8Belfort >> Porrentruy
- Stage 8 (154 km)
Belfort benefits from a remarkable situation. Bordering Switzerland, it reaffirms, with the arrival of the TGV and access to the EuroAirport, its traditional role as an exchange point between the valleys of the Rhone and the Rhine, between Mediterranean Europe and the Rhineland. The city of the Lion, the famous sculpture by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and the emblem of the city also boasts a dual heritage, historical and industrial. The citadel built by Vauban is one of the most beautiful heritage sites in French, while the presence of many industrial firms such as General Electric, Alstom, research laboratories on the fuel cell and hydrogen technology confirms the dynamism of a technological and innovative city. Belfort also enjoys artistic diversity and a richness in its festivals: the Eurockéennes rock festival, the International Festival of University Music, EntreVues, the International Film Festival and the Puppet Festival. The beauty of the architecture and elegance of the facades, the charm of parks and public gardens mean that Belfort is a colourful and harmonious town where life is good.
Welcome to Porrentruy, the Swiss city nearest to Paris! Since the opening of the new TGV station Belfort-Montbéliard, a few kilometres from the Swiss border, Porrentruy is only 2 hours 40 minutes from the French capital. This happy fact reinforces the appeal of the city and the Swiss canton of Jura as a tourist destination and location of the first rate place to be for people and businesses. The Swiss canton of Jura, made of wide open spaces and unspoiled nature, is horse country, the cradle of the watch and of the famous Swiss Army knife. Second city of the Canton, Porrentruy, located in the heart of a region called the Ajoie, has a rich architectural heritage, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Switzerland and ongoing traditions like the Festival of Saint Martin, that every year in November, welcomes tens of thousands of visitors. During construction of the A16 motorway, deposits of dinosaur traces were discovered close to the city dating from the Jurassic period -150 million years ago - which makes Porrentruy one of the most important sites in the world.
Live Stage Reports
The top five of stage eight
10 Jul 12|01:15 AM
The eighth stage was hyped as one of the great ones on the route for the 2012 Tour. And French fans will surely agree with that appraisal... the top five is as follows: 1. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ 2. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC at 26" 3. Tony Gallopin (FRA) RNT at 26" 4. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY at 26" 5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 26"
Evans takes second
10 Jul 12|01:13 AM
Evans has led home the yellow jersey's group but Wiggins was right on his wheel. Pinot is likely to take the white jersey thanks to his win today but the yellow jersey is safe on Wiggins' shoulders.
Pinot will take the win!
10 Jul 12|01:12 AM
FDJ-BigMat is going to win a stage of the 2012 Tour de France. Thibaut Pinot is the youngest man in the Tour and he's claimed the victory of stage eight.
Evans in the hunt for yellow
10 Jul 12|01:11 AM
Evans only has to make up 10" to take the yellow jersey and the Australian is now in cooperation with van den Broeck and trying to gain time on Wiggins.
VDB attacks Wiggins
10 Jul 12|01:10 AM
Van den Broeck has attacked the yellow jersey inside the final 4km. He is 35" behind Pinot. Evans is now also taking some time out of the rider in the yellow jersey.
3km to go
10 Jul 12|01:09 AM
Pinot is inside the town that's hosting the stage finish. He is less than 3km from the line and his celebrations should start soon. He almost misjudged a round-about but he's safely through and speed towards the finish line. Can you hear Madiot screaming from where you are? The manager will soon lose his voice but right now he's giving it all he's got.
Yellow jersey 52" behind Pinot
10 Jul 12|01:07 AM
Pinot is racing towards a stage win in Switzerland. His nearest rival, Kessiakoff is about to be caught by the yellow jersey's group which was 52" behind at the latest check. The young Frenchman is inside the final 4km of the stage.
Pinot increases his lead
10 Jul 12|01:04 AM
Kessiakoff is now 20" behind the Frenchman who is being urged on by the showman Marc Madiot who is in the back seat of the team car. Pinot could become the first French Tour stage winner since Pierre Rolland at Alpe d'Huez in 2011.
Pinot: 18" ahead
10 Jul 12|01:03 AM
Pinot looks likes giving FDj-BigMat a stage win. He is inside the final 6km of the 157.5km stage to Porrentruy and he's been at the front of the stage since the 16.5km to go mark.
Horner in the yellow jersey group
10 Jul 12|01:02 AM
It's been difficult to identify the RadioShack riders on the descent but the team is the best represented in the yellow jersey's group. Horner, appears to be one of the riders and perhaps Zubeldia is missing.
Pinot's advantage: 10 seconds
10 Jul 12|01:01 AM
Pinot is still on his own in the lead of the stage. He is inside the final 8km and he is 1'15" ahead of the yellow jersey's group.
Pinot leads by 8"
10 Jul 12|00:58 AM
Kessiakoff is 8" behind the stage leader, Thibaut Pinot.
Nine in Wiggins group
10 Jul 12|00:56 AM
There are nine men in the Wiggins group: van den Broeck, Evans, Nibali, Wiggins, Froome, Schleck, Kloden, Gallopin, Zubeldia and Menchov... they are 1'45" behind Pinot.
10 points for Pinot
10 Jul 12|00:54 AM
Pinot is 12" ahead of Kessiakoff at the top of the final climb.
Pinot into the lead...
10 Jul 12|00:53 AM
With 16.5km to go in the stage, the young French rider Thibaut Pinot has taken the lead. He is inside the final 500m of the climb. He is 2'10" ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton.
Pinot has Kessiakoff in his sights...
10 Jul 12|00:52 AM
Pinot is about to catch the Swedish Astana rider who has been at the front of the stage since the halfway mark. The youngest rider of the 2012 Tour is putting himself in with a chance of winning the stage.
