Move on, there was (almost) nothing to see. At the end of a marathon of relative interest, the green jersey Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won the eighth stage of the Tour de France, Saturday July 9. The Belgian beat Michael Matthews (BikeExchange – Jayco), in the sprint, at the top of the last difficulty of the day, in the streets of Lausanne (Switzerland), for his second stage victory in this Tour.
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), third, still made a good deal: he pocketed four bonus seconds, widening his lead in the general classification. His closest pursuer, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), is now 39 seconds away.
Wout van Aert is the main blaster of this Tour de France. We Ia seen master at Calais, fantastic escape in yellow on the road to Longwy, here it is more fast than its rivals in Lausanne. At the end of an ascent listed in the third category (with slopes of 12%), the Belgian proved that his current green jersey suited him like a glove. None of its competitors have been able to graft at this sprint, proving if necessary van Aert’s ability to play on all terrains.
Tadej Pogacar, not a specialist in the discipline, could not keep pace in the last meters. But the Slovenian did not lose ground, despite the abandonment of one of his teammates before the stage. Once again guided by the infallible train of his team, the yellow jersey grabbed the “bonus” comforting him on his pedestal, 39” ahead of his runner-up Jonas Vingegaard. The Dane was content to participate in the leading group without ever attacking, probably reserving his strength for the mountain week to come.
This intense finish contrasts with a monotonous stage. The three riders who escaped early (Mattia Cattaneo from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Fred Wright from Bahrain-Victorious and Frederik Frison from Lotto-Soudal) never counted enough of a lead to sow discord in the peloton. Even if the Briton continued his effort to the edge of Lake Geneva, this breakaway never transcended the general rhythm.
For lack of anything better, draw up the misadventures of Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) as Red string of this step is obvious. The Franc-Comtois, who fell twice on Saturday, received an involuntary blow to the face from an assistant from Trek-Segafredo. The incident, without direct consequence, did not prevent Pinot from hitting the road again.
Such was not the case for Gianni Moscon (Astana) and Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM), forced to retire at the start of this stage. The second did not recover from a collective fall. His injury does not suit Romain Bardet, amputated from a luxury teammate. The Frenchman, still sixth, wasted no time on the lead. As for David Gaudu, one row ahead of him, the hopes of a podium remain intact, at the dawn of a week marked by the ascents of Granon or Alpe d’Huez.