Sunday July 8th, 2012

Stage 8Belfort / Porrentruy

Start 13h15 GMT 2+

Key moments

video08.07.2012 in 23:00Summary of the race


Summary of the race

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Stage summary08.07.2012 in 17:25The oldest starts the attacking; the youngest wins- Bravo Thibaut!

© A.S.O.

On a day with seven climbs including a brutally steep final ascent in Switzerland, the short eighth stage was expected to be an animated one and the predictions came true. The attacks lasted from start to finish. It began with an impressive display from Jens Voigt who seemed like the bionic man as he punched the pedals on his own at the front while a myriad of riders tried to get on terms with him but failed. On he went for the first hour, like an automaton on a mission but eventually his...

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video08.07.2012 in 16:00Interview - Stage Winner


Interview - Stage Winner

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Sporting stakes09.07.2012 in 11:00It's all about time...

Bradley Wiggins is breaking down the Tour into stanzas and, as he explained after taking the yellow jersey in stage seven, the time trial is something that he can look forward to. There are several reasons for him to be enthusiastic about the 41.5km TT from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon: he's a master in this discipline, once it's over there's a day of rest and recuperation, and he'll also be a day closer to the end of the Tour de France that he and his team are determined to win.

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interview08.07.2012 in 18:43RadioShack-Nissan takes control

Already winner of the final team standings in 2010, during the last appearance of Lance Armstrong who found a way to bid farewell to the Tour de France from the podium in Paris, RadioShack-Nissan has taken another victory today: they are the best team in stage eight. They had four riders in the group of the yellow jersey that raced together to the finish and the efforts of Tony Gallopin (3rd), Haimar Zubeldia (9th), Fränk Schleck (10th) and Chris Horner (11th) is what earned them this...

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interview08.07.2012 in 18:34Thibaut Pinot: The longest 10km of my life"

The youngest rider in the race had to convince his team manager to let him ride the Tour and at the pre-stage meeting today, he was told, «Tibaut, do not go on the attack!' He did. And he won. Marc Madiot is sure to listen to the advice of the 22-year-old more in the future...

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interview08.07.2012 in 18:24Kessiakoff: My objective was never to go alone

He was second over two climbs and first over two and now Sweden's Astana recruit Fredrik Kessiakoff is now the leader of the climbing classification...

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interview08.07.2012 in 18:13Taaramae: I'm a little better in the time trials

The Estonian who leads the youth classification required a seat as he made his way from one television network to another in the interview zone but Rein Taaramae is happy to have the first week behind him and he believes he can improve.

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interview08.07.2012 in 18:04Wiggins: It's going to be a tough one tomorrow

On his first day wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins was subjected to some taunting attacks by the likes of Jurgen van den Broeck and Cadel Evans on the final descent but he reached the finish in the same group as the rider in second overall and will start the time trial of stage nine as the leader of the general classification.

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video08.07.2012 in 11:45Analysis of the stage


Analysis of the stage

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video08.07.2012 in 10:30The day's route


The day's route

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17:15The top five of stage eight

The eighth stage was hyped as one of the great ones on the route for the 2012 Tour. And French fans will surely agree with that appraisal... the top five is as follows:

1. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ

2. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC at 26"

3. Tony Gallopin (FRA) RNT at 26"

4. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY at 26"

5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 26"

17:13Evans takes second

Evans has led home the yellow jersey's group but Wiggins was right on his wheel. Pinot is likely to take the white jersey thanks to his win today but the yellow jersey is safe on Wiggins' shoulders.

17:12Pinot will take the win!

FDJ-BigMat is going to win a stage of the 2012 Tour de France. Thibaut Pinot is the youngest man in the Tour and he's claimed the victory of stage eight.

17:11Evans in the hunt for yellow

Evans only has to make up 10" to take the yellow jersey and the Australian is now in cooperation with van den Broeck and trying to gain time on Wiggins.

17:10VDB attacks Wiggins

Van den Broeck has attacked the yellow jersey inside the final 4km. He is 35" behind Pinot. Evans is now also taking some time out of the rider in the yellow jersey.

17:093km to go

Pinot is inside the town that's hosting the stage finish. He is less than 3km from the line and his celebrations should start soon. He almost misjudged a round-about but he's safely through and speed towards the finish line. Can you hear Madiot screaming from where you are? The manager will soon lose his voice but right now he's giving it all he's got.

17:07Yellow jersey 52" behind Pinot

Pinot is racing towards a stage win in Switzerland. His nearest rival, Kessiakoff is about to be caught by the yellow jersey's group which was 52" behind at the latest check. The young Frenchman is inside the final 4km of the stage.

17:04Pinot increases his lead

Kessiakoff is now 20" behind the Frenchman who is being urged on by the showman Marc Madiot who is in the back seat of the team car. Pinot could become the first French Tour stage winner since Pierre Rolland at Alpe d'Huez in 2011.

17:03Pinot: 18" ahead

Pinot looks likes giving FDj-BigMat a stage win. He is inside the final 6km of the 157.5km stage to Porrentruy and he's been at the front of the stage since the 16.5km to go mark.

