TDF 2013: Stage 8: Froome, Porte Obliterate Field in Pyrenees

July 6, 2013. Ax 3 Domaines. By Jen Benepe

Sky Team’s Chris Froome has done it again, by surprising and delighting fans as he shredded the field up the final mountain pass to Ax 3 Domaines,

Team Sky leads up Pyrenees stage 8 TDF 2013 (ASO)

and securing himself the new title of race leader.

And despite the fact that the Kenyan born Brit has been keeping a low profile up to now, just about anyone who watched last year’s Tour was expecting him to excel once the race hit the mountains, and he sure didn’t disappoint.

Plus he did it in quiet, competent style, in almost the same one-two punch that he pulled last year with Sir Bradley Wiggins, just this time his new dance partner was teammate Richie Porte who now takes second position overall.

After shredding just about any other GC contender,  among them Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck, as well as the 2011 leader Cadel Evans, the duo took off like mountain goats, nimbly discarding the other GC stars, leaving them struggling on the hill, and panting for breath.

In the end, Contador, Schleck and Evans suffered big deficits behind Froome, by 1’46, 3’35, and 4’14, respectively.

The Movistar team added to the suspense with an attack by Nairo Quintana who takes the White Jersey in his Tour debut, and the leader in the stage Alejandro Valverde who was the closest rival to the Sky duo.

The 195 km stage from Castres to Ax-3-Domaines in the Pyrenees began with 188 riders in the race, and included three climbs: the cat-4 cote de Saint-Ferréol (at 26.5km) followed by the highest point of the 100th Tour de France, col de Pailhères (‘hors category’ at 166km) and the category-one ascent to the finish.

Valverde, Stage 8, TDF 2013 (ASO)

The intermediate sprint was in Quillan (at 119.5km).

The first successful attack came from Frenchman Jean Marc Marino (SOJ) and he was quickly joined by Johnny Hoogerland (VCD) (remember him, he was thrown into the barbed wire by a media car last year,) and, at 9 km, Cristophe Riblon (ALM) and Rudy Molard (COF) caught the two leaders.

By 16 km the escape was 5’40” ahead, and after an hour of racing the peloton was at 9’10” behind. Then Orica-GreenEdge led the peloton along with some help from the Sky Team.  In the second hour the escape was 7’55” ahead.

Having won the stage to Ax-3-Domaines in 2010, Riblon was the best placed on GC of the four in the escape and he was the virtual leader after starting the stage in 61st place, 4’49” behind Daryl Impey.

After 100 km the peloton’s deficit had narrowed to 6’40”, and the gap dropped steadily until the intermediate sprint when a big surge from Cannondale put a big dent in the break’s advantage. At the sprint, Sagan was beaten by Greipel for fifth-place points. Cavendish was seventh: then the peloton was 4’35” behind the break.

With 63 km to go, Team Orica GreenEdge pulled back and allowed three GC teams, Sky, Movistar and Belkin to lead the peloton to the base of the Port de Pailhères, a 15.3 km hors categorie climb.

By the time they reached the foot of the Pailhères, the break was just 1’00” ahead. Riblon accelerated in the first kilometre, while the other break riders were caught by the peloton 40 km from the finish.

The break passed many fields on the way to the climbs, Stage 8, TDF 2013 (ASO)

On the climb, one of the first to be dropped by the peloton was Blel Kadri (ALM). Then Robert Gesink attacked the peloton with 41 km to go and was soon 55” behind Riblon with the peloton at 1’10”.

Then it was David Lopez Garcia (SKY) upped the pace, and the pace of the Sky Team splintered the field. The lead peloton now included Impey but no other Orica riders.

With 39.5 km to go, Thomas Voeckler (EUC) attacked and prompted no reaction. His attack wouldn’t last long but the team wasn’t finished as Pierre

Stage 8, TDF 2013

Rolland jumped ahead as soon as his teammate was caught.

Then Quintana, the young Colombian from Movistar attacked with 37 km to go, and he quickly caught and passed Voeckler. Quintana would catch everyone and only Riblon could match his pace, but only for a few hundred meters.

With 3 km to go, the Movistar rider was still in the lead, winning him the ‘Souvenir Henri Desgrange’ award of the day.

But Team Sky had Vasil Kiryienka on the front until 3 km to climb and then Peter Kennaugh took over.  Behind them was Chris Froome. Victims of their blistering pace up the mountain included Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Nicolas Roche (TST), Robert Gesink (BEL) and Voeckler.

At the top Quintana led Rolland by 27”, followed by Nieve (EUS) by 1’00”, Kennaugh, Porte and Froome by 1’05” and there were about 25 riders in the group that was led by the Sky trio.

Sky was expected to star in the 8th stage and the team played their cards to the “T”.

Pierre Rolland, EUC, Stage 8, TDF 2013, (ASO)

Rolland caught Quintana at the base of the final climb but lasted only a matter of seconds. Kennaugh led Porte and Froome to the foot of the final climb and once he peeled off, the Porte took over the pacesetting.

