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TOUR’23 Stage 8: Pedersen Powers to Stage Victory!

Mark Cavendish out of the Tour

Tour Stage Report: On the day that Mark Cavendish’s stage win record dream was dashed by a broken collar bone, Lidl-Trek’s Mads Pedersen was the strongest in Limoges. On the uphill finish, the Dane had the power to hold off the green jersey of Jasper Philipsen and Wout van Aert. Jonas Vingegaard is still in yellow.

The final kilometre of stage 8

The eighth stage of the Tour de France was won by Mads Pedersen. The Dane of Lidl-Trek was too fast for the two Belgians, Jasper Philipsen and Wout van Aert on the rising finish. Fourth and fifth place went to the Dutchmen Dylan Groenewegen and Nils Eekhoff.

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A hot day for the yellow jersey – Jonas Vingegaard on the start podium

Christian Prudhomme on stage 8: “One sprint may follow another, but they’re not necessarily the same. Limoges could produce some surprises as the day’s finish will certainly suit the most explosive sprinters, those capable of powering up a short but difficult climb to claim victory.”

Stage 8 profile

The eighth stage of the Tour de France 2023 went from Libourne to Limoges. The first part of the 201 kilometre stage had a few small hills, but nothing the riders couldn’t handle. The first real obstacle was the Côte de Champs-Romain (2.8km at 4.8%), followed by a plateau where the road undulated. Twenty kilometres from the finish there was a bit a descent. The last kilometres to Limoges were flat, but the final K ramped up to the finish line.

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No hard feeling?

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Tim Declercq is usually pulling the bunch – Today he’s in the break

Apart from the power sprinters, the attackers also looked to have a chance of winning today. Many riders wanted to be in the ‘break of the day’. Torstein Træen crashed early in the stage as Kasper Asgreen, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Alexey Lutsenko and Julian Alaphilippe tried to escape. In the end it was Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa-Samsic) and Tim Declercq (Soudal Quick-Step) who got a gap. Behind the three, the peloton was restless for a while, but in the end they let them go.

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The Saturday fans were out

The trio quickly took 4 minutes on the peloton, where Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, INEOS Grenadiers and Alpecin-Deceuninck took the lead. They decided to control the race, but first they let the advantage increase to just under 5 minutes. A big bit of that was taken back because of the intermediate sprint. After the leading group, Philipsen came through in fourth place, ahead of Danny van Poppel and Jordi Meeus.

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The break of the day: Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa Samsic), Tim Declercq (Soudal Quick-Step) and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies)

Right after the sprint there was some action. Mathieu van der Poel joined Philipsen and the other sprinters and his teammate Jonas Rickaert, Alexey Lutsenko, Cees Bol and Biniam Girmay. Jumbo-Visma had no one with them and had to chase. The had to put in a lot of effort to bring them back, but in the end order was restored.

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Delaplace, Declercq and Turgis were never given enough time to succeed

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The peloton were not in a hurry to chase… At first

Towards the final, Cofidis and Lidl-Trek also came to the front of the peloton, where INEOS Grenadiers had meanwhile disappeared. They were still leading the peloton when Mark Cavendish crashed 60 kilometres from the finish. It was immediately clear that he was in a bad way. He stayed down for a long time and grabbed his collarbone. He eventually sat in an ambulance, where he was given a sling. But in the meantime, it was also officially confirmed that he to abandon and would not finish his last Tour de France.

It was about time we had those sunflowers

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A day for Mathieu van der Poel?

The Tour waits for no one, not even Mark Cavendish, and so the peloton continued at full speed over the rolling roads. Kasper Asgreen decided to cross to the break with just under 40 kilometres to go. The Dane rode away from the peloton and gained 30 seconds, but it was more than a minute to the three leaders at 25 kilometres out.

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The break was too well to hold off the peloton

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Mark Cavendish crashed out of the Tour – No record 35th stage win

It was too much for Asgreen and he fell back in the peloton after a few kilometres. Declercq, who had didn’t work with the others in the break while his teammate was trying to join them, started to ride again, but the difference was only 1 minute. At the foot of the penultimate categorised climb, the leaders had lost 10 more seconds. Turgis decided to go solo on this slope, causing the leading group to split. One by one they were to be reeled in, but Turgis put up a fight.

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Man down, but the race goes on

Towards the last climb, the Côte de Condat-Sur-Vienne (1.2km at 5.4%), Jumbo-Visma took the lead in the peloton and put the hammer down. Turgis still had more than 30 seconds, but under the pressure of Nathan van Hooydonck, the pace was fast uphill. Later Christophe Laporte took over. There was no possibility to get away at the front, the door was open at the back was open, although Dylan Groenewegen was still able to follow. At the top, Turgis still had 10 seconds in hand and a hard job.

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Kasper Asgreen tried to cross to the break, but….

The Frenchman of TotalEnergies held on for a while, but when he saw the bunch coming, he eased off. There was now a thinned-out peloton heading for Limoges. Victor Campenaerts then put in an attack, with Fred Wright on his wheel, but they were unable get clear. Shortly afterwards, there was another crash. This included Simon Yates, who was fourth overall. He didn’t seem to have much damage, but needed a new bike and would lose 47 seconds. He dropped to sixth place overall.

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Last man standing from the break – Anthony Turgis

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Pedersen jumped off Van der Poel’s wheel

Lidl-Trek took to the front in the run-up to the sprint. This was for their Danish powerhouse, Mads Pedersen, who turned out to be the fastest on this difficult finish. He beat Jasper Philipsen, who had a lead-out from Mathieu van der Poel, and Wout van Aert. Dylan Groenewegen was fourth, Nils Eekhoff fifth.

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A big power battle for the win

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It was close

Stage winner, Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek): “We didn’t know this morning if it would be a break or a sprint. The sprinters didn’t want to let the break go. My boys gave me a perfect lead out. Even with long sprint, I still had the legs to finish it off. It’s good to win a stage earlier than on stage 13 last year. When I passed the line, I knew I had won. It was long sprint. The final stretch was very painful. I was very close to sit up with 50 m to go. Jasper had to do a great sprint to overtake me. Yet it doesn’t matter winning by a large margin or by a small one. Regardless of this, it’s beautiful to win at the Tour. For me it was a pleasure to be able to ride with Mark Cavendish. I always had a good relationship with him in the peloton. It’s so sad for a legend to finish the Tour like this. He still owes me a jersey, for a jersey swap. Hopefully I can do some of the last races he does.”

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The powerful great Dane – Mads Pedersen took the win

Overall leader, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “We expected a difficult finale. The stage was demanding because of the heat but we’ve dealt with it. We would have preferred to win the stage but Mads [Pedersen] has been very strong. I went to recon the Puy-de-Dôme the day before the Dauphiné, it’s extremely steep. Tomorrow’s stage can be decisive but there’ll more afterwards.”

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Big day on Sunday

# Stay PEZ for Sunday’s tough stage to the Puy de Dôme. #

Tour de France Stage 8 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 4:12:26
2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck
3. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jayco AlUla
5. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) dsm-firmenich
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
7. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Dstny
8. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X
9. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech
10. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 8:
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma in 34:09:38
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:25
3. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:34
4. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 3:30
5. Adam Yates (GB) UAE Team Emirates at 3:40
6. Simon Yates (GB) Jayco AlUla at 4:01
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 4:03
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) dsm-firmenich at 4:43
9. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 5:28.

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