17:02Horner in the yellow jersey group

It's been difficult to identify the RadioShack riders on the descent but the team is the best represented in the yellow jersey's group. Horner, appears to be one of the riders and perhaps Zubeldia is missing.

17:01Evans leads elite selection

Evans is at the front of the yellow jersey's group that includes nine men: van den Broeck, Wiggins, Monfort, Schleck, Nibali, Froome, Menchov and Zubeldia...

17:01Pinot's advantage: 10 seconds

Pinot is still on his own in the lead of the stage. He is inside the final 8km and he is 1'15" ahead of the yellow jersey's group.

16:58Kessiakoff almost crashes

The rider in second place has almost crashed on the descent. The Swede is the virtual leader of the climbing classification but for him to take the polka-dot jersey he needs to finish the stage.

16:58Pinot leads by 8"

Kessiakoff is 8" behind the stage leader, Thibaut Pinot.

16:56Nine in Wiggins group

There are nine men in the Wiggins group: van den Broeck, Evans, Nibali, Wiggins, Froome, Schleck, Kloden, Gallopin, Zubeldia and Menchov... they are 1'45" behind Pinot.

16:5410 points for Pinot

Pinot is 12" ahead of Kessiakoff at the top of the final climb.

16:53Pinot into the lead...

With 16.5km to go in the stage, the young French rider Thibaut Pinot has taken the lead. He is inside the final 500m of the climb. He is 2'10" ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton.

16:52Pinot has Kessiakoff in his sights...

Pinot is about to catch the Swedish Astana rider who has been at the front of the stage since the halfway mark. The youngest rider of the 2012 Tour is putting himself in with a chance of winning the stage.

16:50Valverde and Taaramae dropped

Valverde and the leader of the youth classification cannot match the speed being set by Vanendert at the front of the yellow jersey's group. Evans is right up front and keeping a close eye on his rivals.

16:49Kessiakoff fighting to stay ahead

Kessiakoff doesn't seem to be riding nearly as well as Pinot who is dancing on the pedals out of the saddle...

16:49Porte and Rogers dropped

Two of Wiggins' key team-mates, Porte and Rogers have recently been dropped by the peloton that continues to be led by Vanendert.

16:47Lotto-Belisol lead peloton

Vanendert and van den Broeck are now at the front of the peloton that is 2'50" behind the stage leader.

16:45Peloton on final climb

There are four Liquigas riders at the front of the peloton as it begins the ascent of the Col de la Croix.

16:44Ride, young man, ride...

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has dropped Tony Gallopin early on the final climb. The youngest rider in the race is now dancing on the pedals and in pursuit of the Swedish stage leader.

16:43Peloton 20km from the finish

The yellow jersey's group is 3'15" behind Kessiakoff with 20km to go.

16:42Brutal gradient for final climb

The last climb today might only be 3.7km long but there are said to be sections as steep as 24 per cent! Kessiakoff is starting the ascent of the Col de la Croix.

16:41Chasing pair at 55"

With 20km to go, Gallopin and Pinot are 55" behind Kessiakoff.

16:4020km to go

Kessiakoff is now inside the final 20km of the stage. The second and third riders in the stage are Gallopin and Pinot.

Gallopin was the best placed of today's main escape group but he was no threat to Wiggins' yellow jersey, starting the stage 3'13" behind the race leader.

16:38Hincapie leads Evans to the front

George Hincapie has just come up the right side of the road with Evans right on his wheel. Liquigas has the weight of numbers at the head of the yellow jersey's peloton but Sky is also well represented.

16:36Peloton at the top of sixth climb

There are five Liquigas riders at the front of the bunch as it approaches the top of the sixth climb. They are 3'25" behind Kessiakoff.

16:35Full results of sixth climb

The points for the cote de la Caqeurelle were won by:

1. Kessiakoff (AST) 5pts

2. Pinot (FDJ) 3pts - 1'00"

3. Gallopin (RNT) 2pts

4. Sorensen (STB) 1pt - at 1'45"

16:34Youngest rider over the top in 2nd place

Pinot (FDJ) has led Gallopin over the top of the latest climb 58" behind the stage leader.

16:33Boasson Hagen dropped

The Sky team is losing some of its troops at the moment. Boasson Hagen is the latest to be dropped by the peloton that is 3'30" behind the stage leader who has just collected five points at the top of the sixth climb of stage eight.

16:32Leader 1km from top of sixth climb

Kessiakoff is at the 28km to go mark. He has one kilometre to climb before he reaches the top of the Caquerelle ascent. Behind him is a French pairing: Gallopin (RNT) and Pinot (FDJ).

16:30Peloton catches Roy

Roy has been caught by the peloton which is still being led by Liquigas riders... but they are marked closely by the Sky guys...

16:29Three in pursuit of the stage leader...

What had been a 14-man chase group has been oblitorated by the gradient of the sixth climb. There are now just three men in the first chase group. Kessiakoff continues to lead the stage. Behind him are three Frenchmen Pinot, Gallopin and Moncoutie.

