Dylan Groenewegen equalled Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan as he bagged his second stage win in Amiens. In six sprinters’ stages, the three top sprinters of the 105th edition have scored twice. Greg Van Avermaet extended his lead by one more second ahead of the much anticipated stage including cobblestones.
170 riders started stage 8 in Dreux. Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the first man to escape from the bunch but his only intention was to stop on the road side to applaud the peloton. It was all together on a slow motion at km 5 and until Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb) launched the first attack at km 23. He was quickly rejoined by Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) and Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) but he decided to sit up and wait for the peloton at km 36.
Minnaard and Grellier in the lead
The maximum time gap to the peloton was recorded at km 37: 6’35’’, so Minnaard didn’t even get the chance to become the virtual leader of the Tour de France. Their advantage of the leading duo was down to two minutes with 40km to go as three teams regulated the speed of the bunch: mostly Antwan Tolhoek for LottoNL-Jumbo, Thomas De Gendt for Lotto-Soudal and Tim De Clercq for Quick Step. Minnaard was first to surrender at the 10km to go mark. Grellier was reeled in 6km before the end. Team Sky seized the reins of the peloton before the fight of the sprinters’ teams.
Second stage win for Groenewegen
Philippe Gilbert rode away from the bunch in the streets of Amiens but it was all together again with 1.5km to go. Peter Sagan launched the sprint but André Greipel and Dylan Groenewegen successively passed him. The Dutchman from LottoNL-Jumbo took his second stage win. Second and third on the line, Greipel and Gaviria were eventually disqualified by the judges. Stage 6 winner Dan Martin lost more than one minute because of a crash with 17km to go.