Pogacar Storms into Yellow by Crushing most of his Rivals on the first Mountain Stage
Belgian Dylan Teuns won the eighth stage of the Tour de France, a 150.8-km ride from Oyonnax on Saturday
The Bahrain-Victorious rider prevailed from the day's breakaway, while defending champion Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia claimed the overall leader's yellow jersey with a stunning attack 32km from the finish.
After six days in yellow, Mathieu van der Poel cracked spectacularly, finishing 22 minutes behind Pogacar.
The young Slovenian attacked on the penultimate ascent of the day, the Col de Romme, to distance all his rivals in a long-range move reminiscent of racing in the 1980s, as Belgian Dylan Teuns won the day’s laurels from the early breakaway.
Saturday was all about the three Cat. 1 climbs in the latter half of 150.8 km. All three were 8 percent or more. The Col de la Colombière was the final ascent, a 7.5 km of 8.4 percent with bonus seconds on offer at the top. It peaked 14 km from the finish in Le Grand-Bornand. The rain made the descents treacherous.
Pogacar was fourth on the stage behind Spain’s Ion Izaguirre and Canadian Michael Woods, who were second and third respectively, 49 seconds off the pace but with an advantage of more than three minutes on all his rivals for the general classification.
It's also a sensational two days for Bahrain Victorious, who take their second stage win through Teuns, keep the polka-dot jersey with Poels inheriting it from Mohoric, and won the combativity award with Poels.
As for the main pre-race contenders, they were all left to lick their wounds, most of them coming home just under three and a half minutes in arrears.
Last year’s runner-up Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Briton Geraint Thomas, the 2018 champion, were distanced early on and have pretty much zero chance of a podium finish in Paris, having suffered crashes in the first days of racing. Thomas and last year's runner up Primoz Roglic were riding in a large group 12min 30sec off the pace over the top of the first climb. Ecuador's Richie Carapaz is now the sole podium hope for British team Ineos.
Overall, Pogacar leads Belgian Wout van Aert by one minute 48 seconds and Kazakhstan's Alexey Lutsenko by 4:38.
Sunday's 9th stage of the Tour de France in another demanding day in the alps which takes in five mountain climbs. The race finishes uphill in the ski resort of Tignes after a 21 km climb.
VIDEO: 2021 Tour de France Stage 8 Highlights
2021 Tour de France Stage 8 Top 10
1 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious 3:54:41
2 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:44
3 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:47
4 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:49
5 Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:33
6 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:02:43
7 Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:03:03
8 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
9 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:07
10 Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:04:09
2021 Tour de France GC after Stage 8
1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 29:38:25
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:48
3 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech 0:04:38
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:04:46
5 Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:05:00
6 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers 0:05:01
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:05:13
8 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:15
9 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:05:52
10 Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:06:41