Their pace eliminated most contenders, including Tony Martin (GRS), Andrew Talansky, Kwiatkowski and eventually Cadel Evans. Alberto Contador, Valverde, Roman Kreuziger, Rodriguez and others followed the pace of Porte for two kilometres but once a small gap Soon opened, and Froome took the advantage to power ahead and into the lead.

Once it was clear he would be the leader he wouldn’t be seen again: Porte also accelerated and no one could follow.

The Sky pair finished the stage in first and second place and took over the first and second positions in the overall rankings.

STAGE STANDINGS (8th Stage to Ax Les Domaines)

See below for overall general classification

RANK RIDER RIDER NO. TEAM TIMES GAP
1. GBRFROOME Christopher 1 SKY PROCYCLING 32h 15′ 55”
2. AUSPORTE Richie 6 SKY PROCYCLING 32h 16′ 46” + 00′ 51”
3. ESPVALVERDE Alejandro 121 MOVISTAR TEAM 32h 17′ 20” + 01′ 25”
4. NEDMOLLEMA Bauke 164 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 32h 17′ 39” + 01′ 44”
5. NEDTEN DAM Laurens 167 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 32h 17′ 45” + 01′ 50”
6. CZEKREUZIGER Roman 94 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 32h 17′ 46” + 01′ 51”
7. ESPCONTADOR Alberto 91 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 32h 17′ 46” + 01′ 51”
8. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 128 MOVISTAR TEAM 32h 17′ 57” + 02′ 02”
9. ESPRODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin 101 KATUSHA TEAM 32h 18′ 26” + 02′ 31”
10. AUSROGERS Michael 98 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 32h 18′ 35” + 02′ 40”
11. PORCOSTA Rui Alberto 124 MOVISTAR TEAM 32h 18′ 40” + 02′ 45”
12. USATALANSKY Andrew 178 GARMIN – SHARP 32h 18′ 43” + 02′ 48”
13. IRLMARTIN Daniel 175 GARMIN – SHARP 32h 18′ 43” + 02′ 48”
14. ESPNIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel 116 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 32h 18′ 50” + 02′ 55”

Overall individual time classification

Total distance covered: 1345 KM

RANK RIDER RIDER NO. TEAM TIMES GAP
1. GBRFROOME Christopher 1 SKY PROCYCLING 32h 15′ 55”
2. AUSPORTE Richie 6 SKY PROCYCLING 32h 16′ 46” + 00′ 51”
3. ESPVALVERDE Alejandro 121 MOVISTAR TEAM 32h 17′ 20” + 01′ 25”
4. NEDMOLLEMA Bauke 164 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 32h 17′ 39” + 01′ 44”
5. NEDTEN DAM Laurens 167 BELKIN PRO CYCLING 32h 17′ 45” + 01′ 50”
6. CZEKREUZIGER Roman 94 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 32h 17′ 46” + 01′ 51”
7. ESPCONTADOR Alberto 91 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 32h 17′ 46” + 01′ 51”
8. COLQUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander 128 MOVISTAR TEAM 32h 17′ 57” + 02′ 02”
9. ESPRODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin 101 KATUSHA TEAM 32h 18′ 26” + 02′ 31”
10. AUSROGERS Michael 98 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 32h 18′ 35” + 02′ 40”
11. PORCOSTA Rui Alberto 124 MOVISTAR TEAM 32h 18′ 40” + 02′ 45”
12. USATALANSKY Andrew 178 GARMIN – SHARP 32h 18′ 43” + 02′ 48”
13. IRLMARTIN Daniel 175 GARMIN – SHARP 32h 18′ 43” + 02′ 48”
14. ESPNIEVE ITURRALDE Mikel 116 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 32h 18′ 50” + 02′ 55”
15. ESPANTON Igor 111 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 32h 19′ 01” + 03′ 06”
16. POLKWIATKOWSKI Michal 153 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 32h 19′ 20” + 03′ 25”
17. DENFUGLSANG Jakob 63 ASTANA PRO TEAM 32h 19′ 22” + 03′ 27”
18. FRAPÉRAUD Jean-Christophe 81 AG2R LA MONDIALE 32h 19′ 24” + 03′ 29”
19. ESPZUBELDIA Haimar 49 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 32h 19′ 25” + 03′ 30”
20. FRABARDET Romain 82 AG2R LA MONDIALE 32h 19′ 30” + 03′ 35”
21. LUXSCHLECK Andy 41 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 32h 19′ 55” + 04′ 00”
22. IRLROCHE Nicolas 97 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 32h 20′ 05” + 04′ 10”
23. AUSEVANS Cadel 31 BMC RACING TEAM 32h 20′ 31” + 04′ 36”
24. ESPMORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel 106 KATUSHA TEAM 32h 20′ 31” + 04′ 36”
25. FRAROLLAND Pierre 51 TEAM EUROPCAR 32h 20′ 52” + 04′ 57”
26. FRAGADRET John 86 AG2R LA MONDIALE 32h 21′ 04” + 05′ 09”
27. GERKLÖDEN Andreas 46 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 32h 21′ 21” + 05′ 26”
28. COLSERPA José 149 LAMPRE – MERIDA 32h 22′ 15” + 06′ 20”
29. FRAPINOT Thibaut 71 FDJ.FR 32h 22′ 34” + 06′ 39”

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