Tour de France stage eight live: latest updates as breakaway looks doomed – but can Tadej Pogacar win again?

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Tour de France stage eight live: latest updates as breakaway holds on – but can Tadej Pogacar win again?

Tour de France stage eight live: latest updates as breakaway holds on – but can Tadej Pogacar win again?

03:31 PM

How to win the stage? ‘Just sit on the Podge’

03:27 PM

55km to go

BikeExchange-Jayco has two riders – Amund Grondahl Jansen and Christopher Juul-Jensen – riding hard on the front of the peloton which is strung out in a long line now such is the speed they are travelling. Despite the pace of the chase, however, Mattia Cattaneo and Fred Wright have not only held onto their lead, but actually increased it a little, but only by a handful of seconds.

03:20 PM

61.5km to go

Frederik Frison has popped, the Belgian was dropped on a slight incline while Mattia Cattaneo of Italy and London boy Fred Wright press on. The pair have a 2min 5sec lead over the peloton, but BikeExchange-Jayco appear determined to rein that pair back in, hoping to set up Michael Matthews for the gnarly looking finale. Matthews, though, is not the only rider who will fancy his chances today: Wout van Aert, Tadej Pogacar, Tom Pidcock, David Gaudu, Alexis Vuillermoz and a whole host of others may have a crack in a little over an hour.

03:12 PM

66.5km to go

Mattia Cattaneo, Frederik Frison and Fred Wright area around 15km from the third and final categorised climbs of the day, the category four Côte de Pétra Félix, and have increased the pace a little to pull out around 30sec on the peloton. Frison, however, appears to be struggling and the is Belgian desperately holding at the rear of the group.

Fred Wright sits on the front of the three-man breakaway - GETTY IMAGESFred Wright sits on the front of the three-man breakaway - GETTY IMAGES

Fred Wright sits on the front of the three-man breakaway – GETTY IMAGES

03:06 PM

72.5km to go

Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) is forced to take a new wheel from a mechanic, but the young American does not look too flustered. Meanwhile, Mattia Cattaneo, Frederik Frison and Fred Wright have crossed the border and are into Switzerland. Incidentally, the race concludes in the home city of the International Olympic Committee today and there are six Olympic champions racing today: Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers, team pursuit Tokyo), Tom Pidcock  (Ineos Grenadiers, mountain bike Tokyo), Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers, team pursuit London), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma, time trial Tokyo), Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost, team pursuit Rio) and Michael Morkov (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, Madison Tokyo).

02:57 PM

79km to go

The breakaway has lost around a minute to the chasing peloton. Just a few kilometres from the Swiss border now, but I can assure readers this is not entering neutral territory, once the riders reach the below finale in Lausanne the gloves will be off.

LausanneLausanne

Lausanne

02:49 PM

85km to go

Mattia Cattaneo goes over the summit of the Côte des Rousses ahead of Frederik Frison, but there was not much of a battle for the two points up for grabs. Fred Wright, who won the intermediate sprint earlier, rolls through at the rear of the three-man breakaway – almost as if there is an agreement to share the spoils among themselves.

02:43 PM

87km to go

The breakaway is 2km from the summit of the 6.8km-long Côte des Rousses which is not too steep, it has an average gradient of just 5%, and they lead by a smidge over two minutes now. But mark my words, they will be getting caught once the peloton decides to press down on their pedals a little harder.

02:40 PM

87.5km to go

Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost) is spotted dropping back to the medical vehicle, the Colombian receives some treatment to his left elbow following an earlier fall. He may have been involved in the crash at the start of the day, but I managed to miss that at the time.

02:30 PM

92.5km to go

All, fairly routine stuff as the races edges towards the Swiss border. Jumbo-Visma and BikeExchange-Jayco continue to control the pace on the front of the peloton, while the breakaway’s lead has edged out to 1min 56sec, with the category three Côte des Rousses coming into view.

02:24 PM

So, what is the breakfast of champions?

02:22 PM

100km to go

The breakaway’s lead has dropped to below two minutes now, the peloton is keeping them on a short lead. Christopher Juul Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), the Dane with an Irish accent, has been sharing much of the workload with Nathan Van Hooydonck, while UAE Team Emirates are tucked in behind the Jumbo-Visma man.

02:16 PM

Pogacar in the frame for third stage win in a row

Tour de France stage eight live - APTour de France stage eight live - AP

Tour de France stage eight live – AP

Tour de France stage eight live - REUTERSTour de France stage eight live - REUTERS

Tour de France stage eight live – REUTERS

Tour de France stage eight live - GETTY IMAGESTour de France stage eight live - GETTY IMAGES

Tour de France stage eight live – GETTY IMAGES

02:07 PM

110km to go

Frederik Frison crests the summit of the Côte du Maréchet to open his account in the mountains classification and add a few euros to his team’s prize pot which, let’s face it, is not looking too healthy at the moment. The peloton trails by a little over two minutes now.

02:00 PM

113km to go

Frederik Frison has a few words with fellow breakaway rider Mattia Cattaneo as they head towards the first climb of the day, the category four Côte du Maréchet. Fairly certainly I heard one of them saying:  “Five kilometres at full gas”. The climb, by the way, is just 2.1km long at an average gradient of 5.7%.

