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Live coverage

Tour de Suisse 2017: Stage 8


Welcome to live coverage of the penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse. It's going to be a fast and furious day with just 100 kilometres of racing on the menu today. 

The riders have set off from Schaffausen for today's bumpy ride. We can expect action right from the start today. 

It's a lovely sunny day out there, as this photo from the UAE Team Emirates shows. 

146 riders started today, down from the 176 that started the race last weekend. 

With eight classified climbs today, all the same Alpenstrasse ascent, there are plenty of points available. Lasse Norman Hansen has just taken the full complement at the top of the first climb, but Nick van der Lijke was just behind him and their battle is going to be a fierce one. Hansen leads the way with 36 points while Van der Lijke has 34. 

Hansen and Van der Lijke are part of a four-man group that got away early and now has 1:20 on the peloton. Lotto-Soudal's Jelle Wallays is with them as is Jaco Venter (Dimension Data). 

Simon Spilak is sitting comfortably in the peloton right now. He took a commanding lead in the overall classification after winning yesterday's stage. 

The first lap of eight and the lead is now 1:35. The peloton are going to keep these guys close, because it will be easy to misjudge this and hand the victory to the breakaway. 

Hansen has out-kicked Van der Lijke on the climb again to extend his lead in the mountains competition by another point. He now has39 points to Van der Lijke's 36. 

Hansen looks well in control of the mountains classification. He still has a long way to go before he can secure it, but he must be confident. It has been a very good Tour de Suisse for Aqua Blue Sport, with Larry Warbasse taking an emotional win earlier in the week. 

There is a lot of racing going on at the moment and after Majka won in Slovenia, Pierre Rolland just won today's stage of the Route du Sud. 

75km remaining from 100km

None of the leaders are in any way a threat to Spilak's overall victory. Van der Lijke is the best placed of the quartet but is still 55 minutes behinf Spilak in the overall classification. 

Here is Hansen taking some mountain points earlier today, courtesy of Aqua Blue Sport. 

Three more points for Hansen in the mountains classification. Van der Lijke just can't get past him. The Dane now has 42 points compared to Van der Lijke's 38. Van der Lijke can still come back but it's looking less and less likely. 

The Tour de France is just two weeks away - I know I can't believe it either. One rider that won't be there is Bahrain-Merida's Kanstantsin Siutsou. He crashed heavily during yesterday's stage of the Tour of Slovenia and fractured his left femoral bone. You can read the full story here

60km remaining from 100km

Katusha is doing a very good job at managing. The gap has hardly fluctuated much above of below the 1:45 mark. They are looking to set Spilak up for his second overall win at the Tour de Suisse. Spilak is a curious rider, who really excels in one-day races but detests Grand Tour racing. He's not done a three-week race since abandoning the 2014 Tour de France. Switzerland has been happy hunting ground for him with overall wins at Romandie and Suisse and a string of top 10 finishes on the GC. 

Another climb and another three points for Hansen. They have to do that climb four more times before the finish. 

55km remaining from 100km

Trek-Segafredo also getting interested at the front of the peloton. They've got John Degenkolb as a potential winner today, who is without a stage win so far in this year's race. 

50km remaining from 100km

The peloton is strung out but it's not quite full gas. They want to keep a little bit in the legs to try and make the catch later on. We'll get an idea in about 20 kilometres if they've made the correct judgement. 

Matteo Trentin is making his way back up through the cars. We didn't see what his problem was. He's got a teammate to help him up and he'll be hoping to contest the victory today. 

Trentin is utilising the draft from the LottoNL-Jumbo car to help him get back up. The commisaires don't seem to be there but they might not be too happy with that. 

44km remaining from 100km

Hansen takes the mountains points and it looks like Van der Lijke has accepted defeat. He didn't contest that and chose instead to roll through and save his legs for later in the stage. 

The peloton is beginning to fracture as riders try to keep up the pace. This is a blistering pace that is being set today. Team Sunweb has now joined the party on the front for Michael Matthews. 

BMC shoots to the front and they've dropped the hammer. The riders behind have to sprint to keep in their wheels. The little dig is so fierce it's almost like an attack. 

38km remaining from 100km

There is plenty of time for Matthews to get back, but this extra little exertion could hurt him later in the stage. 

The race jury has made a call to take the time for the overall classification at the end of the seventh lap. That will prevent any of the GC riders getting caught up in the chaos of the potential sprint finish. 

