Heartbreak again for Thibaut Pinot
The biking world bore witness to a upsetting but familiar sight on the Port p Balès, as Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) was dropped from contention for the yellow jersey.
There was a dreadful awareness of deja-vu reminiscent of his meltdown at the Alps at a year’s Tour de France, together with teammate Stefan Küng even placing a consoling arm over his shoulder as William Bonnet did so memorably.
One difference, however, was this time Pinot wasn’t in tears, rather appearing more resigned than ravaged. All these were, after all, different conditions than a year ago, when he seemed to be about the shape of his lifetime and was possibly just days away from winning the yellow jersey.
What went wrong? From his body language, along with how he clutched his spine at the same moment, it seemed that the Frenchman is still hurting from the injuries sustained from his launching point crash, despite having was able to remain together with the favorites all stages up until today.
Assessing how Pinot even contemplated retiring following the conclusion finish to last year’s Tour, you need to wonder exactly what the future holds for Pinot — who’s described today as possibly a”significant turning point in my career”.
For today, let us hope he can conquer the pain to keep in the race, and possibly bounce back to attempt to win a point.
Adam Yates gallantly defends yellowish on the initial GC showdown
Though we have had challenging scales and summit finishes in this post, phase eight felt just like the very first appropriate showdown involving the favourites.
Many fans had flocked into the peak of the Col de Peyresourde, supplying the familiar sight of cyclists glancing up the rise in single record while surrounded by waves of cheering spectators — with an unknown twist that nearly all of these were wearing masks.
Those audiences were treated to a thrilling racing, also, since the listeners attacked each other all the way up the rise.
That place Adam Yates’ (Mithcelton-Scott) lean hold onto the yellow jersey under severe threat. With all these riders within only 13 minutes of his guide, the strikes were steady, together with the likes of Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) all sniffing an opportunity at shoot yellowish.
All these accelerations watched Yates dropped a few days, but he stayed calm, driving the mountain in his own pace. From the summit he’d re-joined the little group of favorites, and was able to fend off attacks from Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Bardet about the warrior to successfully defend his guide.
It was a gutsy, smart ride in the Lancastrian, along with a sign he might continue to be yellow for quite a while yet.
Nans Peters wins the point
At a day of mixed fortunes for French cyclists, one unqualified victory was Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale), that promptly won the point from the breakaway.
In a race which had up till now been mostly dominated by the famous, based titles, Peters becomes one of just two riders (another being Alexey Lutsenko) to win a point this season with never done so previously.
The success was a consequence of his abilities going downhill because it had been going uphill. After the Frenchman reached the summit Port p Balès along with Ilnur Zakarin (CCC), Zakarin appeared the best bet to win the point, what with his pedigree as an former Grand Tour podium finisher.
However 25 of those staying 35 kilometres were downhill, which was Zakarin’s downturn as Peters dropped him about the descent of Port p Balès. The lead of about 30 moments he’d obtained after reaching the foundation of the Peyresourde was a portion of a buffer, also Peters soloed to victory.
It is the 26-year-old’s second Grand Tour stage win by a breakaway later he won phase 1 of this Giro d’Italia this past year, also, on this basis, there might be many more to follow along.
The yellow jersey favourites emerge
Though the initial seven phases had given us a thought as to what kind the favourites have been in, phase eight was our very first glimpse of that actually would be the most powerful riders in this year’s Tour de France.
Unsurprisingly Primož Roglič was among these, and it had been the rate set by his own Jumbo-Visma group that blew the race to bits on the Peyresourde. After Tom Dumoulin had completed his turn in the front, only nine other riders stayed.
Roglič was also one of just two riders who managed to react to an assault from Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), another being Nairo Quintana. Having a sizeable gap across the other favorites, who did not or couldn’t attempt and trace them, it seemed for a moment like we’ve been watching the eventual make-up of their podium.
However, the trio chose to not press , allowing for a regrouping, leaving concerns about whether they are really stronger than another favourites inconclusive.
In the conclusion, ten riders ended in the yellow jersey group (38 minutes behind Pogačar, who’d successfully assault again sooner ): Romain Bardet, Miguel Ángel López, Adam Yates, Egan Bernal, Mikel Landa, Guillaume Martin, Primož Roglič, Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Urán and Richie Porte. It is highly probable that these riders will be wearing the yellow jersey in Paris.
Large titles are taken from emptiness
The Peyresourde was the Waterloo of lots of the best favourites’ fantasies of winning that year’s Tour de France.
At a bizarre set of events, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck — Quick-Step) was ejected out the rear of the peloton only moments after trying to make an assault. It was a strange misjudgement of how powerful his thighs were, and he ended up completing more than ten minutes behind the set of favorites. There’ll therefore be no replica of the dramatic pursuit of complete victory this past year, and he will likely target phase wins from now on rather.
Jumbo-Visma embraced a plan that seemed to forfeit Tom Dumoulin’s hopes of a GC finish. The Dutchman consumed his energy putting a ferocious speed in the front of the peloton, and finally dropped over two minutes into another favourites.
>>’This wasn’t the strategy’: Tom Dumoulin sacrifices GC ambitions mid-stage in Tour de France
Others fell included a year’s fourth-place finisher Emanual Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who might still be fighting against the injury that forced him from the Dauphine past month, Ineos Grenadiers’ Richard Carapaz and Yates’ teammate Esteban Chaves — even though these riders were able to limit their losses into only 1 moment, so could still be in contention for a high GC finish.