Stage 8: Libourne to Limoges – 201 km
Date: July 8, 2023
Stage type: Mostly flat, slightly uphill finish.
What to watch for: Pure sprinters will find this to be a slightly trickier finale, but they will console themselves by going for the green jersey points 80 km in.
Stage summary: The key route features of stage 8 are the small climbs late in the day and an uphill drag to the line.
Limoges is traditionally a sprint finish town. The last time the race finished here, Bryan Coquard came as close as he ever has to a Tour stage win, losing a photo finish to one Marcel Kittel. This year, the pure sprinters will have a harder time contesting.
First, there are the three categorized climbs (a cat 3 then two cat 4s) in the last 70 km. But that shouldn’t break things up too much.
This is a classic peak-era Peter Sagan finish, or more recently a Wout van Aert finish. It’s the type of stage that could be incredibly important for the green jersey competition. The pure sprinters will want to try to nab a few points, even if they can’t beat Van Aert. Other more well-rounded fast men like Mads Pedersen will be licking their lips.
Dane Cash’s picks: Wout van Aert seems like a perfect pick for this stage, though I’m not ruling out Jasper Philipsen, who has some versatility himself. Then again, Alpecin could decide to ride for his teammate Mathieu van der Poel. Caleb Ewan, Biniam Girmay, Mads Pedersen are others to watch. Lastly, there is at least some chance the peloton isn’t organized to reel in the breakaway, in which case it’s anyone’s guess which French second-division team comes away with the win.
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