Valverde and Taaramae dropped
10 Jul 12|00:50 AM
Valverde and the leader of the youth classification cannot match the speed being set by Vanendert at the front of the yellow jersey's group. Evans is right up front and keeping a close eye on his rivals.
Porte and Rogers dropped
10 Jul 12|00:49 AM
Two of Wiggins' key team-mates, Porte and Rogers have recently been dropped by the peloton that continues to be led by Vanendert.
Lotto-Belisol lead peloton
10 Jul 12|00:47 AM
Vanendert and van den Broeck are now at the front of the peloton that is 2'50" behind the stage leader.
Peloton on final climb
10 Jul 12|00:45 AM
There are four Liquigas riders at the front of the peloton as it begins the ascent of the Col de la Croix.
Ride, young man, ride...
10 Jul 12|00:44 AM
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has dropped Tony Gallopin early on the final climb. The youngest rider in the race is now dancing on the pedals and in pursuit of the Swedish stage leader.
Peloton 20km from the finish
10 Jul 12|00:43 AM
The yellow jersey's group is 3'15" behind Kessiakoff with 20km to go.
Brutal gradient for final climb
10 Jul 12|00:42 AM
The last climb today might only be 3.7km long but there are said to be sections as steep as 24 per cent! Kessiakoff is starting the ascent of the Col de la Croix.
Chasing pair at 55"
10 Jul 12|00:41 AM
With 20km to go, Gallopin and Pinot are 55" behind Kessiakoff.
20km to go
10 Jul 12|00:40 AM
Kessiakoff is now inside the final 20km of the stage. The second and third riders in the stage are Gallopin and Pinot. Gallopin was the best placed of today's main escape group but he was no threat to Wiggins' yellow jersey, starting the stage 3'13" behind the race leader.
Hincapie leads Evans to the front
10 Jul 12|00:38 AM
George Hincapie has just come up the right side of the road with Evans right on his wheel. Liquigas has the weight of numbers at the head of the yellow jersey's peloton but Sky is also well represented.
Peloton at the top of sixth climb
10 Jul 12|00:36 AM
There are five Liquigas riders at the front of the bunch as it approaches the top of the sixth climb. They are 3'25" behind Kessiakoff.
Full results of sixth climb
10 Jul 12|00:35 AM
The points for the cote de la Caqeurelle were won by: 1. Kessiakoff (AST) 5pts 2. Pinot (FDJ) 3pts - 1'00" 3. Gallopin (RNT) 2pts 4. Sorensen (STB) 1pt - at 1'45"
Youngest rider over the top in 2nd place
10 Jul 12|00:34 AM
Pinot (FDJ) has led Gallopin over the top of the latest climb 58" behind the stage leader.
Boasson Hagen dropped
10 Jul 12|00:33 AM
The Sky team is losing some of its troops at the moment. Boasson Hagen is the latest to be dropped by the peloton that is 3'30" behind the stage leader who has just collected five points at the top of the sixth climb of stage eight.
Leader 1km from top of sixth climb
10 Jul 12|00:32 AM
Kessiakoff is at the 28km to go mark. He has one kilometre to climb before he reaches the top of the Caquerelle ascent. Behind him is a French pairing: Gallopin (RNT) and Pinot (FDJ).
Peloton catches Roy
10 Jul 12|00:30 AM
Roy has been caught by the peloton which is still being led by Liquigas riders... but they are marked closely by the Sky guys...
Three in pursuit of the stage leader...
10 Jul 12|00:29 AM
What had been a 14-man chase group has been oblitorated by the gradient of the sixth climb. There are now just three men in the first chase group. Kessiakoff continues to lead the stage. Behind him are three Frenchmen Pinot, Gallopin and Moncoutie.
Knees job is done...
10 Jul 12|00:27 AM
Knees (SKY) is one rider who has recently lost contact with the yellow jersey's group as has Peraud and Cherel (ALM).
Pinot leads the second group
10 Jul 12|00:25 AM
Mollema (RAB) has also dropped out of the chase group that is now being led by the youngest rider in the race, Pinot (FDJ).
30km to go
10 Jul 12|00:25 AM
There are a number of riders dropping out of the chase group. Roy and Kruiswijk are the two who are unable to maintain the pace... the others - Gallopin, Kern, Nerz, Kadri, Moncoutie, Hoogerland, Pinot, Mollema, Ten Dam, Sorensen, Kiserlovski, De Weert - are at 1'40" to the lone stage leader.
Liquigas at the front of the peloton
10 Jul 12|00:23 AM
There are now five riders from the Liquigas team at the head of the peloton. The team has one rider (Nerz) in the escape today.
Composition of second group today...
10 Jul 12|00:20 AM
Kessiakoff continues to lead the eighth stage with an advantage of about 1'15" on a group that includes the following men: Gallopin, Kern, Nerz, Kadri, Moncoutie, Hoogerland, Pinot, Roy, Kruiswijk, Mollema, Ten Dam, Sorensen, Kiserlovski, De Weert... The peloton is behind the Swedish Astana rider by 3'35".
First Swiss Tour stage finish since Verbier in 2009
10 Jul 12|00:19 AM
The most recent time that the Tour de France visited Switzerland before today was in 2009 when the winner was Alberto Contador. That was effectively the day that Wiggins demonstrated that he could, in fact, climb with the best riders in the world. The British rider had been positioned well in GC before the 15th stage and, in Verbier he fifth, one place ahead of the defending champion at the time, Carlos Sastre and two places ahead of his major rival this year Cadel Evans.
40km to go
10 Jul 12|00:10 AM
Kessiakoff is inside the final 40km of the stage. He found himself own after dropping Roy on the ascent of the fifth hill; he is over three minutes ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton but he's no threat to Wiggins' yellow jersey as he began the stage ranked 80th overall, 19'00" behind the Sky rider.