16:27Five in chase group

Pinot has Kern, Kiserlovski, Gallopin and Moncoutie with him as they begin the ascent of the sixth climb today. They are 1'35" behind Kessiakoff.

16:27Knees job is done...

Knees (SKY) is one rider who has recently lost contact with the yellow jersey's group as has Peraud and Cherel (ALM).

16:2530km to go

There are a number of riders dropping out of the chase group. Roy and Kruiswijk are the two who are unable to maintain the pace... the others - Gallopin, Kern, Nerz, Kadri, Moncoutie, Hoogerland, Pinot, Mollema, Ten Dam, Sorensen, Kiserlovski, De Weert - are at 1'40" to the lone stage leader.

16:25Pinot leads the second group

Mollema (RAB) has also dropped out of the chase group that is now being led by the youngest rider in the race, Pinot (FDJ).

16:23Liquigas at the front of the peloton

There are now five riders from the Liquigas team at the head of the peloton. The team has one rider (Nerz) in the escape today.

16:20Composition of second group today...

Kessiakoff continues to lead the eighth stage with an advantage of about 1'15" on a group that includes the following men: Gallopin, Kern, Nerz, Kadri, Moncoutie, Hoogerland, Pinot, Roy, Kruiswijk, Mollema, Ten Dam, Sorensen, Kiserlovski, De Weert...

The peloton is behind the Swedish Astana rider by 3'35".

16:19First Swiss Tour stage finish since Verbier in 2009

The most recent time that the Tour de France visited Switzerland before today was in 2009 when the winner was Alberto Contador. That was effectively the day that Wiggins demonstrated that he could, in fact, climb with the best riders in the world. The British rider had been positioned well in GC before the 15th stage and, in Verbier he fifth, one place ahead of the defending champion at the time, Carlos Sastre and two places ahead of his major rival this year Cadel Evans.

16:1040km to go

Kessiakoff is inside the final 40km of the stage. He found himself own after dropping Roy on the ascent of the fifth hill; he is over three minutes ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton but he's no threat to Wiggins' yellow jersey as he began the stage ranked 80th overall, 19'00" behind the Sky rider.

16:07Almost all downhill for 18km

The profile reminds us that, after the intermediate sprint, there is a descent of about 18km before the road rises again for the penultimate climb of the 8th stage. The cote de la Caquerelle is 4.3km long and has an average gradient of 7.6 per cent.

16:0545km to go

Sorensen and Kadri are leading the pursuit of Kessiakoff who is still on his own at the front of the stage. He is 1'05" ahead of the group of Gallopin.

The peloton was 2'45" behind at the site of the intermediate sprint.

16:04Full results of intermediate sprint

1. Kessiakoff (AST) 20 pts
2. Roy (FDJ) 17pts - at 1'05"
3. Ten Dam (RAB) 15pts
4. Pinot (FDJ) 13pts
5. De Weert (OPQ) 11pts
6. Gallopin (RNT) 10pts
7. Moncoutie (COF) 9pts
8. Kern (EUC) 8pts
9. Kiserlovski (AST) 7pts
10. Mollema (RAB) pts
11. Soresnen (STB) 5pts
12. Kruiswijk (RAB) 4pts
13. Kadri (ALM) 3pts
14. Hoogerland (VCD) 2pts
15. Nerz (LIQ) 1pts

16:0020 points for Kessiakoff

The Swedish stage leaders has collected the 20 points for first over the intermediate sprint line.

15:59Kessiakoff leads by 55"

Gallopin, Kern, Nerz, Kadri, Moncoutie, Hoogerland, Pinot, Roy, Kruiswijk, Mollema, Ten Dam, Sorensen, De Weert, Weening and Kisierlovski are the riders that are all together with a deficit of 55" to Kessiakoff.

15:55Peloton at 3'00"

With 5km for the bunch to ride before arriving at the site of the intermediate sprint, the peloton is 3'00" behind Kessiakoff. This is the first time in 2012 that there have been more than 15 escapees so it's effectively a day off for the Orica-GreenEdge team that has formed a lead-out train for the minor points on every other day of its debut in the Tour.

15:53Kessiakoff Tour debut this year

The rider in the lead of the stage is making his debut in the Tour in 2012. Kessiakoff has done the Giro d'Italia once (2009 - finishing 50th overall) and the Vuelta a Espana twice (2009 and 2011 when he was 34th overall).

He's from Nacka in Sweden and this is his second season with the Astana team.

15:49Kessiakoff goes on alone

Kessiakoff is insisting with his effort at the front of the stage. He is now ahead of a group that is composed of: Kern (EUC), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Pinot (FDJ), Roy (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Ten Dam (RAB), and Kiserlovski (AST).

They are 25" behind.

Then comes the remants of the 22-man break named earlier although we don't have a time check on this group.

And the peloton is at 3'20".

15:47Peloton at 3'20"

The yellow jersey's bunch has reached the top of the cote de Saulcy with a deficit of 3'20" on the escapees.

