Saturday July 6th, 2013

Stage 8Castres / Ax 3 Domaines

Start 11h45 GMT 2+

Froome: the favourite for victory up high

Sporting stakes05.07.2013Stage 8- Castres / Ax 3 Domaines

A glance at the line traced on the map of France that indicates the route of the 100th Tour de France is enough to tell you that stage eight is going to be entirely different to the days that preceded it. There have been sprints and battles on undulating terrain but now the race is in the mountains! This marks the beginning of phase two of the 2013 edition. The names of Kittel, Cavendish, Greipel, Sagan... and even Gerrans and Impey are not likely to be spoken much during the coverage of the race from Castres to Ax-3-Domaines in the Pyrenees.

This will be a race in three stanzas: a long lead-out to the foothills of the first mountain range of the 100th Tour de France, a show of force by teams of the overall favourites as the peloton thins out over the first ‘hors category' pass this year – followed by daring on the descent to Ax-les-Thermes... and then the final showdown as the road lifts riders up over 500 metres in altitude on a 7.8km stretch of tarmac that weaves its way up to the ski station of Ax-3-Domaines.

The first winner on a big climb of the 2012 edition was Chris Froome and the leader of the Sky team is poises to strike again. He's the best of the ‘GC guys' after the opening week and starts the stage ranked sixth overall, only eight second behind the yellow jersey. He has shown himself already, with a little surge in the finale of stage two in Ajaccio where he race away from his rivals with relative ease. That was a hill, but a mountain awaits...

Stage 8 Castres / Ax 3 Domaines

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 21

Classifications after the stage 21

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These five riders have won sprint stages of the 100th Tour de France. Of these five, who do you think will win in Paris?

  • Marcel Kittel14.93%
  • Simon Gerrans1.08%
  • Mark Cavendish54.21%
  • André Greipel5.5%
  • Peter Sagan24.28%
14123 votes

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