Almost all downhill for 18km
10 Jul 12|00:07 AM
The profile reminds us that, after the intermediate sprint, there is a descent of about 18km before the road rises again for the penultimate climb of the 8th stage. The cote de la Caquerelle is 4.3km long and has an average gradient of 7.6 per cent.
45km to go
10 Jul 12|00:05 AM
Sorensen and Kadri are leading the pursuit of Kessiakoff who is still on his own at the front of the stage. He is 1'05" ahead of the group of Gallopin. The peloton was 2'45" behind at the site of the intermediate sprint.
Full results of intermediate sprint
10 Jul 12|00:04 AM
1. Kessiakoff (AST) 20 pts 2. Roy (FDJ) 17pts - at 1'05" 3. Ten Dam (RAB) 15pts 4. Pinot (FDJ) 13pts 5. De Weert (OPQ) 11pts 6. Gallopin (RNT) 10pts 7. Moncoutie (COF) 9pts 8. Kern (EUC) 8pts 9. Kiserlovski (AST) 7pts 10. Mollema (RAB) pts 11. Soresnen (STB) 5pts 12. Kruiswijk (RAB) 4pts 13. Kadri (ALM) 3pts 14. Hoogerland (VCD) 2pts 15. Nerz (LIQ) 1pts
20 points for Kessiakoff
10 Jul 12|00:00 AM
The Swedish stage leaders has collected the 20 points for first over the intermediate sprint line.
Kessiakoff leads by 55"
09 Jul 12|23:59 PM
Gallopin, Kern, Nerz, Kadri, Moncoutie, Hoogerland, Pinot, Roy, Kruiswijk, Mollema, Ten Dam, Sorensen, De Weert, Weening and Kisierlovski are the riders that are all together with a deficit of 55" to Kessiakoff.
Peloton at 3'00"
09 Jul 12|23:55 PM
With 5km for the bunch to ride before arriving at the site of the intermediate sprint, the peloton is 3'00" behind Kessiakoff. This is the first time in 2012 that there have been more than 15 escapees so it's effectively a day off for the Orica-GreenEdge team that has formed a lead-out train for the minor points on every other day of its debut in the Tour.
Kessiakoff Tour debut this year
08 Jul 12|23:53 PM
The rider in the lead of the stage is making his debut in the Tour in 2012. Kessiakoff has done the Giro d'Italia once (2009 - finishing 50th overall) and the Vuelta a Espana twice (2009 and 2011 when he was 34th overall). He's from Nacka in Sweden and this is his second season with the Astana team.
Kessiakoff goes on alone
08 Jul 12|23:49 PM
Kessiakoff is insisting with his effort at the front of the stage. He is now ahead of a group that is composed of: Kern (EUC), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Pinot (FDJ), Roy (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Ten Dam (RAB), and Kiserlovski (AST). They are 25" behind. Then comes the remants of the 22-man break named earlier although we don't have a time check on this group. And the peloton is at 3'20".
Peloton at 3'20"
08 Jul 12|23:47 PM
The yellow jersey's bunch has reached the top of the cote de Saulcy with a deficit of 3'20" on the escapees.
Points for 5th climb...
08 Jul 12|23:44 PM
1. Kessiakoff (AST) 5pts 2. Pinot (FDJ) 3pts 3. Kern (EUC) 2pts 4. Kruiswijk (RAB) 1pt
Leaders 1km from 5th climb
08 Jul 12|23:41 PM
The fifth climb of the stage is 4.6km long with a steep 8.6 per cent average gradient. The leaders inside the final kilometre of his ascent which is rated category-two.
Four in the lead
08 Jul 12|23:39 PM
Roy and Kessiakoff have been caught by De Weert and Kruiswijk as they make their way up the cote de Saulcy. They are 25" ahead of the other escapees. The peloton is at 3'15".
19 now 1'00" behind Kessiakoff & Roy
08 Jul 12|23:32 PM
The remnants of the 22-man counter-attack is 1'00" behind the two stage leaders at the bottom of the fifth climb.
Peloton at base of fifth climb
08 Jul 12|23:31 PM
At the bottom of the cote de Saulcy, the peloton is 3'10" behind Kessiakoff and Roy.
Two lead by 45"
08 Jul 12|23:30 PM
Kessiakoff and Roy lead the 22-man counter-attack by 45" but the second group has split at the base of the fifth climb. Kruiswijk and De Weert are the ones who have recently gone on the attack. Then comes Kiriyenka... and then the 19 others.
Some background on Froome
08 Jul 12|23:26 PM
The winner of yesterday’s stage is registered as a British rider but he was actually born and raised in Nairobi. He moved to South Africa after his parents got divorced and it was there that he started racing bikes. He represented Kenya at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and competed in the road race, time trial and mountain bike events. After trying to represent Kenya at the world championships but having had issues getting all the paper work sorted, he opted to take out a British racing license and that’s why is now listed as a Brit. He was struck down with Biharzia a few years ago and this worm causes those who have it to be particularly lethargic.
Gallopin the best of escapees
08 Jul 12|23:20 PM
Of the 24 riders who are ahead of the yellow jersey's peloton, the best on GC after seven stage is Gallopin (RNT) who started today's stage ranked 19th overall, 3'13" behind Wiggins. His group of 22 is currently 1'40" ahead of the peloton.