15:44Kessiakoff leads over the top

Kessiakoff has collected five points as the first rider over the fifth climb. He is now on his own with a lead of about 15" on Roy, Kern, Kruiswijk, Pinot and De Weert.

15:44Points for 5th climb...

1. Kessiakoff (AST) 5pts

2. Pinot (FDJ) 3pts

3. Kern (EUC) 2pts

4. Kruiswijk (RAB) 1pt

15:41Leaders 1km from 5th climb

The fifth climb of the stage is 4.6km long with a steep 8.6 per cent average gradient. The leaders inside the final kilometre of his ascent which is rated category-two.

15:39Four in the lead

Roy and Kessiakoff have been caught by De Weert and Kruiswijk as they make their way up the cote de Saulcy. They are 25" ahead of the other escapees.

The peloton is at 3'15".

15:3219 now 1'00" behind Kessiakoff & Roy

The remnants of the 22-man counter-attack is 1'00" behind the two stage leaders at the bottom of the fifth climb.

15:31Peloton at base of fifth climb

At the bottom of the cote de Saulcy, the peloton is 3'10" behind Kessiakoff and Roy.

15:30Two lead by 45"

Kessiakoff and Roy lead the 22-man counter-attack by 45" but the second group has split at the base of the fifth climb. Kruiswijk and De Weert are the ones who have recently gone on the attack. Then comes Kiriyenka... and then the 19 others.

15:26Some background on Froome

The winner of yesterday's stage is registered as a British rider but he was actually born and raised in Nairobi. He moved to South Africa after his parents got divorced and it was there that he started racing bikes. He represented Kenya at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and competed in the road race, time trial and mountain bike events.
After trying to represent Kenya at the world championships but having had issues getting all the paper work sorted, he opted to...

15:20Gallopin the best of escapees

Of the 24 riders who are ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton, the best on GC after seven stage is Gallopin (RNT) who started today's stage ranked 19th overall, 3'13" behind Wiggins. His group of 22 is currently 1'40" ahead of the peloton.

15:18Yates: our record speaks for itself

At the end of's chat with Sean Yates this morning, we asked: is there a temptation to try and get two guys on the podium or is that just being greedy? “Well, if that happens, it happens but our goal from the start – and I think everyone is aware of it – is to win the Tour. And that's last damn time I'm saying that. I'm only joking... I know that questions have got to be asked, we've got three weeks on this race.

“Our record speaks for itself really," said Yates about...

15:13All the riders in the chase group

The riders in the chase group that is 1'10" behind Roy and Kiessiakoff are:

Moinard (BMC), Gallopin (RNT), Kern (EUC), Marzano (LAM), Nerz (LIQ), Peraud (ALM), Cherel (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Jeandesboz (SAU), Hoogerland (VCD), Valls Ferri (VCD), Caruso (KAT), Pinot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Mollema (RAB), Ten Dam (RAB), Kiriyenka (MOV), Sorensen (STB), Kisierlovski (AST), De Weert (OPQ), Weening (OGE).

15:09Two in the lead

Kessiakoff has caught Roy. This pair is 40" ahead of the next group that includes Moinard, Gallopin, Voigt, Kern, Hoogerland, Izaguirre, Marzano, Nerz, Peraud, Kadri, Moncoutie, Jeandesboz, Valls Ferri, Vorganov, Pinot, Kruiswijk, Kiriyienka, Sorensen, Kisierlovski and Weening.

15:06Roy collects five points

Roy is first over the fourth climb.

1. Roy(FDJ) 5pts

2. Kiessiakoff (AST) 3pts - at 5"

3. Hoogerland (VCD) 2pts - at 40"

4. Ten Dam (RAB) 1pt

15:03Yates: It's not going to be a GC battle!

What about today – you think it's going to be a day for opportunists or is a GC battle? “Well, it's not going to be a GC battle! Let's be honest," said Sky's directeur sportif this morning, "the final climb is 16km from the finish and that's not going to split the GC contenders. It's steep yes, but there's time afterward to catch up. I should imagine that, common sense will prevail and people will not be thinking about attacking so far away.

“The stage is not that long, but it...

15:02Roy leads peloton by 1'50"

Wiggins' group is now 1'50" behind Roy. This gap is likely to grow now as the bunch is taking a moment to catch its collective breath... Voeckler - who was caught up in a crash - has rejoined the peloton.

15:00Peloton finally eases off...

The opening hour and 45 minutes of stage eight have been frantic but, just recently, Wiggins has opted to answer nature's call. And now we see the pace of the bunch ease off a little.

Roy is still at the front of the stage he is 45" ahead of the chase group of about 20 riders and he has 2.5km to climb before reaching the top of the 4th hill.

14:58Comments from Sean Yates... caught up with the DS of Sky, Sean Yates earlier today and we started the interview by saying how it was an exciting finish yesterday and then asked: was it good fun to be a part of? “Yeah, obviously it was a great show and I'm very excited for the boys. It was a big effort and I'm proud of what our guys did.”
Did he expect that Froome would be going so well? “I had a feeling that he'd be good. He had those problems with a tropical disease [Biharzia] but he came back...

