2013 Tour de France – Stage 8 live updates, blog

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    2013 Tour de France (Image: Chungkong)

    After finally finishing the traditionally flat week one of the Tour de France that as usual did little in changing the GC, we are now entering Stage 8 and thus the first stage in the Pyrenees. We’ll have live updates from 10.00pm AEST.

    Tonight signifies the real beginning of the war that is about to ensue in pursuit of the overall title.

    The stage will be a tough 195km journey from Castres to the ski resort of Ax 3 Domaines.

    It features a 15km Hors Category climb at an average gradient of 8 percent that summits 44km out from the line and finishes 36.2km from the start of a 7.8km Category 1 ascent to the end of the stage, that will take out whatever is left in the riders legs in within no time.

    These heavy climbs, that are sure to leave behind most of the peloton, coupled with this being the first proper mountain stage where the GC contenders will have plenty left in their legs.

    It means that there will certainly be no holding back in today’s stage.

    We could see battle one of the war between the overall contenders of Le Tour through tonight’s route.

    Riders such as Christopher Froome, Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, the out of form Andy Shleck and even little known podium finisher at last year’s Vuelta, Joaquim Rodriguez of the Katusha outfit could all be in contention.

    These overall contenders, as well as the likes of specialist climbers such as Pierre Rolland of Europcar and Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, are sure to be gunning for the stage victory.

    For the first time in this year’s race produce a number of attacks throughout a stage, which in the process will set the race into a frenzy.

    As tonight’s stage is likely to be the first showdown between the main contenders for the Malliot Jaune heading into Paris, a key psychological edge could be gained by the GC rider that gains the most time on his rivals.

    It could also be a good form guide on the form of this top group of riders; a crucial trait that has yet to be tested in this year’s Tour.

    This is the stage that marks the real beginning of this year’s race for the general classification contenders.

    So join me from 10.00pm AEST to ensure you don’t miss a second of what is set to be the most enthralling stage of this year’s race so far.

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    The Crowd Says (141)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 5:50am
      Kathy said | 5:50am | ! Report

      Any chance for Cadel to get any position on the podium? This guy never gives up! In reference to a comment that Aussies should shift support to another Aussie ? WTF? I really do not know how shifting support from one Aussie to another makes any difference.
      You either support a rider or you don’t. Got to admire Evans. I have looked at a few blogs and talk about knock a tall poppy! Ok to make a realistic appraisal but some of the comments about Evans on some blogs are childish! He represents Aussie sports well and is an inspiration. As are the other Aussies. he is still the only Aussie TDF. He has not let us down.

      • Roar Guru

        2:01pm
        zacbrygel said | 2:01pm | ! Report

        Hi Kathy, I still believe Cadel has a chance for the podium. It’s a bad start but there is sill plenty of time for him to turn things around. In terms of switching support to Evans, my comment was more in reference to the fact that if we want a TDF winner we should support Porte, but I will still support both of them. As you said Cadel is a true champion and an inspiration, his Aussie fighting spirit is to be admired and for that he will always be a champion.

    • Roar Guru

      1:27am
      zacbrygel said | 1:27am | ! Report

      The stage certainly produced what it was billed for, and was completely epic, no matter which way you look at it. Massive time gaps occured in regards to the GC contenders, playing a big part in determining who will win this year’s Tour. But there is still 13 stages to go, and plenty of time for Contador, Rodriguez, Shleck and possibly even Evans to turn it around and fire back at Chris Froome.

    • Roar Guru

      1:25am
      zacbrygel said | 1:25am | ! Report

      So the stories of the day are that Froome has asserted his dominance with a massive victory over his GC rivals. Cadel Evans bombed with a 4:13 loss to the Brit, leaving his GC hopes in a very bad state. Contador lost time, but is still in the running with a loss of 1:46 as there is still 2 weeks left in this Tour, but Australia has another hope with Richie Porte finishing only 52 seconds behind Froome in the battle of the GC contenders up the final climb.

