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Tour de France stage 8 report: Pedersen muscles his way to uphill sprint win

Mads Pedersen has now won at least one stage at four consecutive Grand Tours.

Mads Pedersen breaks Jasper Philipsen’s streak of sprint victories on stage 8. Photo © Gruber Images

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 08.07.2023 Photography by
Gruber Images and Cor Vos
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Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) sprinted to victory on a busy stage 8 of the Tour de France, his Lidl-Trek teammates taking over control of the race in the run into Limoges. The uphill sprint was perfect for the Dane who took the win ahead of green jersey-wearer Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

It was a day of two halves that ended as expected, but without veteran sprinter Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan) who crashed out of what is said to be his final Tour, and with a slight rejig in the general classification with Simon Yates (Jayco-AlUla) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) also caught up in a late crash.

How it happened:

Brief results:

  1. Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek)
  2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
  4. Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AlUla)
  5. Nils Eekhoff (DSM-firmenich)

General Classification:

  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 29:57:12
  2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) @ :25
  3. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) @ 1:34
  4. Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) @ 3:30
  5. Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) @ 3:40

Brief analysis:

Visual representation, as if we needed it, of Tim Declercq’s value on the front of a bunch.

What’s next: Stage 9 preview

A rest day beckons on Monday, but first the Tour pays a visit to the mighty Puy de Dôme, bringing the GC riders to the fore once more to end the first nine days of the race. It’s not an overly violent race to the summit finish, with just one third- and two fourth-category climbs along the 182.4-kilometre route towards Clermont-Ferrand. But from there it’s skyward for 13.3 km – average 7.7% – for the third hors-category climb of the Tour. The fight for the breakaway will surely be hotly contested, not least for the KOM points available along the route, but the GC contenders may well have their day. Perhaps it’s a chance for Vingegaard to pull the momentum back into his corner after Pogačar bit back on Thursday.

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In the heady days – nay, hours – of this morning, before Cav’s premature exit from the Tour, his teammate David de la Cruz enjoyed some quality time with Titan the Cavapoo (I think…).

A number of riders, including a still-happy Cavendish, took their turns shooting hoops this morning, but none were as cool as Pogačar who didn’t even unclip from both pedals.

There’ll be no number 35, but let’s not forget Cav’s incredible career.

Based on the below, Escape Collective‘s Joe Lindsey did some of his own number-crunching, finding that from 2007-2023, Cav contested 60 sprint finishes at the Tour and won 34, for a 56% win rate, racking up nine top-three finishes along the way – so a 70& podium rate. Over such an extended period, that’s pretty darned impressive.

And finally, a good day for Mads Pedersen.

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