14:57Gilbert and Sorensen dropped by bunch

The peloton is still being led by Sky and two men - Gilbert (BMC) and Sorensen (STB) - have recently been dropped early on the fourth ascent of the 8th stage.

14:54Valverde catches peloton

After being caught up in the crash that took out Sanchez (EUS), Valverde has caught the peloton that is 1'15" behind Roy.

14:53Roy on 4th climb

Kiryienka is 20" behind Roy (FDJ). The two stage leaders are now on the early slopes of the fourth climb - this is a category-2 hill that is 7.8km long and has an average gradient of 6.1%. The top of the cote de Saignelgier is at the 73km mark.

14:51Hoogerland catches counter-attack...

Moinard, Gallopin, Voigt, Kern, Izaguirre, Marzano, Nerz, Peraud, Kadri, Moncoutie, Jeandesboz, Valls Ferri, Vorganov, Pinot, Kruiswijk, Sorensen, Kessiakoff, Kisierlovski and Weening have been caught by Hoogerland.

Now Mollema (RAB), Cherel (ALM) and one more rider are trying to catch the counter-attack.

14:50Hoogerland attacks the peloton

Hoogerland is bridging the small gap to the group of 20 who are 40" behind Roy. But the bunch is not far behind. In a short while we should hear that there are just two men ahead of the peloton: Roy and Kiriyienka. Currently the Movistar man is 28" behind the stage leader.

14:48Roy leads Kiriyienka by 27"

Roy is increasing his advantage on Kiriyienka who is now 27" behind.

14:47Tour in Switzerland

The race has arrived in Switzerland and Roy is 18" ahead of Kiyrienka (MOV) and 40 ahead of Moinard (BMC), Gallopin (RNT), Voigt (RNT), Kern (EUC), Izaguirre (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Nerz (LIQ), Peraud (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Jeandesboz (SAU), Valls Ferri (VCD), Vorganov (KAT), Pinot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Sorensen (STB), Kessiakoff (AST), Kisierlovski (AST), Weening (OGE).

The peloton is at 1'00" as it arrives in the canton of Jura.

14:45Sanchez ends his Tour in an ambulance

Samuel Sanchez, sixth overall in the Tour of 2011, has quit the race. He has fractured a collarbone and is going to the hospital in an ambulance.

14:44Valverde also in crash

Valverde was involved in the Sanchez crash. The leader of Movistar is now 2'25" behind Roy. Sanchez is still being treated by the race doctors.

14:42Roy continues ahead alone

Roy only has the company of camera motorbikes at the front of the stage. We don't have a time check on the rest of the escapees but we can report that the peloton is almost a minute behind.

14:41Sanchez still down...

Sanchez is still lying on the road. The early diagnosis would be a broken collarbone judging by the way he's holding himself... but the doctors are with him now and trying to determine just what his injuries are.

14:40Crash in peloton: Sanchez down!

Samuel Sanchez has been caught in a crash and he looks to be in a terrible state. The accident happened at the 56km mark.

14:38Roy leads by 10"

Roy has a lead of 10" on the 20 other escapees and 40" on the Sky-led peloton.

14:37Jeandesboz chases Roy

Roy leads the rest of the escape group by 5". The peloton is at 20". Jeandesboz was the only rider who seemed interested in trying to chase down the stage leader but now Roy is stranded on his own at the front of the race after about 56km...

14:36Roy leads the stage

Roy has caught and passed the lead group. He is now on his own at the front of the stage.

14:35Roy joins lead group

The rider who won the 'Super Combatif' classification in last year's Tour, Jeremy Roy (FDJ) has bridge the (small) gap to the front group. Now Pineau is trying to do the same. The bunch is led by Sky and is 15" behind.

14:34The lead group

Moinard (BMC), Gallopin (RNT), Voigt (RNT), Kern (EUC), Izaguirre (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Nerz (LIQ), Peraud (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Jeandesboz (SAU), Valls Ferri (VCD), Vorganov (KAT), Pinot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Kiriyienka (MOV), Sorensen (STB), Kessiakoff (AST), Kisierlovski (AST), Weening (OGE) are the riders in the lead of the stage.

14:30Rogers comments on yesterday??s stage

“I posted some of the best numbers of my career on the final climb yesterday,” Michael Rogers told this morning. “The whole time I was on the front,” he explained about his turn that began at the base of the ascent of La Planche des Belles Filles and lasted until the 3km to go mark, “until I stopped, I was putting out over 500 watts.
“Once I was done, I basically stopped my effort but only for about a minute,” said Rogers of what he did after handing over the...

14:29Result of the third climb

The points for the Maison-Rouge climb (at 50km) have been won by:

1. Kadri (ALM) 5pts

2. Moncoutie (COF) 3pts

3. Sorensen (STB) 2pt

4. Voigt (RNT) 1pt

14:2724 lead by 20"

The peloton is only 20" behind the group at the front of the stage.

