Stage 8 race report

Questions were asked and answered on Stage 8. Big and important questions. We’re not sure what they were, but the answer was a resounding SKY. We’ll try to give this stage justice in the report, but Froome was so dominant that we’ll end up in hyperbole without words. It was surreal.

Anyhow, here is a cursory effort to describe the stage for your amusement…

Four went early, as expected: Marino, Riblon, Molard and Hoogerland. Meh, they were useless. Cannondale put all of their efforts into securing the intermediate sprint which they took for Sagan. Cav didn’t appear to be particularly interested in the intermediate sprint, perhaps he had already checked into the Venga bus. Greipel took the points followed by Sagan then Cav.

At the start of the HC Col de Pailhères, Riblon struck off on his own to see if he could make a day of it. He lasted a while, but as the first real day for the GC riders, he was never going to be successful.

When the peloton hit the Col de Pailhères a number of riders decided to have a crack to see if they could take the pace to Sky. Gesink attacks. Voeckler attacks to bridge to Gesink. Doesn’t work.

Carlton Kirby on Voeckler: “You could call him the housewive’s favourite.”

The ins and outs and ups and downs of the pace meant the demise of a number of heavy hitters: Millar, Moinard (maybe a technical?), Cunego, DL Garcia, Higgs Boson, Bring the Rein, Ryder Hesjdahl and Impey in yellow among others. Who was causing this grief? Yes, Kiryienka the animal.

Sean Kelly on Kiryienka: “He can set an infernal pace.”

Quintana throws the first cat amongst the pigeons when he attacks with 8km to go on the first climb. He screams past Voeckler and catches and passes Gesink with almost no difficulty.

Carlton Kirby on Quintana: “This could be a mighty, mighty setting out of his stall for a podium at least.”

Oh there was much love for Quintana. He was praised for riding iron bikes as a kid for transportation in Colombia. He was praised as being a great climber, and excused from being a great descender (question: surely if you’re a great climber because you ride in the hills…you have plenty of time to practice descending?)

Quintana kept the pace high. He was a long way from home when he attacked, but the commentators were supportive (they later excused him for being young). Eventually he catches Riblon who is similarly unable to stay on the Colombian wheel. So it’s solo out the front, probably not the ideal outcome with 33km remaining and the best riders in the world chasing with intent. Eventually some more riders attack but nothing happens.

Kiryienka continues to lead the chasers until 31km to go when he pulls off to allow Peter Kennaugh a chance to drive the bus for a while. Kiryienka sat on the front for the majority of the HC climb. He never faltered and delivered Kennaugh to the line in as good a position as possible. It was special.

Legolas Rolands goes on the attack to secure second position over the first climb as he’s chasing KOM points. The ploy works. Over the top of the hill, there might be 20 riders, including 3 from Sky, 2 from Movistar, 4 Saxo and Cadel.

After the crest, Quintana descends as if he’s never taken a bike above 60kmph. He’s nervous and generally useless.

Carlton Kirby on Quintana descending: “If you’re worried about his descending skills, then you have every right to be like that.”

The bunch hits the bottom of the final climb with Quintana off in front. Kennaugh starts the bunch up the final climb and the pace is feral. Kwiatkowski is gone. Gadret done, Serpa done. Eventually Kennaugh has finished his 20km on the front and turns it over to Porte.

Porte turns the screws and we see Cadel, Danielson, Rolland and Talansky all fall off the pace. JC Peraud? Gone. Rogers? Done. Anton, Nieve, Mollema, all gone.

And then there were five: Froome, Contador, Kreuziger, Valverde and Porte. Quintana is up the road so it’s 2x2x2. Except…Porte keeps the pressure on and drops everyone except Froome. The Kenyan attacks and he’s basically immediately on his own. Nobody comes close.

Sky has never attacked, just ridden tempo for a few hours in the hills. Remarkable. Froome is solo off the front, absolutely having a cake walk. Porte – who has sat on the front for the last few km – has managed to drop everyone else (again) and is coming in smiling in second place.

Sky dropped Contador, Evans, Valverde and Rodriguez without any difficulty. This wasn’t supposed to be the stage to win the tour, but neither was it the case that everyone was supposed to lose it.

 

Stage 8 tipping report

A mere 103 people took Froome….but there are a number of people dropping serious amounts of time,  of up to 30 minutes or more. Actually, more than any other stage, the tips for Stage 8 were widely varied. There wasn’t a dominant few choices. After a very stressful first week, last night proved to be the stage about which nobody knew anything. And it showed.

