Slovenian Tadej Pogacar has used the first Alpine stage in this Tour de France to take the leader’s jersey. The eighth stage, from Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand, was won solo on Saturday by the Belgian Dylan Teuns. Mathieu van der Poel, who started in yellow for the sixth day, came in well behind.
Pogacar, the winner of last year’s Tour, struck on the last three cols. He rode forward from the background. Van der Poel managed to cling to the second climb, but stopped his resistance when the Slovenian of UAE Team Emirates accelerated again on that climb. For example, Pogacar easily passed more riders from a group of eighteen refugees, but Bahrain rider Teuns kept his lead. Behind him, Spaniard Ion Izagirre sprinted to second place, ahead of Canadian Michael Woods and the new jersey wearer.
Saturday’s stage was about 150 kilometers long and included the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière. The mountainous stage also saw a shift in the mountain classification of the Tour: the polka dot jersey is once again in Dutch hands. After earlier debutant Ide Schelling wore the polka dot jersey for a few days, now Wout Poels can dress in that outfit.
Van der Poel came in twenty minutes after Teuns. He informed the gathered sports press that he will probably make a decision on his progress in the Tour on Monday, on the rest day: „It is nice in the Tour actually. I really wanted to stay until Paris, but I think the team would rather not have that,” ANP news agency quoted as saying. Van der Poel is aiming for gold in mountain biking at the Olympics. A second mountain stage will follow on Sunday, arriving in the ski resort of Tignes.