    • Roar Guru

      1:21am
      zacbrygel said | 1:21am | ! Report

      But there is still hope for Australia, with Richie Porte finishing 2nd in the battle of the GC contenders to only lose 52 seconds to team mate Chris Froome. But Contador cannot be ruled out despite a loss of 1:46 on Froome, although Froome has certainly sent a strong message to Contador with an extremely dominant victory that has given him the Malliot Jaune.

      • 2:12am
        nickyc said | 2:12am | ! Report

        Richie P will only be a contender in the event that something untoward happens to Froome. Otherwise he’s going to ride for his team leader. A podium finish and possible Sky 1-2 is a genuine possibility, however. His reward will come with the chance to lead the team in the Vuelta or one of next year’s Grand Tours.

        I was surprised how much Contador struggled to stay with his teammate on the final climb. Not a good sign. Very bad day for Cadel and I honestly think his days of contending are over. I was more surprised by the performance of his teammate and potential rival van Garderem who had a shocker losing more than 12 minutes.

        Apart from Froome and Porte, shout outs for the young Colombian rider and Manxman Peter Kennaugh – both competing in their first Tour – who were both hugely impressive in their respective roles.

        • Roar Guru

          2:04pm
          zacbrygel said | 2:04pm | ! Report

          Some good points there @nickyc. In terms of Porte, as you said his role will be to support Froome and a SKY 1-2 is possible, much like Froome’s TDF last year supporting Wiggins. However if Froome loses a lot of time on a stage, or suffers a bad crash etc, (Both are looking unlikely) SKY may shift their support to Porte, giving him a chance to become the 2nd Aussie to win the Tour after Cadel Evans in 2011.

          • Roar Guru

            2:06pm
            zacbrygel said | 2:06pm | ! Report

            In regards to Contador, I was also very surprised he was struggling to stick with his team mate on the final climb. He was lucky he had a team mate their to do work for him on the front, otherwise he would’ve conceded even more time to Froome and Porte.

    • Roar Guru

      1:17am
      zacbrygel said | 1:17am | ! Report

      So to summarise, SKY once again proved their dominance with Froome gaining a dominant victory that has all but dealt a crushing blow to his GC rival and 2011 winner, Cadel Evans, gaining over 4 minutes on the BMC hopeful. Despite a disappointing stage for Contador and Rodriguez, they are still in the running for overall honours despite losses of 1:46 and 2:05 respectively. They will be heartened by the fact that there is still 2 weeks to go, and plenty of time to turn around their losses experienced today.

    • Roar Guru

      1:14am
      zacbrygel said | 1:14am | ! Report

      So the main time gaps in the stage between the main contenders were as follows, from Chris Froome onwards:

      – Richie Porte: 51 seconds
      – Alejandro Valverde: 1:09
      – Joaquim Rodriguez: 2:05
      – Andy Shleck: 3:34
      – Cadel Evans: 4:13

    • Roar Guru

      1:11am
      zacbrygel said | 1:11am | ! Report

      How do I summarise tonight’s stage? After Quintana’s impressive attack in the HORS category climb he was eventually brought back to the main field at the bottom of the 7.8km category 1 climb to the finish. This was where the fireworks really began, with the peloton slimming down to about 15 before shocks occured with Evans and Shleck dropped a fair way out from the top of the climb, with Contador, Rodriguez, and Valverde still hanging in. Rodriguez was soon dropped, moments before the real shock came: Contador cracked. Valverde was then dropped, with Porte making them drop by flies. From then it was 4km from the finish, before Froome went for home solo, and finished 51 seconds over team mate Porte in 2nd place. Valverde finished 1:25 behind Froome, before Contador coming in at 1:51 behind Froome, and Rodriguez at just over 2 minutes. Andy Shleck lost 3:35, before Cadel came it at 4:13, sending a crushing blow to his GC hopes.

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