There has been a massive shakeup in the leaderboard with none of our 1 second leaders taking Froome. As such, there are a new 12 tippers equal first on time: Neil Mylott, David Studdert, Olly Stevens, Joel Watson, Niels Hanje, Julian Chipper, Chris Kuntz, Adam Barnes, Richard Cubitt, Jamie Jowett, Ed de Carvalho and Marthijs Heuperman. There are only 50 tippers within a minute of the leaders.

We’ve introduced a rank-break mechanism to distinguish between people who have the same time. The tie is broken first by the average rank of the tipper and then by the most recent rank. It’s possible to have the same rank, but it usually means that you have tipped identical riders…in which case you should have an identical ranking.

At the other end, Jake Carroll is well over an hour down. Chapeau!

We have a new leader in the Sprint, the fickle competition that it is…come on down Tom Galbraith!!! Tom’s on 234 points, winning over Nick Anskey on 229.

There are seven people on 35 points in the KOM competition: Adam Barnes, Jamie Jowett, Daniel Scheiner, Troy Bryant, Trevor Macdonald, Goon and Manuel Joven Tecson III.

So there you have it. The cat has been thrown amongst the pigeons. Everyone expected the result, but the magnitude was unheard of. The peloton looked lost, and were completely at the mercy of a very strong Sky side.

 

General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 8


Position Name Time Sprint KOM
1 Neil Mylott  1 day(s), 08:15:50 131 30
1 David Studdert  1 day(s), 08:15:50 153 30
3 Olly Stevens  1 day(s), 08:15:50 190 30
4 Joel Watson  1 day(s), 08:15:50 127 30
5 Niels Hanje  1 day(s), 08:15:50 164 30
6 Julian Chipper  1 day(s), 08:15:50 154 30
7 Chris Kuntz  1 day(s), 08:15:50 168 30
8 Adam Barnes  1 day(s), 08:15:50 147 35
9 Richard Cubitt  1 day(s), 08:15:50 112 30
10 Jamie Jowett  1 day(s), 08:15:50 166 35
11 Ed de Carvalho  1 day(s), 08:15:50 136 30
12 Marthijs Heuperman  1 day(s), 08:15:50 97 31
13 daniel scheiner  1 day(s), 08:15:55 78 35
14 Mik Efford  1 day(s), 08:15:56 138 30
15 Mitch Wells  1 day(s), 08:15:56 94 31
16 Nick Lothian  1 day(s), 08:16:04 176 30
17 Tim Gargett  1 day(s), 08:16:04 200 30
18 Bryn Richards  1 day(s), 08:16:04 135 30
19 Paul Wilding  1 day(s), 08:16:04 151 30
19 David Carruth  1 day(s), 08:16:04 151 30
21 Scott Milligan  1 day(s), 08:16:04 141 30
22 Chris Seglenieks  1 day(s), 08:16:04 153 30
23 George Bogus  1 day(s), 08:16:04 168 30
24 adam sutton  1 day(s), 08:16:04 166 30
25 Jimmy Gordon  1 day(s), 08:16:04 143 30
26 Riley Tempany  1 day(s), 08:16:04 164 30
27 Chris Neal  1 day(s), 08:16:04 196 30
28 Guthrie Finlay Collins  1 day(s), 08:16:04 126 30
29 Plamen Stoyanov  1 day(s), 08:16:04 204 30
30 Remy Giuliani  1 day(s), 08:16:04 101 30
31 Nicholas D’Ambrosio  1 day(s), 08:16:04 156 30
32 simon hill  1 day(s), 08:16:04 159 30
33 Brett Mckenzie  1 day(s), 08:16:04 131 31
34 Matthew O’Connor  1 day(s), 08:16:04 176 30
35 Ben Wells  1 day(s), 08:16:04 138 30
36 Troy Bryant  1 day(s), 08:16:04 158 35
37 andrew crowd  1 day(s), 08:16:04 168 30
38 Trevor Macdonald  1 day(s), 08:16:04 83 35
39 Tom Nisbet  1 day(s), 08:16:09 101 30
40 Vass Malanos  1 day(s), 08:16:13 151 30
41 Paul Guarrera  1 day(s), 08:16:21 156 30
42 Marcus Cairney  1 day(s), 08:16:39 157 28
43 Luke Grainger  1 day(s), 08:16:39 106 28
44 Angus Macdonald  1 day(s), 08:16:41 156 28
45 Barrie Furlong  1 day(s), 08:16:41 124 28
46 Daehan Choi  1 day(s), 08:16:41 156 28
47 Michael Janetzki  1 day(s), 08:16:41 110 28
48 Alex Fregon  1 day(s), 08:16:41 93 33
49 Robbie Russell  1 day(s), 08:16:41 154 29
50 Diana Dai  1 day(s), 08:16:41 82 29

To view the full CyclingTips competition ladder, click here