Tour de France: Britain’s Froome wins stage 8

Tour de France: Britain's Froome wins stage 8
Chris Froome celebrating his win at the end of stage 8 of the Tour de France. Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP
The favourite for the Tour de France, Britain's Chris Froome got his hands on the yellow jersey for the first time after a stunning performance in the Pyrenées saw him win stage 8 of this year's race.

Britain's Chris Froome secured the Tour de France yellow jersey after a stunning win on the first day in the mountains as his rivals slumped on Saturday.

Sky team leader Froome launched a solo attack 5km from the race's first summit finish at Ax-Trois-Domaines and came over the finish 51sec ahead of Sky teammate Richie Porte to underline his overall victory credentials.

Spain's two-time runner-up Alberto Contador finished over a minute behind while 2011 champion Cadel Evans was even further behind at the end of an epic eighth stage.

Froome, last year's runner-up behind teammate Bradley Wiggins, now tops the general classification with a 51sec lead over Australian teammate Porte, with
Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third at 1min 25sec.

Contador (Saxo) is 1:51 off the pace while Australian Evans (BMC) is nearly five minutes adrift after finishing the stage 4:12 down on Froome.

Porte, the last rider in Sky's impressive line-up to set the pace on the 7.8 km climb to the Pyrenean ski station, said the order to hit full gas came from Froome after the Kenyan-born rider had realised Contador was in trouble.

"When Chris told me Alberto was no longer there, I just tried to give it everything I had," said Porte, who had taken over the pace-setting duties from Britain's Peter Kennaugh.

"I'm finished (exhausted), but it was an absolutely incredible ride."

Standings from the 8th stage of the Tour de France, a 195.0km ride from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines, on Saturday:

   1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 5h03min 18sec
   (average: 38,6 km/h)
   2. Richie Porte (AUS/SKY) at 0:51.
   3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 1:08.
   4. Bauke Mollema (NED/BKN) 1:10.
   5. Laurens ten Dam (NED/BKN) 1:16.
   6. Mikel Nieve (ESP/EUS) 1:34.
   7. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/SAX) 1:45.
   8. Alberto Contador (ESP/SAX) 1:45.
   9. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 1:45.
   10. Igor Anton (ESP/EUS) 1:45.

11. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 2:06.
   12. Rui Costa (POR/MOV) 2:28.
   13. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM) 2:28.
   14. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 2:35.
   15. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) 2:35.
   16. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 2:35.
   17. Jakob Diemer Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 2:35.
   18. Michael Rogers (AUS/SAX) 2:35.

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