Tour de France 2016: Chris Froome claims yellow jersey on stage eight

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Tour de France 2016: Chris Froome claims yellow jersey on stage eight

Team Sky man wins stage after masterful descent on the Col de Peyresourde

Defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) won stage eight of the 2016 Tour de France to claim the yellow jersey with a descending masterclass.

Froome, who has now worn the yellow jersey 31 times in his career – extending his own British record – attacked on the descent to Bagneres de Luchon.

Previous leader Greg van Avermaet was dropped early in the stage, meaning Froome now leads fellow Brit Adam Yates – who retained the white jersey – by 16 seconds overall.

After getting in the breakaway the previous day to extend his overall lead, Van Avermaet was dropped from the peloton early in the stage this time out and lost the six-minute advantage he had built up overall.

Chris Froome won stage eight with a masterful descent of the Col de Peyresourde (pic: Sirotti)

At the front, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) – desperate to make amends for a poor performance on the Col d’Aspin – and Daniel Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) were the first riders to get a meaningful gap despite plenty of attacking from the peloton.

Plenty of big names were spat out the back as the pace stayed high on the Col du Tourmalet, however – Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), after his exploits in the break yesterday, was among those dropped, as was white jersey contender Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep).

Rafal Majka opted to go solo at the front of the race on the category-one Col de Val Louron-Azet as the gap to the reduced peloton went down, but the Pole was soon swept up too.

Wilko Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) crashed on the descent, but remounted and returned to the GC group with Sergio Henao (Team Sky) next to go on the attack at the front.

Henao’s move dragged team-mate Froome, Movistar duo Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde and Martin with him.

Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) was the next GC man to get into difficulty – for the second stage running – and this time there was no way back for the Frenchman, even as the GC group came back together.

Still the attacks continued, however, as the peloton reached the Col de Peyresourde – Froome trying a dig and the BMC duo of Van Garderen and Porte following suit.

Dan Martin continued his attacking intent too, and the pace put paid to Alberto Contador’s chances.

Quintana and Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) also tried attacks, but it was Froome who went over the top of the climb – and this time it stuck.

Chris Froome pulled on the yellow jersey for the first time in this year’s race – the 31st yellow jersey of his career (pic: Sirotti)

Froome swept down the descent – in the past considered his weakest attribute, but now another bow in his seemingly endless armoury.

And as his gap went out and out, the Team Sky man showed his raw emotion at the finish line, punching the air in celebration as he made it five British wins in eight stages.

Martin led the GC group across the line, with Joaquim Rodriguez third and Yates, in the white jersey and seemingly recovered from his unexpected tangle with the deflated air banner on stage eight, who stays second overall – 16 seconds adrift of the Team Sky man.

Tour de France 2016: stage eight – result

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 4.57.33hrs
2) Dan Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep +13”
3) Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) – Katusha – ST
4) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
5) Roman Kreuziger (CZE) – Tinkoff
6) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana
7) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-BikeExchange
8) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar
9) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo
10) Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC Racing

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 39.13.04hrs
2) Adam Yates (GBR) – Orica-BikeExchange +16”
3) Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) – Katusha – ST
4) Dan Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep +17”
5) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +19”
6) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +23”
7) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana – ST
8) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing
9) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
10) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo

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