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Date: Saturday, July 8
Finish: Station des Rousses
Distance: 187.5km (111.65mi)
The hardest stage of the Tour thus far, a general classification shake up is not a certain outcome however as the difficulty of the following stage may lead the GC contenders to call a truce and let a break escape their grasps. Chris Froome has already said he is not concerned about losing the yellow jersey to any rider but a rival so look for the fight to get into the breakaway from riders far down on the classification.
From LeTour.com: “Stage 8 from Dole to Les Rousses is the first one for the attackers. Several of them have done their best to lose enough time in the first week of racing in order to get some freedom to attack this weekend, either today or tomorrow. Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) are former Tour de France stage winners who have clearly opted for chasing a stage victory rather than riding for GC this year. Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) looks like another candidate for a break from far out. That’s how Sylvain Chavanel became the stage winner on the last visit of the Tour to Les Rousses in the Jura. This is the second mountain massif used by the Tour de France this year after La Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges but the GC contenders eye more at the grueling climbs of col de la Biche, Grand Colombier and Mont du Chat the day after.”
Christian Prudhomme, race director: “Made in Jura,” that’s how this stage could be qualified as it will take place entirely in that area. On this part of the Jura mountain range, the climbs will offer a good opportunity to breakaway riders at their best. Last of the three climbs on the menu, the Côte de la Combe de Laisia Les Molunes, and its summit just 11kms from the finish, will be a perfect scene for the best of them to make a difference.”
Fabio Aru, Astana: “It should be a day for breakaways, but it’ll be an important stage as they all are.”
Simon Yates, Orica-Scott: “I expect a more aggressive racing this weekend. There’s no really flat anymore.”
Guillaume Martin, Wanty-Groupe Gobert: “I think on paper tomorrow is a complicated stage. The start of the stage could be fast, with a lot of riders wanting to join the breakaway that has a good chance. The final climb of 12 kilometers is long, but without high percentages and quite regular. We reach the climb via small routes. There are a lot of possibilities.”