14:2626 in the lead group

Voigt and Kruiswijk have been caught by 24 others. Valverde and Casar have dropped out of the lead group so we have 24 men at the front of the race.

14:2525" to peloton

There is a group of 24 in between Voigt and Kruiswijk but the main peloton (with the yellow jersey) but the bunch is just 25" behind the stage leaders. Chances are that, before we get the names of all in the counter-attack, the bunch we reel them in.

14:22The current situation...

Voigt and Kruiswijk are in the lead by 18" (ahead of a group that includes Valverde - with a total of 11 men), then comes a group of 11 (including Voeckler) at 30" and the peloton is at 40".

14:21Two lead by 10"

The Valverde group is - with Weening, Vichot and nine others - is 10" behind Voigt and Kruiswijk.

14:202 lead 13, then 11, then the peloton

Voigt and Kruiswijk are at the front of the stage. They are ahead of a group of 13 that includes Valverde (MOV). Then comes a group of 11 and then the peloton.

Before we get the names, they'll probably all come back but we report that Chris Sorensen is one of the men in the first chase group.

14:17Kruiswijk bids adieu to Jensie

Kruiswijk is now on his own at the front of the stage and gaining ground on Voigt but the German isn't just kicking back and waiting for the bunch. He wants to be in the move and Jens generally gets what Jens wants...

14:16Kruiswijk catches Voigt

There are now two men ahead of the peloton: Kruiswijk (RAB) and Jens Voigt (RNT). The next gorup is composed of 24 riders but we don't have a confirmation of the riders in this counter-attack.

14:15Catch me if you can!

Nah, Voigt doesn't want the company of others today. He's attacked again just as the peloton was about to reel in the escapees.

14:14Details of third climb

The stage leaders are 15" ahead of the bunch at the 42km mark. They are climbing the cote de Maison-Rouge - the last climb of the stage in France. This is a cat-2 ascent that is 7.8km long and has an average gradient of five per cent. The top is 784m above sea level (at the 50km mark of today's stage).

14:1311 lead by 12"

Schleck is not in the lead group despite what Radio Tour said earlier. There are, however, 11 men with a lead of 12" as the race arrives at the base of the third climb of stage eight.

14:10Six in pursuit of Voigt...

Six counter-attackers have caught Voigt but the bunch is just 10" behind.

The stage leaders are: Schleck (RNT), Izaguirre (EUS), Peraud (ALM), Vichot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), and Kessiakoff (AST).

14:06Gesink dropped

Gesink has been left behind by the peloton as numerous riders continue to try and break the grip of the peloton and bridge the gap to Voigt.

14:05Weening and Sorensen caught by peloton

There is now just one rider at the front of the stage: Master Jens Voigt. The counter-attack by Weening and Sorensen is over...

14:03Current situation

Voigt leads Chris Sorensen and Weening by 12"; the peloton is at 18" from the stage leader.

14:01Voigt over the top...

Voigt is now ahead of two riders: Sorensen (STB) and Weening (OGE) who are 14" behind the German. The peloton is just 20" in arrears.

14:00Voigt on his own...

The 12 counter-attackers were closing in on Voigt but they haven't yet caught the irrepressible German who is near the top of the second climb.

13:59Cavendish dropped

Cavendish has been spat out the back of the pack on the second climb. There is also a big group of counter-attackers in between the lead group but the bunch, led by other Sky riders, is about to catch that move...

13:5812 closing in on Voigt

The 12 riders are about to catch Voigt. They are currently 12" behind the stage leader. The counter attack is composed of:

Urtasun (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Riblon (ALM), Coppel (SAU), Valls Ferri (VCD), Casar (FDJ), Mollema (RAB), Chris Sorensen (STB - not Kroon as reported, incorrectly, earlier), Paulinho (STB), Peter Velits (OPQ), Fofofnov (AST), Albasini (OGE), Huguet (ARG).

13:55Wiggins at 45"

Voigt is 18" ahead of the 12 and 45" ahead of the main peloton that includes the new leader of general classification Bradley Wiggins.

13:54Details of second climb

The two counter-attacking groups have joined forces. There is now Voigt on his own at the front of the stage with a lead of 20" on a group of 12.

The stage leader is about to take two points as the first over the 3.8km long cote du Passage de la Douleur.

13:53Four in second counter-attack

Coppel (SAU), Mollema (RAB), Peter Velits (OPQ) and Kroon (STB) are the riders who are now in pursuit of the riders who are in pursuit of Voigt. Makes perfect sense, right?

13:51Nine in the counter-attack

Voigt is still on his own at the front of the stage. He is 3km from the second climb and has a lead of 20" on the counter-attack of nine riders. The peloton is behind by 55".

13:50Eight counter-attackers

Voigt has a lead of 20" on eight men who are in a counter-attack. This includes Albasini (OGE), Urtasun (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Riblon (ALM), Valls Ferri (VCD), Casar (FDJ), Fofonov (AST), Paulinho (RNT) and Huguet (ARG).

13:49Lloyd: It'll be cool...

