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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, July 7, 2024

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2023 Tour de France | 2024 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France stage 8 reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the Tour stage 8 report from third-place Arnaud De Lie's Team Lotto Dstny:

After an impressive result of Victor Campenaerts yesterday in the time trial, it was a day for the sprinters today. Arnaud De Lie had circled the eighth stage in red, in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises an uphill finish awaited which the Belgian Champion knew very well after having done a recon of it.

Biniam Girmay takes the stage. Sirotti photo

Three riders went for the breakaway: the polka dot jersey Jonas Abrahamsen, Neilson Powless and Stefan Bissegger. Abrahamsen stayed alone in front of the bunch with 14 kilometers to go. A nervous sprinted was in the making. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) took his second victory this Tour. Arnaud De Lie finished third.

Sports Director Mario Aerts looked back on the stage: "Arnaud started his sprint a bit too late. He was very strong and he had circled this stage in red for a long time already. Bauhaus came from the right and then he was stuck behind Philipsen and Girmay. He didn't miss out on any sprint so far, but it's all about the details in the Tour. The good thing is he was on the appointment in all sprints, but of course we would like a win with the team."

"Tomorrow it will be very nervous with the gravel stage, also with the GC guys. The hardest part is in the middle. Positioning, crashes and punctures will decide the scenario."

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Here’s the Tour stage 8 report from Remco Evenepoel's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Remco Evenepoel became the first Belgian rider to lead the Tour de France youth classification seven days in a row, after concluding the tricky and nervous stage 7 in the top ten. Comprising four classified climbs, plenty of undulating roads and an elevation gain of more than 2000 meters, the trek between Semur-en-Auxois and Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises was far from being a sprinters’ straightforward day, but despite this, it came down to a mass gallop.

The cold temperatures and nagging rain favoured a large breakaway, but that was only on paper, because only one rider decided to attack and go up the road, putting more than six minutes into the field with around 100 kilometers to go. Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno X-Mobility) remained off the front until inside the last 20 kilometers, when we got reeled in. On the 7% drag to the line, Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty) took the victory, while Remco – who remained well positioned the entire time as things became hectic – finished tenth.

Remco Evenepoel before the stage start. Sirotti photo

Victorious in the race’s first individual time trial and second overall, Evenepoel will enter the first week’s final stage with the white jersey firmly on his shoulders. Stage 9, starting and concluding in Troyes, comes with a total of fourteen gravel roads sectors which could wreak havoc in the peloton and bring some significant changes to the general classification.

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Here's the Tour stage 8 report from Jonas Vingegaard's Team Visma | Lease a Bike:

Team Visma | Lease a Bike experienced a trouble-free eighth stage in the Tour de France. The hilly stage with finish in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises again ended in a bunch sprint. The stage win was for Biniam Girmay.

The peloton set off in Semur-en-Auxois for 183 kilometres in rainy conditions. Along the way, the riders faced five short categorised hills. Jonas Abrahamsen, wearer of the polka dot jersey, rode ahead of the peloton for a long time. The Norwegian was eventually caught at 15 kilometres from the line. The sprinters' teams prepared for another sprint, in which Girmay again proved the strongest. The Team Visma | Lease a Bike riders reached the finish line unscathed.

Visma | Lease a Bike rider Jonas Vingegaard riding the stage 7 time trial. Sirotti photo

On Sunday, the long-anticipated gravel stage to and from Troyes is on the programme. Tiesj Benoot is already looking forward to it. "I hope for a nice day tomorrow, where bad luck will hopefully not be decisive. I see possibilities for us. We have many classic riders in the team who can do well on such a course. Also Jonas already proved he can always position himself well in hectic conditions. Although Pogacar will be a tough opponent. He already showed his quality in Strade Bianche. It will be a fun stage to follow."

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And here's the Tour stage 8 report from Team Groupama-FDJ:

With a profile not so flat and the weather not so great, the peloton did not really enjoy stage 8 of the Tour de France this Saturday towards Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, General de Gaulle’s cherished town. After 183 kilometres of racing, an uphill sprint crowned Biniam Girmay while Clément Russo slipped into fifteenth position. Sunday, the stage of the dirty roads, anticipated as spectacular, will be on the menu.

Team Groupama-FDJ is presented before the start of stage 8. Sirotti photo

Although stage 8 of the Tour de France was classified as “flat” by the organizers, the day seemed anything but straightforward this Saturday between Semur-en-Auxois and Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises. More than 2000 metres of elevation gain had to be overcome on the 183 kilometres which made up the day’s route, and a lot of small hills, particularly at the start, could be used as launching pads by some riders. Quentin Pacher was one of them, and when Neilson Powless, Stefan Bissegger and Jonas Abrahamsen attacked from kilometre 0, the French puncher went chasing. However, he couldn’t close the few seconds of delay he had as the trio was going full gas. Also, due to a peloton in control behind him, the rider from Groupama-FDJ eventually let it go.

Yet, after some twenty kilometres, the race opened up again in a series of hills, and this time Romain Grégoire was the one to set off in chase. The young man, however, experienced the same outcome as his teammate. Although he came back just one minute away from the leading men, the peloton ultimately closed all the attacks and brought everyone back.

From then on, a more usual scenario took place, and only Abrahamsen found himself ahead of the peloton for the rest of the day. “We wanted to be aggressive,” said Benoît Vaugrenard. “Unfortunately, there were both too many sprinters’ teams and too many GC teams. There were then not enough teams wishing to attack, and we expected this situation. Therefore, we were heading straight for a sprint.” At the end of a very stressful last hour of racing, a bunch finish did conclude the day. In a final, slightly uphill kilometre, Biniam Girmay claimed victory. Clément Russo took fifteenth place. “We told him to take his chance, he wanted to go for it as well, but his legs got empty in the last 150 metres,” explained Benoît.

On Sunday, a great stage is looming around Troyes with fourteen sectors of “white roads” tallying 32 kilometres. “The goal is to take the victory,” said Benoît. “We have the team to achieve it. It will be a big day, both in terms of logistics and staff, and obviously for the riders. We will have to be aggressive. There will be two races in one. One for victory, the other for the general classification. We will do everything we can to win this stage.”

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