Pyrenees Deliver First General Classification Showdown9. July 2016, Bagneres-de-Luchon (FRA) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team’s General classification duo, Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen, had a solid first hit out in the mountains on stage 8 of the Tour de France to finish 10th and 12th respectively.
The 182km stage saw the General Classification contenders battle it out over four category climbs including the famous Col du Tourmalet, shaking up the General Classification going into stage 9.
It all came down to the final climb where Chris Froome (Team SKY) attacked on the descent and held on to the take the solo win and overall lead. Porte and van Garderen pulled from behind to cross the line 13 seconds behind Froome.
After three days with the leader’s yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet conceded his lead as he predicted prior to the stage start. Van Garderen has moved up to eighth place on the General Classification, 23 seconds behind Froome, and Richie Porte in 18th place, 2’08” behind. BMC Racing Team continues to lead the Team Classification, 1'34" in front of Team SKY.
Stage 9 is billed as one of the toughest days of the Tour de France with five category climbs on the cards.
Quotes of the Day
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was a really hard day. I was hoping the break would go away before the Tourmalet but it didn’t happen and it was one of those days when you’re going to go full gas all day. I had a bike change on the Tourmalet so I was dropped a little bit there. I just tried to find a good tempo but I knew the race was over because when the really good climbers go, it’s impossible to keep them at five minutes. It was a good day and I’m happy that I could ride another day in yellow today.”
“It’s a special feeling to be in the yellow jersey. I think for my type of rider it’s pretty hard to get yellow at all so to have it for three days is really nice. A lot of people were supporting me so it was really special every day.”
“Froome just got the gap and Quintana didn’t want to chase. Tejay and I were told on the radio to pull together and try and bring Froome back as much as we could. But even by that stage he was out of sight and out of mind. I had a good day. It’s a shame we didn’t finish on the top, that would have been a little more interesting, but it was a good day.”
“On the back of the last two days, tomorrow is possibly going to be the hardest stage of the Tour. If Tejay and I are up there, and Froome or Quintana are isolated, we’ll see what we can do. Tejay and I are both still up there and it was a pretty select group who was sprinting today. Damiano Caruso has been incredible. He’s always there, he’s dependable, he’s really becoming a crucial part of our team. He’s just fantastic to have there.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“The final climb started with Team SKY just making their usual tempo and I think it was Valverde who opened up the attacks. It was just kind of bang, bang. It looked like it was all together over the top but then Froome put in one last sneak attack right at the top and I was thinking that it was a long way to go downhill and that it was a bold move. But you can never underestimate Froome, you give him an inch and he’ll take a mile.”
“Damiano Caruso is really strong; the whole BMC Racing Team is working really well together. Guys like Michi Schär are surviving over the top of the Tourmalet, so that’s pretty impressive. I think me and Richie are going to be right up there in all of the mountains to come. I think we’re going to have a good domestique there with Damiano to help us.”
Tour de France
Stage 8 Pau > Bagneres-de-Luchon (184km)
Top 3: Chris Froome (Team SKY), Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quick Step), Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 10. Richie Porte, 12. Tejay van Garderen, 28. Damiano Caruso
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 8. Tejay van Garderen, 18. Richie Porte, 26. Damiano Caruso
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.