Sunday, July 8, 2012

2012 Tour de France, Stage 8 Results

On a day with seven climbs including a brutally steep final ascent in Switzerland, the short eighth stage was expected to be an animated one and the predictions came true. The attacks lasted from start to finish. It began with an impressive display from Jens Voigt who seemed like the bionic man as he punched the pedals on his own at the front while a myriad of riders tried to get on terms with him but failed. On he went for the first hour, like an automaton on a mission but eventually his battery ran out. Meanwhile, back in the peloton there were some who dared take on the might of the Sky team, including the youngest in the race Thibaut Pinot. Slowly but surely, the FDJ-BigMat rider caught and passed every other escapee and, 500m before the top of the final climb he was in the lead. Once there, he wasn't going to surrender his chance of glory. And even with the closing bout of action from the likes of Jurgen van den Broeck and Cadel Evans, nothing could steal the hard-earned victory from Pinot, the new darling of French cycling.

Pinot raced into the lead of the stage with 17km to go. He caught and immediately raced past Kessiakoff near the top of the final climb and he wouldn't be seen by another rider until after the finish. Lotto-Belisol led the yellow jersey's group for most of the final climb and then there was an elite selection of just nine men at the top: Wiggins, Froome, Evans, Menchov, Nibali, Zubeldia, Schleck, van den Broeck and Horner. On the descent Kessiakoff almost overshot a turn but by then he was out of contention for the stage win. Van den Broeck was bold enough try attacking the yellow jersey and this also prompted a brief surge from Cadel Evans but Wiggins always seem to have them covered. The defending champion of the Tour would finished second in the stage for a second successive day but he gained no time on his main rival in the race for the maillot jaune. Meanwhile, the celebrations for the first French stage win of the 99th Tour were started by Marc Madiot in the back seat of the FDJ team car well before the finish. He carried on like a man possessed, pumping his fist and screaming himself hoarse while, up ahead, Pinot calmly raised his arms in salute of an outstanding victory – one that will be remembered for a long time for this was the day that the young rider became a winner at the Tour de France.

Kessiakoff earned the lead in the climbing classification for his efforts today and Taaramae just defended his white jersey... and Wiggins, in fourth place, did all he needed to do to ensure he'll wear the yellow jersey in the time trial of stage nine.

"Those were the longest ten kilometers of my life," Pinot said after the stage. "When I saw 10km to go and the peloton was coming back, I was really afraid."

"I thought about attacking in the final kilometers but there was no chance because the wind was against us ," explained Nibali. "I also decided that I didn't want to spend too much energy today in view of the individual time trial tomorrow. I want to perform well tomorrow and not lose much time to Wiggins and Evans."

Michele Scarponi performed better today than in Planche des Belles Filles, coming in at 1'25". The team, after tomorrow's time trial, "will decide together how to plan the second part of the Tour".

Note: one rider did not start, two riders withdrew today:
Withdrew: VERDUGO Gorka, SANCHEZ Samuel (due to crash at 60 km; Olympic gold medalist, road)

Tomorrow: Stage 9, Arc-et-Senans-Besançon, 41.5 km individual time trial. TdF analysis by Jean-François Pescheux:
"How shall I put it? A crucial stage riddled with heritage sites and tourist landmarks. I mention heritage and tourism because it starts from the Royal Salt Works, which date from the time of Louis XV. The stunning pictures will be broadcast in 190 different countries. And I say it is a crucial stage because, after ten days of racing, the time trial will give us a much clearer picture of the state of affairs. The beautiful course is similar to the stage around the Lac de Vassivière a few years ago. We chucked in a climb which will no doubt sap cyclists' legs. We chose this terrain to make it easier for strong riders to prevail."

