Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale) won the 8th stage of the Tour de France, riding clear on the Mur de Bretagne. Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) was 2nd and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) came in in 3rd place.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s first objective of the day was to retain Daniel Teklehaimanot’s Polka Dot jersey. With 2 points available at the stage finish, our African team were relying largely on Joquim Rodriguez (Katusha) not winning the stage, as he was the only real threat to Daniel’s jersey today. With Vuillermoz taking the victory, Daniel will keep the Polka Dots for another day.
The stage saw a group of 4 riders escape from the 9th kilometer. There was an intermediate sprint with 74km to go, which brought the peloton to life. Directly after the sprint a surge by those participating in the sprint saw the early break caught. 3 riders would then chance their arm and established a new breakaway, forcing out a lead of just over 1 minute. Cannondale-Garmin wanted to keep the break in check though and so set a hard tempo for the final 70km.
The 3 leaders had to surrender with 8km to go and we would have a showdown on the Mur de Bretagne. Edvald Boasson Hagen would be our rider for the final climb and the Norwegian was in a great position with 1.5km to go as he sat on the wheel of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo). Unfortunately it would not be Edvald’s day as the smaller punchers were more at home on the Mur. Vuillermoz accelerated away with 850m to go and this would be the definitive move of the stage.
Daniel Teklehaimanot – Rider
It is good to keep the jersey and to go into the team time trial with it still in our team. I can’t believe the support I am getting, it is just more and more everyday and I am very thankful. It still feels like I am in a dream.