Yates: our record speaks for itself
08 Jul 12|23:18 PM
At the end of LeTour.fr's chat with Sean Yates this morning, we asked: is there a temptation to try and get two guys on the podium or is that just being greedy? “Well, if that happens, it happens but our goal from the start – and I think everyone is aware of it – is to win the Tour. And that’s last damn time I’m saying that. I’m only joking... I know that questions have got to be asked, we’ve got three weeks on this race. “Our record speaks for itself really," said Yates about Sky's efforts in 2012. "Okay all we’ve done today was before the Tour and guys like Cadel are going better now than earlier in the year but we are going better too! There are some saying that Bradley has peaked too soon and this and that and blah, blah, blah... but as he keeps on saying, his goal all along has been to win the Tour de France, along with the rest of the team. “If we happen to end the Tour with five guys in the top 10, then we’ll have five in the top 10 and be pleased about that. But if we only have one in the top 10, so be it. It all depends on how the race pans out. ‘Froomey’ was always a reserve GC rider and if he hadn’t lost a bit of time already, he’d be on equal terms with Bradley at the moment. If, for whatever reason, Bradley lost his position – in a crash or if he had a bad day, whatever – Froomey has got to make up one and a half minutes and there isn’t a lot of time to do that.”
All the riders in the chase group
08 Jul 12|23:13 PM
The riders in the chase group that is 1'10" behind Roy and Kiessiakoff are: Moinard (BMC), Gallopin (RNT), Kern (EUC), Marzano (LAM), Nerz (LIQ), Peraud (ALM), Cherel (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Jeandesboz (SAU), Hoogerland (VCD), Valls Ferri (VCD), Caruso (KAT), Pinot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Mollema (RAB), Ten Dam (RAB), Kiriyenka (MOV), Sorensen (STB), Kisierlovski (AST), De Weert (OPQ), Weening (OGE).
Two in the lead
08 Jul 12|23:09 PM
Kessiakoff has caught Roy. This pair is 40" ahead of the next group that includes Moinard, Gallopin, Voigt, Kern, Hoogerland, Izaguirre, Marzano, Nerz, Peraud, Kadri, Moncoutie, Jeandesboz, Valls Ferri, Vorganov, Pinot, Kruiswijk, Kiriyienka, Sorensen, Kisierlovski and Weening.
Roy collects five points
08 Jul 12|23:06 PM
Roy is first over the fourth climb. 1. Roy(FDJ) 5pts 2. Kiessiakoff (AST) 3pts - at 5" 3. Hoogerland (VCD) 2pts - at 40" 4. Ten Dam (RAB) 1pt
Yates: It's not going to be a GC battle!
08 Jul 12|23:03 PM
What about today – you think it’s going to be a day for opportunists or is a GC battle? “Well, it’s not going to be a GC battle! Let’s be honest," said Sky's directeur sportif this morning, "the final climb is 16km from the finish and that’s not going to split the GC contenders. It’s steep yes, but there’s time afterward to catch up. I should imagine that, common sense will prevail and people will not be thinking about attacking so far away. “The stage is not that long, but it is hard and there will be attacks. “Guys like Chavanel might attack and see if he can gain a bit of time. “I’ve done a recon of the course twice and we shall see how the race pans out. Obviously everybody wants to have a piece of the pie but at the moment not many riders – or teams for that matter – have had a bite of that pie. And the Tour is all about getting the riders involved and this makes the action in the race more exciting – when there’s a call to be active, the riders have got to respond.”
Roy leads peloton by 1'50"
08 Jul 12|23:02 PM
Wiggins' group is now 1'50" behind Roy. This gap is likely to grow now as the bunch is taking a moment to catch its collective breath... Voeckler - who was caught up in a crash - has rejoined the peloton.
Peloton finally eases off...
08 Jul 12|23:00 PM
The opening hour and 45 minutes of stage eight have been frantic but, just recently, Wiggins has opted to answer nature's call. And now we see the pace of the bunch ease off a little. Roy is still at the front of the stage he is 45" ahead of the chase group of about 20 riders and he has 2.5km to climb before reaching the top of the 4th hill.
Comments from Sean Yates...
08 Jul 12|22:58 PM
LeTour.fr caught up with the DS of Sky, Sean Yates earlier today and we started the interview by saying how it was an exciting finish yesterday and then asked: was it good fun to be a part of? “Yeah, obviously it was a great show and I’m very excited for the boys. It was a big effort and I’m proud of what our guys did.” Did he expect that Froome would be going so well? “I had a feeling that he’d be good. He had those problems with a tropical disease [Biharzia] but he came back well last year and he’s been getting better and better. But this year he didn’t really get down to proper training until he went down to Teneriffe before the Dauphiné. He rode well there when he was about 50 per cent but he’s been coming out ever since. He’s as skinny as hell and I had a feeling that he was going to go well in this Tour. It’s a shame that he lost a bit of time in the first week but otherwise he’d be right up there on GC at the moment. “He’s good in the time trial too. Tomorrow [stage nine] will suit him more than the TT in the Dauphiné and he is really one of the GC contenders now. In my opinion he can beat Nibali in the TT and he won’t be that far behind Cadel and obviously he can climb as well as Cadel. He’d be right up there but he had a bit of bad luck with a puncture at the wrong time.”
Gilbert and Sorensen dropped by bunch
08 Jul 12|22:57 PM
The peloton is still being led by Sky and two men - Gilbert (BMC) and Sorensen (STB) - have recently been dropped early on the fourth ascent of the 8th stage.
Valverde catches peloton
08 Jul 12|22:54 PM
After being caught up in the crash that took out Sanchez (EUS), Valverde has caught the peloton that is 1'15" behind Roy.
Roy on 4th climb
08 Jul 12|22:53 PM
Kiryienka is 20" behind Roy (FDJ). The two stage leaders are now on the early slopes of the fourth climb - this is a category-2 hill that is 7.8km long and has an average gradient of 6.1%. The top of the cote de Saignelgier is at the 73km mark.
Hoogerland catches counter-attack...
