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by Mark Zalewski
July 11, 2016
In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Tom Dumoulin wins summit finish in Andorra, Froome defends Tour de France lead; Giro Rosa Round-up: a last-minute stage win for Rabo-Liv and Megan Guarnier wins the Giro Rosa!; Jan Hirt wins Tour of Austria; Nikolay Mihaylov wins Sibiu Cycling Tour; Citing fever, Alberto Contador abandons 2016 Tour de France in Pyrenees; Tactical error? BMC Racing loses out to Froome on Tour’s first big mountain stage; Dan Martin feeling ‘great’ as Tour de France heads for familiar roads; Froome defends action against fan; Commentary: Why Chris Froome was right to punch that spectator; Tinkov, in TV interview: Valverde is jealous of Contador, Europeans don’t know how to do business; New Zealand names final Olympic cycling team; Why Andorra is becoming one of Europe’s most popular pro cycling bases; Tour de France, stage 9 recap; Tour de France, stage 8 on-board highlights; Tour de France, stage 7 on-board highlights; POV footage of Adam Yates crash into 1km inflatable; Orica-BikeExchange Backstage Pass, stage 7; 6-year-old tries Froome’s aero-tuck
When the dust settles, when stage 8 is analysed, those trying to beat Chris Froome to win the 2016 Tour de France may need to do a little soul-searching. The race to Bagnères de Luchon didn’t see major time gaps but the tactics of those seeking to prevent his third Tour win were a little perplexing.
Froome tried to shake off his rivals on the ascent of the Pyresourde. In previous Tours he has stamped his authority on the first big mountain stage of the race. This time around, his surges didn’t break his challengers. However just before the summit he accelerated and, as the others dithered, he opened a small but growing lead.
From there he plummeted down the descent, sitting on his top tube to adopt a more aerodynamic tuck and gradually pulling clear.
Behind, Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde ended up doing the bulk of the chasing. His teammate – and designated team leader – Nairo Quintana was there and the Spaniard tried to ensure the double Tour runner-up didn’t lose out. However, Valverde had been dropped on the climb before the summit and wasn’t the strongest in the group. Twelve others were also there, yet nobody committed to the chase until it was too late.
Perhaps the most glaring of those holding back were the BMC Racing Team duo Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte. Having two from one team there meant they arguably had a bigger obligation than the individuals in the group did, yet they left much of the pursuit up to Movistar.
Click through to read more at CyclingTips.