Fred Wright (left to right), Mattia Cattaneo and Brent Van Moer - GETTY IMAGESFred Wright (left to right), Mattia Cattaneo and Brent Van Moer - GETTY IMAGES

Fred Wright (left to right), Mattia Cattaneo and Brent Van Moer – GETTY IMAGES

01:54 PM

115km to go

Legs pumping away like pistons, Nathan Van Hooydonck is setting a fierce tempo on the front of the peloton. One of Jumbo-Visma’s three Belgian’s in the race is riding on the front, ahead of a group of BikeExchange-Jayco riders, the latter of whom will be hoping to set up Michael Matthews here today. The breakaway’s lead has now dipped below three minutes as it heads towards the Swiss border.

The three-man breakaway  - GETTY IMAGESThe three-man breakaway  - GETTY IMAGES

The three-man breakaway – GETTY IMAGES

01:40 PM

125km to go

The three-man breakaway’s advantage is holding at around the 3min mark. This will be great experience for Fred Wright, but I think the 23-year-old who did a brilliant ride at the Tour of Flanders in April where he finished seventh will know in his heart of hearts that they will probably be getting reined in by the peloton later this afternoon.

01:29 PM

Moscon abandons

Gianni Moscon (Astana Qazaqstan) is the latest rider to abandon.

01:28 PM

138km to go

South London’s Fred Wright added 20 points to his tally at the intermediate spring ahead of  Frederik Frison, while Mattia Cattaneo was the third and final man from the breakaway over the line. A little over three minutes later, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) came from behind in a four-man group to win the sprint for 13 points, pipping Wout van Aert, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) and Fabio Jakobsen (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl).

01:22 PM

O’Connor labouring

Ben O’Connor (Ag2r-Citroën), the Australian who finished fourth last year and arrived at this year’s race in fine form having taken the final step on the podium at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, has been spotted labouring towards the rear of the peloton. The 26-year-old has had a chastening Tour thus far and is already 13min 57sec down on race leader, his general classification ambitions already over, and there are murmurings that he may be considering packing.

01:11 PM

147.5km to go

Following the early scare for a handful of general classification riders,  things appear to have calmed down in the peloton. Tadej Pogacar is tucked in behind his team-mates who did a grand job yesterday of protecting the maillot jaune, but they are a man down today after Vegard Stake Laengen failed to make the start line having tested positive for Covid overnight. Likewise, Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën) also tested positive and so joined the relatively short list of riders to have abandoned the race.

Tadej Pogacar - APTadej Pogacar - AP

Tadej Pogacar – AP

12:56 PM

155km to go

Interesting to note that Jumbo-Visma appear to be monitoring the pace on the front of the peloton, but the three-man breakaway has increased its advantage out to 2min 51sec. Guessing the Dutch squad are thinking about making sure they are well positioned ahead of the intermediate sprint in Montrond in a little over 15km time. With three riders up the road, that means the first rider from the peloton can add 13 points to his tally in the race for the green jersey, which currently rests on the shoulders of their all-rounder Wout van Aert.

12:54 PM

Vermaerke abandons

Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), the German climber who was in yesterday’s breakaway, was just spotted riding towards the rear of the peloton sporting a cut below his right eye.

Kevin Vermaerke (DSM), the young American who was the first man to go down in the pile-up that resulted in an unlucky 13 riders hitting the deck, has abandoned. The 21-year-old crashed a few times in the first few days of the race, but is sadly now leaving his maiden Tour de France in the back of a team car.

12:42 PM

As it stands . . .

It has been yet another frenetic start to the stage and a three-man breakaway comprising Mattia Cattaneo (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal) and Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) lead by a slim margin of 45sec. There was a crash in the peloton that resulted in Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and race leader Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) hitting the deck. Romain Bardet (DSM) also went down and was spotted a couple of minutes ago receiving some attention from his team car. It looked like it was an issue with a shoe rather than any physical damage.

Full list of riders involved in that crash

Romain Bardet (DSM), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies), Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Albert Torres (Movistar), Martijn Tusveld (DSM), Kevin Vermaerke (DSM) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe).

10:10 AM

Hello

And welcome to our live rolling blog from stage eight of the 109th edition of the Tour de France, the 186.3-kilometre run from Dole to Lausanne.

Before we have a very quick look at today’s stage, here’s a few lines from Tom Cary‘s race report from yesterday’s stage that should, hopefully, get you in the mood for the second week of the Tour:

This Tour is really hotting up, both literally and metaphorically. Britain’s Adam Yates finished Friday’s sitting in front of reporters in an inflatable ice bath outside the Ineos Grenadiers team bus – far from standard practice – after a brutal, hot, sweaty, dusty ascent of La Planche des Belles Filles.

What a race we have on our hands. On Thursday, after Tadej Pogacar’s imperious stage six victory, when the two-time winner snatched the yellow leader’s jersey for the first time this year, Sir Bradley Wiggins declared the 109th Tour “over”. He was not the only one thinking along those lines.

Many felt that Friday – the first summit finish of the race – was a foregone conclusion. Pogacar was simply too strong.

Well, the 23-year-old did eventually prevail. But, boy, was he pushed hard by Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard. Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), last year’s runner-up, attacked Pogacar on the final, gravelly section at the top of the climb – where the gradients are in well excess of 20 per cent – and it looked for a moment as if he had done enough. It took a superhuman effort from Pogacar to come around him right at the death.

Here are the highlights from another gripping day of racing. . . .

Today’s stage would appear perfect terrain for a breakaway, though the finale will suit a very particular type of rider: a puncheur, or if the group comes back together then it could be another stage for the general classification contenders. I’m thinking the breakaway may need to be quite a big one – at least 15 riders – composed of some strong baroudeurs in order to hold off the hungry chasing pack.

tour de france 2022 stage 8 live updates resultstour de france 2022 stage 8 live updates results

tour de france 2022 stage 8 live updates results

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