Tour de France 2018 Stage 8 : Groenewegen does it again

It was the stage before the Roubaix stage and the peloton took it easy, riding through some stunning countryside in a hushed fashion before they got down to business in the last 10km. The bunch sprint materialised as expected, but there was no French win on Bastille Day (even though Fabien Grellier tried his best in a day-long break). Instead it was Dylan Groenewegen who kept his own counsel, headbutted no one and screamed past Andre Greipel and Fernando Gaviria (who were subsequently relegated to last place for said headbutting) to make it his second win in two days. GVA still in yellow, but Dan Martin lost over a minute (and a lot of skin) due to a nasty pile-up at the 15km mark. He’s gone in for x-rays after finishing the stage. Julian Alaphilippe was involved in the same crash and though he looked in better nick, he dropped out of the top 10. Tomorrow’s stage should see the standings as shaken as riders going over the cobbles …

Rider of the race

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I love Bastille Day – it’s the most elegant of national days (disregarding its bloody start, I guess) and we couldn’t have asked for a more elegant stage. Today’s honours go not to a rider but to the parcours! This stage had the peloton sauntering past majestic chateaux, towering cathedrals, riding through gorgeous little villages, past leafy woods and ornamental gardens, and through sunny fields. It is a day that just reinforces my belief that pretty much everything good in the world has somehow originated in or was perfected in France. Liberté, egalité, fraternité. Vive la France! 

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Headbutting

Apparently, Andre Greipel got a bit physical before it all went ballistic. Fernando Gaviria was seen to have headbutted Greipel in the final few hundred metres, not once, but twice. They both get put to the back of the pack and Twitter is in meltdown. Peter Sagan came fourth over the line, but with the relegation, he’s up to second … more points in which to make the green jersey unattainable to any one else. Ever.

 

Stage results

1 Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) 5:43:42

2 Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) s/t

3 John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) s/t

4 Alexander Kristoff (UAE Emirates) s/t

5 Arnaud Demare (Groupama – FDJ) s/t

GC Top 10

1 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) 32:43:00

2 Geraint Thomas (Sky) +0.07

3 Tejay van Garderen (BMC) +0.09

4 Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) +0.16

5 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) +0.22

6 Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First Drapac p/b Cannondale) +0:49

7 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0.55

8 Raja Majka (Bora) +0.56

9 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) +0.57

10 Richie Porte (BMC) same time

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey: Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

Points jersey: Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)

KOM jersey: Toms Skujins (Trek Segafredo)

Best young rider: Soren Kragh Anderson (Sunweb)

Most combative: Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie)

Listen to Stage 8’s VeloVoices Tour in 5 podcast now on any podcast browser, even Spotify! and remember, you can get involved too! 

Official Tour de France website for full results

Header image: © GETTY/AFP/ Philippe Lopez 

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