That decision could hurt the sprinters' opportunities at bringing this breakaway back. The GC teams are likely to pull off and stop helping the chase. 

32km remaining from 100km

Hansen leads over the top of the climb yet again to get three points. Van der Lijke was in his wheel but didn't bother challenging him. Hansen is too far ahead now and all he needs to do is finish the race to win the mountains jersey. 

29km remaining from 100km

Plenty of teams getting interested in the front. BMC, Team Sunweb, Katusha and Trek-Segafredo all getting riders up the front. 

26km remaining from 100km

Home rider Michael Albasini is sitting near the front. He's yet to win a stage here, which is unusual for him. Today will be his final chance as it is for many riders. Tomorrow's stage will be a time trial. 

25km remaining from 100km

UAE Team Emirates moving up the peloton. They've Modolo in the group and he is a potential winner for them. 

21km remaining from 100km

Remember the GC will be taken at the end of this lap. 

As the peloton close in, the breakaway is not panicking just yet. They're working well together and not worrying too much about the points at the intermediate sprint. 

19km remaining from 100km

Hansen takes more points on the climb but he looks like he's labouring after such a fast pace. He's going to have to dig deep. 

17km remaining from 100km

16km remaining from 100km

The peloton is fracturing as Jay McCarthy drives things on. There are some very tight corners which is making it difficult for the peloton to keep things together at points. 

McCarthy pulls off and Katusha takes things up again with Spilak in fifth wheel. Just 15 seconds now for the four leaders. 

13km remaining from 100km

Katusha's Hollenstein catches the leading quartet and tells them to ease the pace. The group is back together as they cross the line to begin the final lap. 

Will we see any attacks before the finish. There are plenty of teams who will not want this to end in a bunch sprint, but the pace is so quick that they're going to struggle to get away.

10km remaining from 100km

BMC on the front. They're American registered but sponsored by a Swiss manufacturer and would love another stage win for this race. They won the opening time trial with Rohan Dennis last Saturday. They also led the race with Dennis and Stefan Kung. 

7km remaining from 100km

The Lotto Soudal rider is Tomasz Marczynski. He doesn't get very far before he is brought back by Bora-Hansgrohe. 

6km remaining from 100km

Five riders have gone with Matthes, including Van Avermaet, Wellens and Vanmarcke. This is a strong group. 

Bora have put Burghardt into this move and he's going to try to scupper this in favour of Sagan. Matthews is having nothing of it and he pushes on. 

5km remaining from 100km

Wellens attacks and brings Felline back. The peloton is together again. 

Now one of the Bahrain-Merida riders goes. 

4km remaining from 100km

Sagan is looming near the front of the bunch. Can he win yet another Tour de Suisse stage?

Quick-Step has some serious numbers in the front. Can they upset Bora-Hansgrohe? They'll certainly try. 

2km remaining from 100km

With all the GC riders dropping back, this is a very small peloton. Only about 30 riders remaining. 

2km remaining from 100km

There are a couple of Trek riders in there but it's not clear if any of them are Degenkolb. They might have to rely on Felline in this finish. 

Flamme rough and Glibert leads the peloton through. 

This is a really fractured peloton as Gilbert drives the pace. 

Sagan is still in there though.

Sagan goes

Nobody can catch Sagan and he storms to the win. Modolo manages to take second. 

That was a strong effort for Sagan, paying back all that work his team did to chase back all those moves. It was a similar move to his victory earlier in the week where he launched his attack from around fourth in the pack and passed the peloton with relative ease - not that it is ever easy. 

That victory sets Sagan up perfectly for the Tour de France and his bid for his sixth green jersey. His rivals will be wondering what they need to do to beat him. 

Confirmation of the top 10 in today's stage. 

The stage did little to the overall standings and Simon Spilak is one step closer to his second overall victory at the Tour de Suisse. 

Sagan is a man of few words and here are a few of the ones he used in his post-stage interview. 

Peter Sagan steps onto the podium to football-esque chants from his fans. He's a popular rider wherever he goes. 

Simon Spilak in his yellow jersey. Just one more day to go for the Slovenian rider. 

For results and a recap of today's action, head to our report. We also have lots of photos from today, too. 

We'll leave you with one last photo and that's Lasse Norman Hansen. He consolidated his lead in the mountains classification and provided he finishes tomorrow he will take that jersey home. 

That is it from live coverage today. We will have full coverage of tomorrow's final time trial. See you then. 

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