Date: Saturday July 9
Distance: 186 km
Another stage, another journey outside French borders, this time to Switzerland. Moving down through the Jura mountains sees the bunch tackle a few lesser-categorised climbs on the way to the punchy finish at the Lausanne Olympic stadium, which not only hosted the finale of the 1954 football World Cup but also concerts from Pink Floyd and Michael Jackson.
Given that by stage 8 the whole complexion of the race will be unrecognisable from any pre-Copenhagen predictions, how about some adjacent Lausanne trivia? It’s the final resting place of fashion designer Coco Chanel, who lived in the city on Lake Geneva for 10 years to escape criminal charges of collaboration during World War II. The more you know!
Who will win stage 8?
This is one of those stage profiles that seems to have breakaway written on it, and if the teams with the requisite punchier riders get their men in the move then expect to see them battle it out for the stage win.
Breakaway specialist Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) has been rather quiet thus far, and on the other side of the coin, Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) may feel under pressure to defend the polka dots. Elsewhere, with Bahrain Victorious’s GC aspirations all but scuppered, Matej Mohorič will be itching to rescue his team’s Tour and add another tick to Slovenia’s tally.
While we’re on national pride, France is still awaiting a victory, so maybe it’ll be a day for Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën), Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies), or burgeoning breakaway talent Victor Lafay (Cofidis). Or a Swiss rider? There are only four in the race, and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) are probably in with the best chance of a home win.