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Stage 8, 2016 Tour de France
On Saturday the peloton of the 2016 Tour de France rides 184km (114.3mi) from Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon. Three tough climbs feature on the stage with the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet and the Category 1 climbs of the Col de Val Louron-Azet and Col de Peyresourde. The stage is not for the faint of heart with 4,350m (14,271ft) of climbing, but again the stage ends in the valley after the harrowing high-speed descent of the Pyresourde.
Date: Saturday, July 9
Start: Pau (67-time stage city, population 81,500)
Finish: Bagnères-de-Luchon (57-time stage city, population 2,800)
Distance: 184km (114mi)
Elevation Gain: 4350m (14271ft)
Weather forecast: Hot summer sun at the start. Cloudy onto the mountains from midday. Rising temperatures, reaching up to 30/34°C in the valleys. More or less the same temperature at the top of the mountains. Light northeasterly wind.
Tour de France (2.UWT) l'Isle-Jourdain → Lac de Payolle
VAN AVERMAET Greg
DE GENDT Thomas
BMC Racing Team
Comment from race director, Christian Prudhomme: “The great classic of the Pyrenees has been reconsidered for this 2016 edition of the Tour. After the Col du Tourmalet, the race will, for the first time, head up the Hourquette d’Ancizan from a different side before taking on the Col de Val-Louron-Azet and Peyresourde! A battle with several levels where anything and everything can happen.”
Chris Froome (Team Sky): “We’ve got a really big weekend coming up and there’s a lot of hard racing to come. It’s better to save a little bit in the tank. I’d imagine we’ll see bigger time gaps tomorrow. There should be some tired legs as today wasn’t an easy day.”
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal): “I still have the polka dot jersey because a little bit of luck was on my side, but I’m afraid that tomorrow will be my last day with this jersey. I need great legs to go and get more points. I hope so but I have to be realistic as well.”
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing): “Everyone wants this jersey for one day in his life, so to get it for one more day is worth some efforts. It’s been a wonderful day again but I’m aware that it can be very hard tomorrow.”
Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing): “I think people are pretty nervous for the next two days. I think we’ll see some fireworks tomorrow and Sunday.”