08 Jul 12|22:51 PM
Moinard, Gallopin, Voigt, Kern, Izaguirre, Marzano, Nerz, Peraud, Kadri, Moncoutie, Jeandesboz, Valls Ferri, Vorganov, Pinot, Kruiswijk, Sorensen, Kessiakoff, Kisierlovski and Weening have been caught by Hoogerland. Now Mollema (RAB), Cherel (ALM) and one more rider are trying to catch the counter-attack.
Hoogerland attacks the peloton
08 Jul 12|22:50 PM
Hoogerland is bridging the small gap to the group of 20 who are 40" behind Roy. But the bunch is not far behind. In a short while we should hear that there are just two men ahead of the peloton: Roy and Kiriyienka. Currently the Movistar man is 28" behind the stage leader.
Roy leads Kiriyienka by 27"
08 Jul 12|22:48 PM
Roy is increasing his advantage on Kiriyienka who is now 27" behind.
Tour in Switzerland
08 Jul 12|22:47 PM
The race has arrived in Switzerland and Roy is 18" ahead of Kiyrienka (MOV) and 40 ahead of Moinard (BMC), Gallopin (RNT), Voigt (RNT), Kern (EUC), Izaguirre (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Nerz (LIQ), Peraud (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Jeandesboz (SAU), Valls Ferri (VCD), Vorganov (KAT), Pinot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Sorensen (STB), Kessiakoff (AST), Kisierlovski (AST), Weening (OGE). The peloton is at 1'00" as it arrives in the canton of Jura.
Sanchez ends his Tour in an ambulance
08 Jul 12|22:45 PM
Samuel Sanchez, sixth overall in the Tour of 2011, has quit the race. He has fractured a collarbone and is going to the hospital in an ambulance.
Valverde also in crash
08 Jul 12|22:44 PM
Valverde was involved in the Sanchez crash. The leader of Movistar is now 2'25" behind Roy. Sanchez is still being treated by the race doctors.
Roy continues ahead alone
08 Jul 12|22:42 PM
Roy only has the company of camera motorbikes at the front of the stage. We don't have a time check on the rest of the escapees but we can report that the peloton is almost a minute behind.
Sanchez still down...
08 Jul 12|22:41 PM
Sanchez is still lying on the road. The early diagnosis would be a broken collarbone judging by the way he's holding himself... but the doctors are with him now and trying to determine just what his injuries are.
Crash in peloton: Sanchez down!
08 Jul 12|22:40 PM
Samuel Sanchez has been caught in a crash and he looks to be in a terrible state. The accident happened at the 56km mark.
Roy leads by 10"
08 Jul 12|22:38 PM
Roy has a lead of 10" on the 20 other escapees and 40" on the Sky-led peloton.
Jeandesboz chases Roy
08 Jul 12|22:37 PM
Roy leads the rest of the escape group by 5". The peloton is at 20". Jeandesboz was the only rider who seemed interested in trying to chase down the stage leader but now Roy is stranded on his own at the front of the race after about 56km...
Roy leads the stage
08 Jul 12|22:36 PM
Roy has caught and passed the lead group. He is now on his own at the front of the stage.
Roy joins lead group
08 Jul 12|22:35 PM
The rider who won the 'Super Combatif' classification in last year's Tour, Jeremy Roy (FDJ) has bridge the (small) gap to the front group. Now Pineau is trying to do the same. The bunch is led by Sky and is 15" behind.
The lead group
08 Jul 12|22:34 PM
Moinard (BMC), Gallopin (RNT), Voigt (RNT), Kern (EUC), Izaguirre (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Nerz (LIQ), Peraud (ALM), Kadri (ALM), Moncoutie (COF), Jeandesboz (SAU), Valls Ferri (VCD), Vorganov (KAT), Pinot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), Kiriyienka (MOV), Sorensen (STB), Kessiakoff (AST), Kisierlovski (AST), Weening (OGE) are the riders in the lead of the stage.
Rogers comments on yesterday’s stage
08 Jul 12|22:30 PM
“I posted some of the best numbers of my career on the final climb yesterday,” Michael Rogers told LeTour.fr this morning. “The whole time I was on the front,” he explained about his turn that began at the base of the ascent of La Planche des Belles Filles and lasted until the 3km to go mark, “until I stopped, I was putting out over 500 watts. “Once I was done, I basically stopped my effort but only for about a minute,” said Rogers of what he did after handing over the lead to team-mate Richie Porte. “But I was still feeling okay and I thought, ‘I might as well keep on going’. So I started riding again and, before I knew it, I caught and passed [Samuel] Sanchez. That last uphill pinch though... man, that was steep!”
Result of the third climb
08 Jul 12|22:29 PM
The points for the Maison-Rouge climb (at 50km) have been won by: 1. Kadri (ALM) 5pts 2. Moncoutie (COF) 3pts 3. Sorensen (STB) 2pt 4. Voigt (RNT) 1pt
24 lead by 20"
08 Jul 12|22:27 PM
The peloton is only 20" behind the group at the front of the stage.
26 in the lead group
08 Jul 12|22:26 PM
Voigt and Kruiswijk have been caught by 24 others. Valverde and Casar have dropped out of the lead group so we have 24 men at the front of the race.
25" to peloton
08 Jul 12|22:25 PM
There is a group of 24 in between Voigt and Kruiswijk but the main peloton (with the yellow jersey) but the bunch is just 25" behind the stage leaders. Chances are that, before we get the names of all in the counter-attack, the bunch we reel them in.
The current situation...
08 Jul 12|22:22 PM
Voigt and Kruiswijk are in the lead by 18" (ahead of a group that includes Valverde - with a total of 11 men), then comes a group of 11 (including Voeckler) at 30" and the peloton is at 40".
