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TdF Stage 8 Belfort Porrentruy

July 11, 2012

The stage was short for the tour at 158km but was a very lumpy course with little in the way of flat roads. There were seven classified climbs but only one category 1. This was very steep and considered just as hard as yesterday’s climb. However, it was 16km from the finish so less likely to be as important. The stage was set for a break to succeed.

Succeed it did, but only just. Chappeau to Pinot, the young Frenchman who won the stage. His manager was very excited and happy with his performance.

The start was chaotic as many teams tried to put riders into the break. As the break was large and as it contained some dangerous riders the peleton kept control and never let it get far ahead. The relatively small gap between the peleton and the break meant that riders tried to bridge the gap throughout the day.

Sanchez had a bad crash and broke his collarbone. A sad end to his campaign that was shaping up very well. Valverde was involved in the same crash, he was able to carry on but lost more time.

Liquigas was controlling the pace in the peleton for while to try and manage Sagan over the steep cateogory 1 climb. That was not hard enough for Lotto though and they pushed harder. Sagan and many others were dropped until there only about a dozen left at the summit. This select group had most of the pre-race favourites. Taaramae was the highest on GC to miss out as he lost over 2 minutes. Brajkovic, Klöden, Leipheimer, Basso, Rolland and Scarponi were also dropped and are increasingly looking out of contention. Nibali and Evans attacked on the descent, more of that is expected in future stages, but Sky was able to catch up on the easy sections. The future race winner is likely to come from this group of 10 riders.

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