On the sad farewell day of Mark Cavendish who crashed out, Mads Pedersen powered to his second Tour de France victory in Limoges one year after he opened his account in Saint-Etienne. Jasper Philipsen and Wout van Aert settled down for second and third. Jonas Vingegaard retained the yellow jersey.
DECLERCQ, DELAPLACE AND TURGIS AT THE FRONT
The start proper of stage 8 was given at 12.43 to 172 riders. Lots of skirmishes took place in the first 20km but they were unsuccessful until Tim Declercq (Soudal-Quick Step) managed to go clear. He was joined at km 22 by Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Anthony Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic). A maximum time difference of 5’15’’ was record before the intermediate sprint at Tocane-Saint-Apre (km 79). Delaplace outsprinted Turgis and Philipsen proved once again to be the fastest as he fulfilled his green jersey ambitions by winning the sprint of the peloton for fourth place. His team-mate Mathieu van der Poel tried to surprise the field as he attacked right after the intermediate sprint. Philipsen, Mark Cavendish, Bryan Coquard and Biniam Girmay were among the fifteen riders who accompanied him. It forced Jumbo-Visma to chase hard as Wout van Aert had made no secret on his stage win ambitions in Limoges. It was back together after a couple of kilometres.
CAVENDISH OUT OF HIS LAST TOUR DE FRANCE
Lidl-Trek started to make the race harder at the head of the peloton with one and half hour remaining. Cavendish crashed out with 64km to go. Cofidis came in help to pace the peloton that was timed 2’30’’ adrift before the last hour of racing. Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step) attacked from the pack with 36km remaining. He stayed in between for 14 kilometres. The deficit of the peloton was one minute at the 20-km to go mark. Turgis rode away solo in the côte de Masmont 16km before the end.
SKJELMOSE PUTS PEDERSEN INTO ORBIT
Declercq tried to make it back to the front but was swallowed by the pack 10km before the end. Turgis was reeled with 8km remaining. His team-mate Steff Cras crashed with 6km to go while Simon Yates and Mikel Landa also went down and reached the finish line with a 47’’ deficit. The Belgian, 13th overall, was forced to pull out. Mattias Skjelmose strongly seized the command of the peloton at the entrance of Limoges. The Danish champion put his team-mate and compatriot Mads Pedersen into orbit but the competition was fierce in the uphill stretch. The former world champion looked to have it when he passed Van Aert who was led out by Christophe Laporte but Van der Poel took Philipsen to the front and Pedersen had to jump to the finish line to fend off the green jersey holder. This is the 26th Danish stage win at the Tour de France, the second for Pedersen himself who already bagged a Giro d’Italia stage victory in Naples this year.