Two lead by 10"
08 Jul 12|22:21 PM
The Valverde group is - with Weening, Vichot and nine others - is 10" behind Voigt and Kruiswijk.
2 lead 13, then 11, then the peloton
08 Jul 12|22:20 PM
Voigt and Kruiswijk are at the front of the stage. They are ahead of a group of 13 that includes Valverde (MOV). Then comes a group of 11 and then the peloton. Before we get the names, they'll probably all come back but we report that Chris Sorensen is one of the men in the first chase group.
Kruiswijk bids adieu to Jensie
08 Jul 12|22:17 PM
Kruiswijk is now on his own at the front of the stage and gaining ground on Voigt but the German isn't just kicking back and waiting for the bunch. He wants to be in the move and Jens generally gets what Jens wants...
Kruiswijk catches Voigt
08 Jul 12|22:16 PM
There are now two men ahead of the peloton: Kruiswijk (RAB) and Jens Voigt (RNT). The next gorup is composed of 24 riders but we don't have a confirmation of the riders in this counter-attack.
Catch me if you can!
08 Jul 12|22:15 PM
Nah, Voigt doesn't want the company of others today. He's attacked again just as the peloton was about to reel in the escapees.
Details of third climb
08 Jul 12|22:14 PM
The stage leaders are 15" ahead of the bunch at the 42km mark. They are climbing the cote de Maison-Rouge - the last climb of the stage in France. This is a cat-2 ascent that is 7.8km long and has an average gradient of five per cent. The top is 784m above sea level (at the 50km mark of today's stage).
11 lead by 12"
08 Jul 12|22:13 PM
Schleck is not in the lead group despite what Radio Tour said earlier. There are, however, 11 men with a lead of 12" as the race arrives at the base of the third climb of stage eight.
Six in pursuit of Voigt...
08 Jul 12|22:10 PM
Six counter-attackers have caught Voigt but the bunch is just 10" behind. The stage leaders are: Schleck (RNT), Izaguirre (EUS), Peraud (ALM), Vichot (FDJ), Kruiswijk (RAB), and Kessiakoff (AST).
08 Jul 12|22:06 PM
Gesink has been left behind by the peloton as numerous riders continue to try and break the grip of the peloton and bridge the gap to Voigt.
Weening and Sorensen caught by peloton
08 Jul 12|22:05 PM
There is now just one rider at the front of the stage: Master Jens Voigt. The counter-attack by Weening and Sorensen is over...
08 Jul 12|22:03 PM
Voigt leads Chris Sorensen and Weening by 12"; the peloton is at 18" from the stage leader.
Voigt over the top...
08 Jul 12|22:01 PM
Voigt is now ahead of two riders: Sorensen (STB) and Weening (OGE) who are 14" behind the German. The peloton is just 20" in arrears.
Voigt on his own...
08 Jul 12|22:00 PM
The 12 counter-attackers were closing in on Voigt but they haven't yet caught the irrepressible German who is near the top of the second climb.
08 Jul 12|21:59 PM
Cavendish has been spat out the back of the pack on the second climb. There is also a big group of counter-attackers in between the lead group but the bunch, led by other Sky riders, is about to catch that move...
12 closing in on Voigt
08 Jul 12|21:58 PM
The 12 riders are about to catch Voigt. They are currently 12" behind the stage leader. The counter attack is composed of: Urtasun (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Riblon (ALM), Coppel (SAU), Valls Ferri (VCD), Casar (FDJ), Mollema (RAB), Chris Sorensen (STB - not Kroon as reported, incorrectly, earlier), Paulinho (STB), Peter Velits (OPQ), Fofofnov (AST), Albasini (OGE), Huguet (ARG).
Wiggins at 45"
08 Jul 12|21:55 PM
Voigt is 18" ahead of the 12 and 45" ahead of the main peloton that includes the new leader of general classification Bradley Wiggins.
Details of second climb
08 Jul 12|21:54 PM
The two counter-attacking groups have joined forces. There is now Voigt on his own at the front of the stage with a lead of 20" on a group of 12. The stage leader is about to take two points as the first over the 3.8km long cote du Passage de la Douleur.
Four in second counter-attack
08 Jul 12|21:53 PM
Coppel (SAU), Mollema (RAB), Peter Velits (OPQ) and Kroon (STB) are the riders who are now in pursuit of the riders who are in pursuit of Voigt. Makes perfect sense, right?
Nine in the counter-attack
08 Jul 12|21:51 PM
Voigt is still on his own at the front of the stage. He is 3km from the second climb and has a lead of 20" on the counter-attack of nine riders. The peloton is behind by 55".
08 Jul 12|21:50 PM
Voigt has a lead of 20" on eight men who are in a counter-attack. This includes Albasini (OGE), Urtasun (EUS), Marzano (LAM), Riblon (ALM), Valls Ferri (VCD), Casar (FDJ), Fofonov (AST), Paulinho (RNT) and Huguet (ARG).
Lloyd: It'll be cool...
08 Jul 12|21:49 PM
During LeTour.fr’s chat with Matt Lloyd this morning, it was suggested that it would be fast all the way from Belfort to the only Swiss stage finish of the 99th Tour, in Porrentruy. “It’s like a climber’s sprint stage,” said the climber from Lampre. “It’s rather short, sharp and punchy.” Does he remember a stage like this from any other race? “Ah, it’s reminiscent of a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta al Pais Vasco), I think. It’s quite common to have relatively short stages there. There have also been some like this at the Vuelta a España – where the racing is quite violent but it’s short so it’s over and done with pretty quickly. It means that everyone is not so afraid to unleash. And then, considering that this is followed up by a very short stage tomorrow – when a significant percentage of the bunch don’t have to put a lot of pressure on themselves – means that they can really go deep today. Or at least try to. "It’ll be cool.” Ah, he got that wrong. He crashed in the neutral zone and now he's off the back of the peloton.
