7.11.2015

TdF 8: ALEXIS VUILLERMOZ!

Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r)Mur de Bretagne. A stage in its finish. Riding there, a break-away - Chavanel (IAM), Sicard (EUC), Huzarski (BOA), and Perichon (BSE). No Teklehaimanot because today the big game in on the Mur and the big points too. No risk for the Polka Dot Jersey on the intermediate KOM  - Col du Mont Bel-Air (4th cat): 1.5 km long, average gradient of 5.7%. - so he waits.
Embedded image permalinkShort and step, longer than Huy, less steep. Here GC riders could try to get a gap, a small one, a few seconds ahead tomorrow TTT.
Few points are on the intermediate sprint for the Green Jersey and Peter Sagan should try. Instead... no. Degenkolb is the only contender and gets simply smashed by a superlative Greipel. His Tour, no doubt.
Embedded image permalinkThe peloton is upset (?) for Paolini's positive to cocaine. The strange fact is that this substance remains in the body for maximum 48 hours so... well.. did Paolini race on cocaine? Anyway comments from the riders are very mild.
A small group formed at the intermediate sprint where a few riders, not just sprinters, got an advantage. Risky situation. 
Embedded image permalinkKwiatowski is the first one joining the break. Others bridge, including Sagan who obviously can't collaborate. Golas is also on the attack with Bak. Etixx is makig the race.
Embedded image permalinkIn front there are now Lars Bak, Michal Golas and Bartosz Huzarski, a small group including Kwiatowski, then the peloton. A fluid situation and Team Sky is not chasing. The tree riders go.
The peloton follows more than chasing, pulled by Team Cannodale-Garmin. Today Daniel Martin would take his chance.
Embedded image permalink11 km to go a crash brings down three riders, including the youngest of the peloton. All back on bike.
Break caught 7 km to go.
And now RACE ON! Alexis Vuillermoz takes the lead from behind, Froome is there too but gives him a look like in agreement and the young French goes. In vain Dan Martin tries to follow. He's gone. 
And I'm clapping in front of the telly! YEAH! ALEXIS!  HAPPY!
As for the GC: Vincenzo Nibali got dropped.
And Peter Sagan took Green.

Alexis Vuillermoz:
“I was third on the Mur de Huy, that was obviously amazing. So today I wanted to try and do something special. I tried two or three times to go, and finally on the third time it worked. I knew someone was behind me, but I just put my head down and pedaled for all I was worth. I'm just realizing now that I've won the stage.
I'm not sure that in the mountains I'll be able to take on Chris Froome, but on a finish like this, I'm a puncheur, I can take my chances. It's the sort of climb that 
Embedded image permalinksuits me, so I feel very good about today. Not in the mountains. Everyone has their specialty, this one is mine. In the mountains I'll be there to help my team leaders.”

Chris Froome:
"My team-mates did such a good job of bringing me into the foot of the climb in a good position. Once I hit the front I felt I'm here, I might as well just push on a little bit and see how the legs are feeling and also the response from the group behind.
"Today wasn't really about extending that gap, more about looking after the gap I already have. It's 11 seconds so it's not a big gap. But the main race is still to come. We've got the TTT tomorrow, then the rest day before we head into the Pyrenees and the real race for the yellow jersey starts.
We really did try and approach the stage quite conservatively as a team given in the back of our minds we have the team time trial tomorrow. That's really quite an important stage for us. That's a day where half a minute could be won or lost depending on how it goes.
Embedded image permalinkIt's going to be tough, especially with BMC breathing right down my neck and Tejay (van Garderen) right there. But we've got a really strong group of guys for the team time trial and hopefully we can be up there with the best."

Dan Martin:
"I was on the wrong side of the group. I saw the AG2R guy go but I just couldn't get out. When I did it was too late and I'm really disappointed because the guys rode so well and they kept me out of trouble, relaxed, and they believed in me. We'll try again.
Everyone was stuck on the right hand barrier, I was on the right hand barrier and there was no where to go."

Vincenzo Nibali:
"It was a bad day and I didn’t expect that at the beginning of the stage," Nibali said immediately on crossing the finish line. "Before the climb, too, I felt ok, but when it accelerated at the very end, I didn’t feel good.
I don’t know how the team time trial will go, but it will certainly the first real place where we can draw up a first balance sheet for the Tour – which, for me, so far, has not been good,"

Alberto Contador:
“We all finished together but I saw that Nibali lost 10 seconds, which is not irrelevant. The stage was not too hectic but the pace was high in the last part before the final climb. I was in the wheel and I tried to help Peter in the final part but it was impossible to set it up at that moment. In any case, I’m happy with the stage and I look forward to the team time trial. We have a good team, of course we have used energy in the first part of the Tour but I am optimistic”

Tejay van Garderen:
"With the team I have and what they have shown so far, I think we are pretty confident. We are just going to go out there and ride as hard as we can. We have four world champions in that discipline on the team, so we will put out the best performance that we think we can." 

Peter Sagan:
“The finale was very hard because we did full gas from the bottom to the finish line. I took the decision to stay with Froome and in the last hundred meters I tried to accelerate but I was in the red zone and Valverde beat me, while I wasn’t fully able to do my sprint. I was hoping to take the win but the two guys up front did a strong attack and for sure, it’s nice to be back into the green jersey. It’s only with a three-point advantage but I will do my best to stay in the lead. I am very happy with the points I took and I don’t see why I should be disappointed. 
I would have liked to take more points but I’m satisfied and now we look forward to the team time trial, where I think we can do well. We have to do our maximum like in every time trial but I think we have a good team for this challenge. The yellow jersey is 11 seconds away, it will be difficult but we are here to try”,




RESULTS
STAGE

1 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale 4:20:55
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:05
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:10
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
6 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge
8 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
10 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
GC
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 31:01:56
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:11
3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:26
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:34
7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:36
8 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:07
9 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:15
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing

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