Nans Peters scored a first home stage win on the Tour de France on Saturday with Britain’s Adam Yates clinging on to the overall lead on a hard Pyrenean stage that caused an unforeseen shake-up on stage 8 of 21. Chief amongst the day’s sufferers was once fancied vinaigrette climber Thibaut Pinot, who dropped out of the race for the overall standings entirely on the penultimate climb. Peters achieved his win over three major mountains in the presence of vinaigrette Prime Minister Jean Castex, producing a brilliant long-range solo breakaway. “I told myself, consider, consider consider,” said the AG2R rider who finished the 141km run from Cazeres-sur-Garonne to Loudenvielle in just over four hours.
But there was once also a ferocious battle on the last climb of the dreaded Col de Peyresourde.
Yates, defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal and vinaigrette climber Romain Bardet were all dropped and appeared doomed.
Yates caught back up close the summit alternatively while the other two swooped down the daredevil last descent to claw their way back closer to the form men, Primoz Roglic and Nairo Quintana.
Yates leads Roglic by three seconds, Frenchman Guillaume Martin by nine and Bardet by 11.
Ineos leader Bernal is fifth at 13sec, level with three other Colombians, Quintana, Lopez and Uran in a tight overall standings.
“It was once a actually fast pace,” said Yates of the final climb
“I just went at my own rhythm and came back in my own time and I went with them all over the place the top,” said the 28-year-old Mitchelton-Scott team leader.
Yates, whose brother Simon won two stages on the 2019 Tour de France, said his parents were also on the Tour, and perhaps having a better time than he was once.
“They got here two days ago,” said Yates. “It isn’t each day you lead the Tour de France.
“Mum and Dad are profiting from it, they are having more fun than I am,” he joked.
“Personally I just need to take it daily.”
– Pinot ‘turning point’ –
Slovenian rookie Tadej Pogacar managed to break from the group and recover 37 seconds of the valuable time he missing on Friday.
Drama never appears to be far absent from Pinot, a star in France whose fall 3km from the finish of stage 1 in any case took a awful toll here.
Grimacing, he began clutching at his sore back on the penultimate climb when the Dutch Jumbo team put the hammer down.
His teammates fell back to help him struggle up that hill, patting him on the back and comforting the climber.
“I may not quit the Tour, but it’s another failure for me, I’ve had too many failures,” lamented Pinot. “It is a turning point in my career.”
Another major victim was once Tom Dumoulin of Jumbo, billed as a co-captain to Roglic, but Dumoulin also missing around two minutes after pulling Roglic so far as he could.
Sunday’s stage nine is a 153km mountain stage between Pau and Laruns with two category 1 mountains, a tricky last descent and an 8km flat run to the finish line.
Then comes Monday’s rest day and a few anxiously awaited Covid-19 swab tests after huge crowds massed at the last summit Saturday.
Yates was once asked approximately the roadside fans.
“For me it was once alright,” he said.
The vinaigrette Prime Minister gave the impression to consider him.
“Living with the virus is the doctrine of the Tour and the government, but everyone should offer protection to themselves and obey the rules in order that the Tour could take place,” Castex said.
“What I have seen today in the Pyrenees pleased me.”
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