Four in counter-attack
08 Jul 12|21:47 PM
Vande Velde and a Rabobank rider have joined Fedrigo and Devenyns in the counter attack. The bunch is about to catch this quartet though so it's still just The Old Man up front. He is 30" ahead and now Albasini is trying his luck with another surge at the head of the peloton.
Devenyns joins Fedrigo
08 Jul 12|21:44 PM
There are a number of riders being spat out the back of the pack. Voigt is 20" ahead of Devenyns (OPQ) and Fedrigo (FDJ) and 30" ahead of the peloton.
Cobo in pursuit of Voigt
08 Jul 12|21:43 PM
At the 22km mark, Voigt is still the only rider ahead of the peloton. Cobo (MOV) had tried to bridged the gap but he too has been swallowed up by the fast-moving bunch. Now we see Fedrigo trying his luck with a counter-attack.
Voigt the lone leader
08 Jul 12|21:42 PM
There is now just one rider ahead of the peloton. The oldest man in the 2012 Tour, Voigt (RNT) has a lead of 22" and now there are a number of others trying to escape the grasp of the peloton.
Voigt on his own in the lead
08 Jul 12|21:40 PM
Voigt could see that the peloton was about to catch the escapees so he has launched an attack and claimed the one point of the first climb today. Many from his escape group have been caught by the bunch.
Voeckler in counter attack
08 Jul 12|21:39 PM
Voecker has attacked the peloton at the same time Voigt has attacked the lead group.
Bozic from front to back...
08 Jul 12|21:38 PM
Bozic was one of the Astana riders trying to bridge the gap to the escapees but he's now been dropped by the peloton.
10 lead by 34"
08 Jul 12|21:37 PM
Vinokourov and Albasini and one other Astana rider and Boasson Hagen are at the front of the peloton that is now 34" behind the 10 stage leaders.
Curvers drops out of lead group
08 Jul 12|21:36 PM
There are now 10 men in the lead as Roy Curvers (ARG) has quit his effort at the front and is now back in the peloton.
Second successive day on the attack for two...
08 Jul 12|21:35 PM
Sanchez (RAB) and Riblon (ALM) were two riders who were part of yesterday's escape group that was caught at the base of the final climb. They are part of the early move in stage eight.
Astana continue their pursuit
08 Jul 12|21:33 PM
Gilbert (BMC), Voigt (RNT), Perez (EUS), Millar (GRS), Riblon (ALM), Westra (VCD), Sanchez (RAB), Costa (MOV), Sorensen (STB), Chavanel (OPQ) and Curvers (ARG) are able to increase their advantage on the bunch but the Astana riders are still at the front of the peloton.
30" at 13km
08 Jul 12|21:31 PM
The escapees are gaining time on the bunch despite the best efforts of Astana who has Grivko and Bozic and two others at the front. The time check after 13km was 30".
Four Astana riders lead peloton
08 Jul 12|21:29 PM
Astana has no one in the escape and we now see four from the Kazakh team at the head of the peloton that is 28" behind the Chavanel group of 11.
Saxo and Astana lead peloton
08 Jul 12|21:28 PM
Riders from the Saxo Bank and Astana teams are at the front of the bunch. They are closely marked by three Sky riders, including Mark Cavendish.
25" at 10km
08 Jul 12|21:27 PM
Vichot (FDJ) is trying to bridge the gap to the lead group that is now 25" ahead (as the peloton reaches the 10km mark).
14th and 15th overall in the lead group
08 Jul 12|21:26 PM
Of the 11 in the lead the biggest threats to the yellow jersey are Sylvain Chavanel (OPQ) and Rui Costa (MOV) who started the stage ranked 14th and 15th overall, 2'22" and 2'25" behind Wiggins, respectively.
11 are 17" ahead
08 Jul 12|21:24 PM
So far 8km have been raced and the bunch is 17" behind the Chavanel group and only now does it seem as though the peloton is going to ease of the pace of the chase...
Gusev with race doctor
08 Jul 12|21:22 PM
Gusev is riding again but he's having his collarbone checked by the race doctor before rejoining the peloton.
Chavanel also in attack group
08 Jul 12|21:21 PM
The bunch is reacting to the attack early in stage eight and the world champion is one rider who can be seen near the head of the bunch that's in hot pursuit of the 11 men in the lead.
10 men on the attack...
08 Jul 12|21:19 PM
There is a group of around 10 men at the front of the stage. There are two men in between the escapees and the bunch. Riders in the lead group include Voigt (RBT), Sanchez (RAB), and Millar (GRS).
08 Jul 12|21:18 PM
Gusev (KAT) has crashed early in stage eight. He has hit a traffic island and is about to remount his bike but he appears to be hurt...
Racing in stage eight!
08 Jul 12|21:17 PM
And with a wave of the flag, they're off. The official start of the 157.5km 8th stage was at 13.16pm. There are 180 men at the start. The one overnight retiree was Johannes Frolinger (ARG).
Here comes Lloyd
08 Jul 12|21:15 PM
Lloyd is making his way back to the peloton and racing in stage eight will start shortly.
Racing in stage eight!
08 Jul 12|21:14 PM
Riders were huddled close to the race director's car before he waved the flag to signal the official start of stage eight. Prudhomme appears to be waiting for Lloyd to return to the peloton after his crash so that racing can begin...
Comments from Lloyd this morning...
