Tour de France 2021
Tadej Pogačar destroyed all of his rivals on stage eight of the Tour de France 2021 on his way to going into the yellow jersey, putting over three minutes into his closest rival, Richard Carapaz.
Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) attacked the penultimate climb with Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) but the Slovenian quickly went away solo and then he was away on a huge solo effort to gain time and try to take the stage.
But it was Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) who claims the stage after bridging across to Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) before dropping him and soloing to the line. He was the only rider to hold off Pogačar.
Behind the fight for the stage, Carapaz was almost four minutes down with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) losing a further minute and a half.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) both got dropped on the first couple of climbs and settled into the grupetto along with the likes of Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
Stage eight of the Tour de France was the first day of two in the Alps with 150.8km between Oyonnax and Le Grand-Bornand in very wet conditions.
The race was high-paced from the start seeing multiple riders drop out of the back of the peloton including Geraint Thomas who was still suffering from his stage three crash. He lost contact alongside the sprinters and other wounded riders.
On the next rise, the next big name to lose touch with the main bunch was Roglič. He too crashed on stage three and continued to suffer. He backed into the Thomas group.
The main break eventually went away with about 70km to go with Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) the main man to get up the road solo, but he was eventually caught by 18 other riders including Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Woods, Simon Yates (BikeExchange) and Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech).
The break gained about four minutes before hitting the final three climbs of the day with 52km to go. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) dropped back from the break to the peloton that was being led by Rui Costa and Brandon McNulty of UAE Team Emirates.
Søren Kragh Andersen and Tiesj Benoot (DSM) both went clear on the descent of the first of the final three climbs with Kragh Andersen dropping Benoot on the Col de Romme. Woods bridged across and dropped them both and soloed away.
Behind him saw Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Quintana, Poels and Yates with about 35km to go.
In the peloton, it was a battle between UAE and Ineos with Pogačar and Carapaz battling it out. But Pogačar continued to hammer the pace and eventually dropped Carapaz to go solo after the break and potentially the yellow jersey.
Carapaz had a team-mate in Jonathan Castroviejo but was close to losing two minutes on the early slopes of the Col de la Colombiere to Pogačar. Wout van Aert was losing almost three minutes to the defending champion.
At the front of the race, Woods continued to ride solo holding about a minute on most of the chasers who were in twos and threes all the way up the mountain with 18km to go. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) managed to drag himself up to the Canadian with 17km to go and 3km to the top of the final climb.
Pogačar was gaining on the leaders all the time as he was heading towards going inside a minute to the duo up front. He was in the big ring on a horribly steep climb as he was inside a minute going into the final 2km as he went comfortably into the virtual yellow jersey.
Teuns dropped Woods and managed to hold off the defending champion over the top of the climb but Pogačar continued the chase on the descent after catching and dropping everyone else.
Izagirre and Woods both came back to Pogačar on the descent to try and chase down Teuns but the Belgian rider was soloing to the line to take Bahrain Victorious’ second stage win in as many days.
Izagirre took second with Woods taking third, and Pogačar fourth. A few minutes later Carapaz came to the line and had been caught by the main GC group aside from Van Aert who came in over a minute afterwards.
That means that Pogačar will go into the yellow jersey ahead of Van Aert with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) going up into third overall after a very solid ride.
Stage nine is the last stage before the first rest day of the Tour with a 144.9km route from Cluses to Tignes with the first summit finish of the Tour.
Stage 8 Result:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious, in 3:54:41
2. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana-Premier Tech, at 44 seconds
3. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 47s
4. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 49s
5. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious, at 2:33
6. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange, at 2:43
7. Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Fra) Ag2r Citroën Team, at 3:03
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at same time
9. Matteo Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, at 4:07
10.Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 4:09
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 29:38:25
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at 1:48
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 4:38
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, 4:46
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 5:00
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 5:01
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, 5:13
8. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 5:15
9. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 5:52
10. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 6:41