During's chat with Matt Lloyd this morning, it was suggested that it would be fast all the way from Belfort to the only Swiss stage finish of the 99th Tour, in Porrentruy. “It's like a climber's sprint stage,” said the climber from Lampre. “It's rather short, sharp and punchy.”

Does he remember a stage like this from any other race? “Ah, it's reminiscent of a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta al Pais Vasco), I think. It's quite common to have...

13:47Four in counter-attack

Vande Velde and a Rabobank rider have joined Fedrigo and Devenyns in the counter attack. The bunch is about to catch this quartet though so it's still just The Old Man up front. He is 30" ahead and now Albasini is trying his luck with another surge at the head of the peloton.

13:44Devenyns joins Fedrigo

There are a number of riders being spat out the back of the pack. Voigt is 20" ahead of Devenyns (OPQ) and Fedrigo (FDJ) and 30" ahead of the peloton.

13:43Cobo in pursuit of Voigt

At the 22km mark, Voigt is still the only rider ahead of the peloton. Cobo (MOV) had tried to bridged the gap but he too has been swallowed up by the fast-moving bunch. Now we see Fedrigo trying his luck with a counter-attack.

13:42Voigt the lone leader

There is now just one rider ahead of the peloton. The oldest man in the 2012 Tour, Voigt (RNT) has a lead of 22" and now there are a number of others trying to escape the grasp of the peloton.

13:40Voigt on his own in the lead

Voigt could see that the peloton was about to catch the escapees so he has launched an attack and claimed the one point of the first climb today. Many from his escape group have been caught by the bunch.

13:39Voeckler in counter attack

Voecker has attacked the peloton at the same time Voigt has attacked the lead group.

13:38Leaders on first climb

The advantage of the 10 escapees is just 20" as they begin the ascent of the cote de Bondeval (a 4.4km long climb that has an average gradient of 3.9 per cent).

13:38Bozic from front to back...

Bozic was one of the Astana riders trying to bridge the gap to the escapees but he's now been dropped by the peloton.

13:3710 lead by 34"

Vinokourov and Albasini and one other Astana rider and Boasson Hagen are at the front of the peloton that is now 34" behind the 10 stage leaders.

13:36Curvers drops out of lead group

There are now 10 men in the lead as Roy Curvers (ARG) has quit his effort at the front and is now back in the peloton.

13:35Second successive day on the attack for two...

Sanchez (RAB) and Riblon (ALM) were two riders who were part of yesterday's escape group that was caught at the base of the final climb.

They are part of the early move in stage eight.

13:33Astana continue their pursuit

Gilbert (BMC), Voigt (RNT), Perez (EUS), Millar (GRS), Riblon (ALM), Westra (VCD), Sanchez (RAB), Costa (MOV), Sorensen (STB), Chavanel (OPQ) and Curvers (ARG) are able to increase their advantage on the bunch but the Astana riders are still at the front of the peloton.

13:3130" at 13km

The escapees are gaining time on the bunch despite the best efforts of Astana who has Grivko and Bozic and two others at the front. The time check after 13km was 30".

13:29Four Astana riders lead peloton

Astana has no one in the escape and we now see four from the Kazakh team at the head of the peloton that is 28" behind the Chavanel group of 11.

13:28Saxo and Astana lead peloton

Riders from the Saxo Bank and Astana teams are at the front of the bunch. They are closely marked by three Sky riders, including Mark Cavendish.

13:2725" at 10km

Vichot (FDJ) is trying to bridge the gap to the lead group that is now 25" ahead (as the peloton reaches the 10km mark).

13:2614th and 15th overall in the lead group

Of the 11 in the lead the biggest threats to the yellow jersey are Sylvain Chavanel (OPQ) and Rui Costa (MOV) who started the stage ranked 14th and 15th overall, 2'22" and 2'25" behind Wiggins, respectively.

13:2411 lead by about 300 metres

Gilbert (BMC), Voigt (RNT), Perez (EUS), Millar (GRS), Riblon (ALM), Westra (VCD), LL Sanchez (RAB), Costa (MOV), N. Sorensen (STB), Chavanel (OPQ) and Curvers (ARG) are the men in the lead of the stage.

13:2411 are 17" ahead

So far 8km have been raced and the bunch is 17" behind the Chavanel group and only now does it seem as though the peloton is going to ease of the pace of the chase...

13:22Gusev with race doctor

Gusev is riding again but he's having his collarbone checked by the race doctor before rejoining the peloton.

13:21Chavanel also in attack group

The bunch is reacting to the attack early in stage eight and the world champion is one rider who can be seen near the head of the bunch that's in hot pursuit of the 11 men in the lead.

13:1910 men on the attack...

There is a group of around 10 men at the front of the stage. There are two men in between the escapees and the bunch. Riders in the lead group include Voigt (RBT), Sanchez (RAB), and Millar (GRS).

13:18Gusev crashes

Gusev (KAT) has crashed early in stage eight. He has hit a traffic island and is about to remount his bike but he appears to be hurt...

13:17Racing in stage eight!

And with a wave of the flag, they're off. The official start of the 157.5km 8th stage was at 13.16pm. There are 180 men at the start. The one overnight retiree was Johannes Frolinger (ARG).

