Wout van Aert claimed his second stage win in the 109th Tour de France as he overhauled Michael Matthews and Tadej Pogacar up the hill of the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne, Switzerland. It means the Belgian extended his lead seriously in the points competition while Slovenian gained four more seconds in time bonus but his third place enabled Magnus Cort to remain the King of the Mountains.
WRIGHT, CATTANEO AND FRISON AT THE FRONT
170 riders started stage 8 in the 109th Tour de France. 2 non-starters: Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-Citroën) and Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) who tested positive for Covid-19. After one more attempt by Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easypost), three riders took off at km 7: Mattia Cattaneo (Quick Step-Alphe Vinyl), Frederik Frison (Lotto-Soudal) and Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious). A crash occurred at km 9. Kevin Vermarke (DSM), the first rider on the ground, was forced to pull out. Tadej Pogacar, Romain Bardet, David Gaudu, Geraint Thomas, Peter Sagan, Enric Mas and Nairo Quintana were among the riders affected by the fall that involved many participants. The slowdown of the peloton after that crash enabled the leading trio to extend its advantage to 3’30’’ at km 35. Gianni Moscon (Astana) was the second rider to abandon.
LE TOUR IN SWITZERLAND
Wright won the intermediate sprint at Montrond (km 46.9). Frison took one KOM point at côte du Maréchet (km 75) while BikeExchange-Jayco, Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates were pacing the peloton. The deficit of the peloton was 1’30’’ at the côte des Rousses (km 101.3) where Cattaneo passed in the first position and Frison in second. The time difference went down to 1’ at the border between France and Switzerland 75km before the end but went up above two minutes later on as the bunch, mostly under the guidance of BikeExchange-Jayco, was in no hurry to catch the leading trio. It became a duo when Frison surrendered with 60km to go. Cattaneo and Wright had no more than one minute lead with 15km to go.
EIGHT STAGE WINS FOR BOTH VAN AERT AND POGACAR
Wright dropped Cattaneo off in the streets of Lausanne with 8km to go, en route to the finishing hill of the Olympic Stadium. The Englishman was brought back 3.5km as Mikaël Chérel upped the tempo for AG2R-Citroën. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) took over from the Frenchman but the yellow jersey and the green jersey holders were right behind him, so was Matthews who launched the sprint. Van Aert timed his sprint at perfection to impose himself once again. Now he’s got just as many stage wins in the Tour de France as Pogacar who missed out on the hat trick by very little.