Thomas De Gendt wins eventful eighth stage in Tour de France, Alaphilippe takes back Yellow Jersey
Jul 13 2019 11:26 pm CET

Thomas De Gendt wins eventful eighth stage in Tour de France, Alaphilippe takes back Yellow Jersey
Thomas De Gendt wins eventful eighth stage in Tour de France, Alaphilippe takes back Yellow Jersey
Photo of Thomas De Gendt by Lotto Soudal

Lotto Soudal's Thomas De Gendt has taken the second Tour de France stage victory of his career. The Belgian was part of the breakaway of the eighth stage and crossed the finish line on his own, just ahead of Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe.

The eighth stage of the French grand tour took the riders between Macon and Saint-Etienne over a 200-kilometre route with a hilly profile that included five climbs of the second category and two of the third, including the Cote de La Jaillere at less than 20 kilometres from the finish which also offered bonus seconds.

Thomas De Gendt, Niki Terpstra, Alessandro De Marchi and Ben King formed the escape of the day and they created a gap of more than four minutes with the peloton. Teams like Bora-hansgrohe and Sunweb took the lead of the pack and their rhythm left struggling behind the pure sprinters like Dylan Groenewegen and Caleb Ewan.

De Gendt and De Marchi were the only two riders left alone in front while in the peloton, teams like Astana and EF Education First. With around 15 kilometres to go, there was a crash in the peloton that affected many Ineos riders, including Geraint Thomas. The winner of the 2018 Tour de France was taken back to the peloton by three of his teammates while the co-leader of the formation Egan Bernal, remained safely in the pack all this time.

At the start of the last ascent of the day, De Gendt attacked and left De Marchi behind to be caught by the pack. The Belgian of Lotto-Soudal took the first bonification seconds. Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot got the remaining ones, while Bahrain-Merida's Vincenzo Nibali was dropped behind.

De Gendt faced the descent on his own, while behind Alaphilippe and Pinot took turns and created a considerable gap with a third group that included riders like Bernal, Nairo Quintana, Giulio Ciccone, Thomas, Kruijswijk and Adam Yates, among others.

The Belgian rider took the victory on his own - the second of his career, Pinot and Alaphilippe arrived to the line six seconds behind and the rider of Deceuninck-Quick-Step climbed back to the top of the General Classification at the expense of Ciccone. The group that included the favourites crossed the line 26 seconds behind the stage winner.









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