13:15Here comes Lloyd

Lloyd is making his way back to the peloton and racing in stage eight will start shortly.

13:14Racing in stage eight!

Riders were huddled close to the race director's car before he waved the flag to signal the official start of stage eight. Prudhomme appears to be waiting for Lloyd to return to the peloton after his crash so that racing can begin...

13:12Comments from Lloyd this morning...

We haven't heard Matt Lloyd mentioned too much on Radio Tour in the first week except for when there have been crashes. So, wanted to know, has he just been unfortunate? Has he come down at all or was he only held up by the accidents? “I've been arriving from behind and getting to the crash site looking at everyone lying on the ground, so I think that the TV cameras tend to see me there and the belief is that I was also involved, which I'm not. I haven't come down at all during...

13:11Lloyd crashes in the neutral zone (again)

This is the second time that Matt Lloyd (LAM) has crashed in the neutral zone during the 2012 Tour. He is back on his bike after landing on the ground on a roundabout before the official start.

13:10Expect a fast start...

According to some, this is a day for the opportunists. There are plenty of climbing points on offer and - at least according to the Sky directeur sportif, Sean Yates, "it's not a day for a big GC battle because the final climb is too far from the finish to make a difference".

Already, at the front of the bunch we see a number of riders jumping up onto the footpath and back to the road in order to improve their position while in the neutral zone.

13:08Prize classification review: part 04 ?? white jersey

Today Rein Taaramae (COF) wears the white jersey. The Estonian finished stage seven in fifth place and he now leads the former leader of the youth classification, Tejay van Garderen (BMC), by 2'37”. Third place is held down by the young French rider on the RadioShack-Nissan team, Tony Gallopin (at 2'41”). The youngest man in the 2012 Tour, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) is ranked fourth (at 3'35”).

13:08Prize classification review: part 05 ?? yellow helmets

No team other than Sky has led teams classification. The British outfit will wear yellow helmets again today and it has a lead of 1'37” on RadioShack-Nissan. In third place in this prize category is Katusha which is 5'54” behind.

13:06Prize classification review: part 03 ?? polka-dot jersey

The winner of stage seven, Chris Froome (SKY) was also first up the final climb yesterday – ranked category one and, as it is ranked higher than cat-2, it was worth double points. He now leads the climbing classification and is the second rider to wear the polka-dot jersey in the 99th Tour. The riders who were second and third, Cadel Evans (BMC) and Bradley Wiggins (SKY) are ranked second and third in this prize category with 16 and 12 points, respectively.
The former leader, Michael...

13:04Prize classification review: part 02 ?? green jersey

There was no change to the order of the top 12 in the points classification because of stage seven but Peter Sagan (LIQ) increased his lead by beating Matt Goss (OGE) at the intermediate sprint. The Slovakian now has a collection of 217 points while the Australian's total is 185.
The intermediate sprint in stage eight is at the 107km mark in Genevz.

13:01Rolling through the neutral zone

The peloton has just started to ride. The sun is shining in Belfort and the roads are dry which is surprising considering the downpour there last night.

13:01Prize classification review: part 01 ?? yellow jersey

After a week of racing at the 2012 Tour there has finally been a change to the top order of the general classification. Fabian Cancellara surrendered his overall lead and he's now ranked 11th overall. Team Sky was the big winner of the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles: claiming the stage victory (Froome), taking the lead of GC (Wiggins) and putting two others from the team in the top 10 overall (Froome and Rogers). “It sounds corny but it's something I've dreamt of since I was a...

13:00Renners zo van startHet peloton maakt zich op voor de start.
13:00Short sleeves for Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins is resplendent in the yellow jersey as he sits on the bike bside the leader of the youth classification Rein Taaramae in Belfort.

12:56Peloton in place for the start

The riders are assembled at the start in Belfort and they are about to set off on the ride through the neutral zone. There was heavy rain last night but, for the moment, it's dry on the day that the Tour de France visits Switzerland.

The temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius.

12:53Kans voor de dalers in de TourDe korte achtste etappe van de Ronde van Frankrijk eindigt zondag met een lange afdaling naar het Zwitserse Porrentruy. Het is de laatste jaren vaker gebeurd dat klassementsrenners elkaar nu eens niet in een klim maar juist als de weg naar beneden liep aanvielen. De top van de laatste en lastigste klim van de dag - de Col de la Croix - ligt op 16 kilometer van de streep.
12:52Welcome to the live coverage of stage eight of the 2012 Tour

The 157.5km stage from Belfort to Porrentruy in Switzerland is due to get underway at 1.00pm. The itinerary includes seven categorised climbs, including two category-one tests.

It is the first day of the 99th Tour that a rider other than Fabian Cancellara has worn the yellow jersey. Bradley Wiggins now leads last year's winner Cadel Evans by 10" in the general classification.

There is a 6.4km neutral zone before riders reach the site of the official start; this is expect to be...


Jersey wearers after the stage 9

Classifications after the stage 9


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