Tour de France 2022 : Stage 8 – Magificient Wout Wins in Lausanne

Oh, Switzerland — the wonderful vineyards, the Tuscan roads, and. . . oh, wait. I’ve mistaken Switzerland for Italy again, haven’t I? Well, it doesn’t really matter where the race is, right? I mean, most riders can’t tell you where they are the morning of the race. What is important to know is that Mr. Magnificent, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), won stage 8 of the Tour de France decked out in green. Michael Matthews of BikeExchange-Jayco took second place (again) and man-crush Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) delighted us once more with his antics, placing third.

The general classification remained largely unchanged with Pog snatching an additional four bonus seconds at the line. His competitors really ought to do something about him.

The Finale

Truth be told, when I looked at the stage profile yesterday evening I was a bit disappointed. “Ugh, it’s a boring breakaway day. Maybe a sprint for Wout, but probably a breakaway day.” I was wrong. Apparently, van Aert, Matthews, and Pogacar wanted a piece of the final climb.

And it was a nasty little corker! Just under five kilometers long, the first stretch averaged more than 6.5% before later seeing pitches of 12% gradient. Ouch.

Watching the final kilometre was a bit anticlimactic, really. It was like waiting for excitement to build, seemingly taking forever for it to do so, before it reached an outcome that we all would have expected.

Most Combative — I’d Like A Word

Look, the most combative prize has always been a bit crooked. French riders mysteriously win it despite having French-like performances. On a stage-by-stage basis, though, it is (generally) pretty fair. The rider who does the most work or is the last man out front gets the red dossard. So, what on earth happened today? No one seems sure.

Quickstep’s Mattia Cattaneo was awarded the most combative 1) after he was dropped by Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious ) and 2) before Wright was even caught by the peloton. Putting aside the fact that Cattaneo wasn’t the last man standing, Cattaneo also did less work while in the breakaway! He did a measly 45% of the workload compared to Wright’s 55% share. 

You’re right to be disappointed, Fred. The combative jury was, well, combative towards you. On behalf of respectable fans, I’d like a word with them.

Oh, Thibaut. . .

I enjoy giving Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot a jostling every once in a while, but we really do have to feel for the goat-loving Frenchie. He just can’t catch a break it seems. Case in point, today he crashed twice and then was smacked in the face by a musette. All within minutes of each other.

Luckily, EF Pinkies’ communications director was there to offer a hug to Thibaut, which he often needs.

It begs the question: Why aren’t there more roadside huggers employed by WorldTour teams?

At the end of the day, Pinot finished the stage (and he’s looking forwards to the Alps – Ed). On you go, Thibaut!

The Last Word

Final results

Top 5 Stage 8

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1 Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 4:13:06

2 Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) same time

3 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.

4 Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal) s.t.

5 Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) s.t.

GC Top 10

1 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 28:56:16

2 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +0:39

3 Geraint Thomas (NEOS Grenadiers) +1:14

4 Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:22

5 David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +1:35

6 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +1:36

7 Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:39

8 Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) +1:41

9 Enric Mas (Movistar) +1:47

10 Daniel Martinez (INEOS Grenadiers) +1.59

All the Jerseys

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Leader’s jersey Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

Points jersey : Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma)

King of the Mountains: Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easy Post)

Best young rider: Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

For full stage reviews, go to cyclingnews

Official Tour de France website is here

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