Dylan Teuns won at Le Grand Bornand at the end of a rain-soaked stage 8. Two years after his first Tour de France stage win at La Planche des belles filles, the winner of the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway proved Bahrain to be victorious for two consecutive days as he soloed to victory in the ascent to col de la Colombière. Tadej Pogacar outclassed all the other GC favourites to take over from Mathieu van der Poel in the lead of the overall classification.
A cruel start for Thomas and Roglic
177 riders took the uphill start of stage 8 under the rain in Oyonnax at 13.18. Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) rode away from the bunch in the second kilometre of racing. He was brought back in a wet downhill at km 14. Many top riders lost contact early, the main ones being pre-race GC favourites Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) but also Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) who was in the top 10 overall. A front group of 67 riders was formed under the rain on a very high speed (48.4km covered in the first hour). Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) won the intermediate sprint at Frangy, km 44, before Michael Matthews (BikeExchange). It was a very eventful race with a group of 21 riders going clear after km 50. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) took part in it but not Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) nor the yellow jersey holder who remained much quieter than the day before. Before the group got reeled in, Poels went clear by himself again after 56km of racing. He remained at the front despite many counter-attacks including one by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
18 riders in the lead
At half way into the race, of group of 18 chasers was formed by Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers), Michael Woods (Israel SUN), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Mattia Cattaneo (DQS), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Nans Peters (AG2R-Citroën), Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic), Soren Kragh Andersen and Tiesj Benoot (DSM), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious), Chris Juul-Jensen and Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Ion Izagirre (Astana) and Sergio Henao (Qhubeka-Nexthash). Valverde sat up, probably because he was cold, and it was a front group of 18 riders once Poels got reeled in with 57km to go. Poels responded to an acceleration by Elissonde to take 10 KOM points at Mont Saxonnex (cat. 1, km 104) and the lead of the KOM classification.
Teuns alone at La Colombière
Kragh and Benoot rode away in the downhill. Kragh started climbing to col de Romme alone in the lead. Woods passed him 6.7km before the summit and continued solo while the damage was done in the main peloton. Successively, Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), van der Poel and van Aert got dropped, giving way to a change of leadership in the overall ranking. Pogacar attacked 4km before the top of col de Romme and 32.8km before the end of the stage. Carapaz went with him but couldn’t hold his pace. Pogacar crested 3’40’’ after Woods and 1’10’’ before Carapaz. Teuns caught Woods 3.3km away from the top of La Colombière, the third and last cat. 1 climb whose summit was located with 14.7km to go. Timed with a deficit of 3’ to the front of the race at the bottom, Pogacar passed the top in second position (5’’ bonus) only 20’’ behind Teuns. The Slovenian didn’t take too many risks in the downhill. Teuns increased his advantage to 44’’ on the line where Izagirre took the second place with Woods in third and Pogacar happy with fourth as he’s the new leader of the Tour de France after his exploit in the first mountain stage.