1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 38:17:56
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:10
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:16
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:54>>> winner of 2009 Giro d'Italia
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:59
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:01:32
7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:02:08
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:02:11
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:21
10 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:02:27
11 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:13
12 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:03:24
13 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:03:41
14 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:43
15 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:47
16 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:04:03
17 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:04:08
18 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:04:12
19 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:24
20 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:04:26
21 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:04:46
22 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:05:37
23 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
24 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:47
25 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:06:05
26 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:06:12
27 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:06:45
28 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
29 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:06:54
30 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:07:51
31 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:09:44
32 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:10:05
33 Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:11:07
34 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:11:47
35 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar 0:13:24
36 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:13:36
37 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:14:27
38 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:14:56
39 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:16:00
40 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:16:43
41 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:17:16
42 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:17:38
43 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:18:19
44 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team 0:18:41
45 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:18:47
46 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:18:58
47 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team 0:19:21
48 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:19:31
49 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:19:54
50 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:20:09
51 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:20:44
52 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:20:45
53 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:21:32
54 Alexandr Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:22:47
55 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:23:08
56 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:23:12
57 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:23:20
58 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:23:25
59 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:23:44
60 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:24:23
61 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:24:29
62 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:25:03
63 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:25:17
64 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling 0:25:27
65 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:25:45
66 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 0:26:14
67 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team 0:26:31
68 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD 0:26:51
69 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Sharp 0:27:17
70 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:27:52
71 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:28:30
72 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:28:35
73 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team 0:28:40
74 Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:28:51
75 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:28:55
76 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:29:12
77 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
78 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:29:42
79 Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:29:53
80 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:29:54
81 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:29:56
82 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:30:00
83 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:30:18
84 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:30:20
85 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:30:28
86 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:30:32
87 Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:31:11
88 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team 0:31:19
89 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:31:48
90 Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar 0:32:00
91 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan 0:32:07
92 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar 0:32:32
93 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:32:34
94 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:32:40
95 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:32:52
96 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:32:59
97 Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling 0:33:04
98 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos-Shimano 0:33:09
99 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:33:15
100 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:33:18
101 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:33:22
102 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team 0:33:28
103 Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:33:53
104 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:34:08
105 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 0:34:47
106 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:34:53
107 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:35:41
108 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:35:49
109 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:35:52
110 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team 0:36:16
111 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:36:30
112 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:36:32
113 Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team 0:37:35
114 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
115 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:38:10
116 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:38:26
117 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:39:14
118 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
119 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:39:20
120 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:39:22
121 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:40:05
122 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team 0:40:54
123 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 0:41:11
124 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:42:04
125 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 0:42:45
126 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:42:50
127 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:43:05
128 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:43:21
129 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:43:42
130 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 0:44:30
131 Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:44:53
132 Juan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Katusha Team 0:45:01
133 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team 0:45:34
134 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:46:41
135 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Sharp 0:47:33
136 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:47:34
137 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team 0:47:50
138 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:48:06
139 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
140 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling 0:48:17
141 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar 0:48:23
142 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar 0:49:14
143 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:49:28
144 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:49:51
145 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:50:10
146 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:50:17
147 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:50:39
148 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:50:42
149 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos-Shimano 0:51:09
150 Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos-Shimano 0:51:12
151 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:51:51
152 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:51:59
153 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre - ISD 0:52:34
154 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:52:55
155 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat 0:52:57
156 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:53:59
157 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos-Shimano 0:54:51
158 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:55:20
159 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD 0:55:35
160 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:56:33
161 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:56:42
162 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:56:45
163 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 0:56:50
164 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:57:09
165 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team 0:57:33
166 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:57:58
167 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:58:51
168 Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) Lampre - ISD 0:59:20
169 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team 0:59:40
170 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:59:46
171 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 1:00:32
172 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos-Shimano 1:01:19
173 Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos-Shimano 1:01:48
174 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin - Sharp 1:03:16
175 Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos-Shimano 1:08:09
176 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 1:08:23
177 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Sharp 1:09:37
178 Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur - Sojasun 1:11:39

Photo: Bettini

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