08 Jul 12|21:12 PM
We haven’t heard Matt Lloyd mentioned too much on Radio Tour in the first week except for when there have been crashes. So, LeTour.fr wanted to know, has he just been unfortunate? Has he come down at all or was he only held up by the accidents? “I’ve been arriving from behind and getting to the crash site looking at everyone lying on the ground, so I think that the TV cameras tend to see me there and the belief is that I was also involved, which I’m not. I haven’t come down at all during the race but I did have one crash in a neutral zone and that was all my fault. No one else fell but I wouldn’t classify it as a crash – it was more me just... losing interest.” Is he interested now? “Yes! I’ve become interested now and the profile today helps with the motivation. It’s all good. We’ll let it roll and see what happens.”
Lloyd crashes in the neutral zone (again)
08 Jul 12|21:11 PM
This is the second time that Matt Lloyd (LAM) has crashed in the neutral zone during the 2012 Tour. He is back on his bike after landing on the ground on a roundabout before the official start.
Expect a fast start...
08 Jul 12|21:10 PM
According to some, this is a day for the opportunists. There are plenty of climbing points on offer and - at least according to the Sky directeur sportif, Sean Yates, "it's not a day for a big GC battle because the final climb is too far from the finish to make a difference". Already, at the front of the bunch we see a number of riders jumping up onto the footpath and back to the road in order to improve their position while in the neutral zone.
Prize classification review: part 05 – yellow helmets
08 Jul 12|21:08 PM
No team other than Sky has led teams classification. The British outfit will wear yellow helmets again today and it has a lead of 1’37” on RadioShack-Nissan. In third place in this prize category is Katusha which is 5’54” behind.
Prize classification review: part 03 – polka-dot jersey
08 Jul 12|21:06 PM
The winner of stage seven, Chris Froome (SKY) was also first up the final climb yesterday – ranked category one and, as it is ranked higher than cat-2, it was worth double points. He now leads the climbing classification and is the second rider to wear the polka-dot jersey in the 99th Tour. The riders who were second and third, Cadel Evans (BMC) and Bradley Wiggins (SKY) are ranked second and third in this prize category with 16 and 12 points, respectively. The former leader, Michael Morkov (STB) did try to get in the early escape yesterday with an attack at the moment the flag dropped to signal the start but he was unable to make the breakaway stick. He is now ranked fourth. The eighth stage features seven climbs – they are: the cote de Bondeval (cat-4 at 20km), the cote de Passage de la Douleur (cat-3 at 32km), the cote de Maison-Rouge (cat-2 at 50km), the cote de Saigneilegier (cat-2 at 73km), the cote de Saulcy (cat-2 at 97km), the cote de la Caquerelle (cat-2 at 130.5km) and the col de la Croix (cat-1 at 141.5km). Double points only apply if the final climb is at the finish of the stage.
Prize classification review: part 02 – green jersey
08 Jul 12|21:04 PM
There was no change to the order of the top 12 in the points classification because of stage seven but Peter Sagan (LIQ) increased his lead by beating Matt Goss (OGE) at the intermediate sprint. The Slovakian now has a collection of 217 points while the Australian’s total is 185. The intermediate sprint in stage eight is at the 107km mark in Genevz.
Prize classification review: part 01 – yellow jersey
08 Jul 12|21:01 PM
After a week of racing at the 2012 Tour there has finally been a change to the top order of the general classification. Fabian Cancellara surrendered his overall lead and he’s now ranked 11th overall. Team Sky was the big winner of the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles: claiming the stage victory (Froome), taking the lead of GC (Wiggins) and putting two others from the team in the top 10 overall (Froome and Rogers). “It sounds corny but it’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was a child,” said the new race leader moments after stepping off the podium with his first yellow jersey. “I’d sit on the home trainer watching my hero – my Tour de France hero – Miguel Indurain... but to be here, on the top of a mountain in the yellow jersey is phenomenal. This was the plan; it’s what we’ve trained for all year.” Wiggins is the fourth British rider to lead the Tour de France (after Tom Simpson in 1962, Chris Boardman in 1994, 1997 and 1998, and David Millar in 2000). He is 10” ahead of last year’s winner Cadel Evans (BMC) and 16” ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ).
Renners zo van start
08 Jul 12|21:00 PM
Het peloton maakt zich op voor de start.
Short sleeves for Wiggins
08 Jul 12|21:00 PM
Bradley Wiggins is resplendent in the yellow jersey as he sits on the bike bside the leader of the youth classification Rein Taaramae in Belfort.
Peloton in place for the start
08 Jul 12|20:56 PM
The riders are assembled at the start in Belfort and they are about to set off on the ride through the neutral zone. There was heavy rain last night but, for the moment, it's dry on the day that the Tour de France visits Switzerland. The temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius.
Kans voor de dalers in de Tour
08 Jul 12|20:53 PM
De korte achtste etappe van de Ronde van Frankrijk eindigt zondag met een lange afdaling naar het Zwitserse Porrentruy. Het is de laatste jaren vaker gebeurd dat klassementsrenners elkaar nu eens niet in een klim maar juist als de weg naar beneden liep aanvielen. De top van de laatste en lastigste klim van de dag - de Col de la Croix - ligt op 16 kilometer van de streep.
Welcome to the live coverage of stage eight of the 2012 Tour
08 Jul 12|20:52 PM
The 157.5km stage from Belfort to Porrentruy in Switzerland is due to get underway at 1.00pm. The itinerary includes seven categorised climbs, including two category-one tests. It is the first day of the 99th Tour that a rider other than Fabian Cancellara has worn the yellow jersey. Bradley Wiggins now leads last year's winner Cadel Evans by 10" in the general classification. There is a 6.4km neutral zone before riders reach the site of the official start; this is expect to be at around 1.15pm. Live coverage of the race will commence shortly.
Gabriel returns to present his delicious series, as it follows the Tour de France 2010.More info