:47
51Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:21:47
52Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:21:47
53Jerome Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:21:47
54Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates00:22:56
55Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma00:22:56
56Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis00:22:56
57Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:23:26
58Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team00:24:39
59Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis00:24:39
60Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:24:39
61David De la Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) UAE Team Emirates00:24:50
62Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:25:23
63Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:25:23
64Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:25:23
65David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:25:23
66Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ00:25:23
67Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ00:25:23
68Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers00:25:23
69José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team00:25:23
70Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers00:25:23
71Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:25:23
72Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe00:25:23
73Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:25:23
74Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale00:25:23
75Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team00:25:23
76Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:25:23
77Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team00:25:23
78Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren00:25:23
79Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:25:23
80Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo00:25:23
81Casper Phillip Pedersen (Den) Team Sunweb00:25:23
82Michael Valgren (Den) NTT Pro Cycling00:25:23
83Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation00:25:23
84Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:25:23
85Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott00:25:23
86Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team00:25:23
87Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team00:25:23
88Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb00:25:23
89Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation00:25:23
90Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma00:25:23
91Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Pro Cycling00:25:23
92Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:25:23
93Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:25:23
94Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:25:23
95Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team00:25:23
96Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb00:25:23
97Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma00:25:23
98Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Team00:25:23
99Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling00:25:36
100Kevin Reza (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:31:10
101Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation00:32:39
102Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation00:32:39
103Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb00:32:39
104Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain McLaren00:32:39
105Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team00:32:39
106Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:32:39
107Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ00:32:39
108Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:32:39
109Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates00:32:39
110Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates00:32:39
111Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team Sunweb00:32:39
112Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:32:39
113Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic00:32:39
114Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb00:32:39
115Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:32:39
116Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling00:32:39
117Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:32:39
118Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling00:32:39
119Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe00:32:39
120Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers00:32:39
121Roman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling00:32:39
122Dayer Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic00:32:39
123Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott00:32:39
124André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation00:32:39
125Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team00:32:39
126Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers00:32:39
127Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team00:32:39
128Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:32:39
129Jens Debusschere (Bel) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:32:39
130Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic00:32:39
131Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling00:32:39
132Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma00:32:39
133Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis00:32:39
134Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis00:32:39
135Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott00:32:39
136Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Pro Cycling00:32:39
137Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling00:32:39
138Michael Gogl (Aut) NTT Pro Cycling00:32:39
139Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe00:32:39
140Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe00:32:39
141Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team00:32:39
142Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis00:32:39
143Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team00:32:39
144Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott00:32:39
145Samuel Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott00:32:39
146Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:32:39
147Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:32:39
148Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:32:39
149Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept00:32:39
150Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale00:32:39
151Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:32:39
152Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates00:32:39
153Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie00:32:39
154Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation00:32:39
155Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal00:32:39
156Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:32:39
157Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott00:32:39
158Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation00:32:39
159Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain McLaren00:32:39
160Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain McLaren00:32:39
161Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team00:32:39
162Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie00:32:39
163Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo00:32:39
164Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep00:32:39
165Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal00:32:39
166Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb00:32:39
167Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis00:32:39
168Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal00:32:39
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFDiego Rosa (Ita) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFLilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNFGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
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Sprint 1 - Sengouagnet km. 42.5
PlaceRider (Country) TeamResult
1Jerome Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie20
2Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep17
3Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo15
4Kevin Reza (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept13
5Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale11
6Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling10
7Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale9
8Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb8
9Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation7
10Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie6
11Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept5
12Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team