Here’s the order at the top of the Menté:
1. Benoît Cosnefroy, 10 points
2. Quentin Pacher, 8
3. Jérôme Cousin, 6
4. Fabien Grellier, 4
5. Ilnur Zakarin, 2
6. Nans Peters, 1
Cosnefroy duly attacks at the top of the climb. He collects the points without contest.
JJ Rojas (Movistar) crashes in the peloton after being squeezed against the barriers.
Meanwhile, the pace in the peloton is upping a little now. Caleb Ewan, André Greipel and Elia Viviani are among those dropping out the back as the gap has gone down to 13:20.
We’re at the point in the race where we can clearly see who the in-form men are – not necessarily in terms of GC, rather those that are regulars in the breakaway.
It’s Cosnefroy’s fourth time out front after stages 2, 3 and 7, as well as an attack on stage 1.
Pacher (stage 4), Cousin (stage 3), Gogl (stage 2), Skujins (stage 2) and Powless (stage 6) have all been out in the break once previously, too.
83km to go
European champion Giacomo Nizzolo has abandoned the Tour de France. He just stopped midway up the Col de Menté, rolling back to his team car before climbing off.
A look at the breakaway today.
It’s the same in the break – all together midway up the climb.
No worries in the peloton as Jumbo-Visma, Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ all ride at the front along with Mitchelton-Scott. The pace isn’t high in the group, with sprinters such as Sam Bennett and Giacomo Nizzolo still in there.
10 KOM points on offer up here, followed by 15 and 10 on the final two clmibs of the day. The KOM leader Benoît Cosnefroy is in the break, of course.
The gap back to the Mitchelton-Scott led peloton is up to 13:50 now.
88km to go
The breakaway are on the first climb of the day now, the first-category Col de Menté.
It’s 6.9km long at an average of 8.1 per cent.
As we expected, the sprinters did fight for the final 2 and 1 points at the intermediate sprint.
Sam Bennett (Deceuninck) won it, scoting 2 points, Bryan Coquard (B&B) was next, taking 1 point. Peter Sagan (Bora) tried to fight for it but ran out of legs and so missed out on any points.
He still leads the green jersey points competition but Bennett is now only 7 points behind now.
As we wait for the GC battle to come alive today, this is a reminder of the top ten on GC.
Yates leads Roglic by just 3 seconds, Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) is at 9 seconds, Egan Bernal (Ineos) and Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo) and other GC riders are at 13 seconds.
Alaphilippe is 11th at 15 seconds but is expected to try to take back yellow,
|Place||Rider (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott||30:36:00|
|2||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:00:03|
|3||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||00:00:09|
|4||Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||00:00:13|
|5||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma||00:00:13|
|6||Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic||00:00:13|
|7||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||00:00:13|
|8||Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team||00:00:13|
|9||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||00:00:13|
|10||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling||00:00:13|
Sam Bewley is leading the peloton for Mitchelton, with Ineos riding in formation behind the Australia team.
Jumbo-Visma sit behind their major rivals.
The 13 riders have quickly reformed and are working together again. They know they need to stick together and try to gain as much time as possible so they hold off the charge of the GC leaders on the major climbs later.
Jerome Cousin kicks away and wins the intermediate sprint. His early attack surprised Michael Morkov (Deceuninck) to take maximum points and a prize of 1500 Euro.
The break is about to reach the intermediate sprint.
To read more about how Pogacar and Landa lost time and their reactions, read this story.
105km to go
The riders can see the Pyrenees on the horizon now. They’re 10km away from the intermediate sprint but the 13 riders will sweep up most of the points. Sagan and the others will fight for just 2 and 1 points for 14th and 15th place on the line.
Poor Pogacar was quizzed about seeking revenge today at the start.
“You are the third person asking me about revenge,” he told Eurosport.”
“Yesterday I lost time in a hectic stage but the team did good job. That’s racing and that’s cycling. Today is hard stage and we keep fighting. Today we’ll try to do our best.”
A number of riders are licking their wounds in the peloton after losing time yesterday.
Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren), Bauke Mollema and Trek teammate Richie Porte, Pogacar, Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) were on the wrong side of the gap. They lost 1:21 to their GC rivals.
Here are the 13 attackers working smoothly together.
🚴♂️ 13 in the break:🚴♂️ 13 dans l’échappée :🇫🇷 @BenoitCosnefroy🇫🇷 @NansPeters🇩🇰 @MichaelMorkov🇺🇸 @Npowless🇪🇸 @Carlos_Verona🇱🇻 @Tomashuuns🇷🇺 Ilnur Zakarin🇧🇪 @hermansben🇫🇷 @CousinJerom🇫🇷 @fabien_grellier🇩🇰 Soren Kragh Andersen🇫🇷 @KevReza🇫🇷 @QuentinPacher#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/rTJR9JjgxPSeptember 5, 2020
The 13 riders in the attack are: Benoît Cosnefroy and Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale), Ilnur Zakarin (CCC), Kevin Reza and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), Michael Morkov (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Neilson Powless (EF), Fabien Grellier and Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie), Carlos Verona (Movistar), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segrafredo), Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) and Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation).
It will be interesting to see who emerges from this group. Zakarin is clearly the best climber in the move and so the favourite for an eventual stage victory if the peloton let the break go away.
Mitchelton-Scott have taken up position on the front of the peloton to lead the chase and defend Adam Yates’ yellow jersey.
The riders in the peloton are now chatting as they roll along.
The peloton has eased even more now, and the gap to the break is up to 4:00.
It’s easy to spot Cosnefroy in the peloton. He’s covered in polka-dots from head to toe.
🇫🇷 – @LeTour 4⃣0⃣ points à prendre aujourd’hui. @BenoitCosnefroy & @NansPeters sont dans l’échappée. 4⃣0⃣points to score today. @BenoitCosnefroy & @NansPeters are in the breakaway. #allezALM – © ALM / KBLB pic.twitter.com/M2Qsvo4aFNSeptember 5, 2020
130km to go
The peloton is lined out across the road. The break has flown and have a 2:00 lead.
This could be a great day for Zakarin and Cosnefroy.
After just 10km the peloton has eased and let them go.
There are 13 riders up front, including Ilnur Zakarin (CCC) and the USA’s Neilson Powless (EF).
This is how it all kicked off.
🚩 Race is on with the first attack coming from 🇩🇰 Søren Kragh Andersen. It will be a fierce battle for the breakaway!🚩 L’étape 8 est lancée avec une première attaque de 🇩🇰 Søren Kragh Andersen. La bataille pour l’échappée est lancée !#TDF2020 #TDFunited pic.twitter.com/GeMHSTCkwISeptember 5, 2020
The KOM leader Benoît Cosnefroy is trying to join the attack with others, that could make for a big and very interesting group.
Others have now joined him as they try to form the early break of the day. However the pace is high as other riders try to join the move or close it down.
We could see a real battle, with attacks and chases, until beyond the intermediate sprint at 42km.
Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) was last to finish Friday’s stage and is the first to attack today.
Heading for km0 with @UranRigoberto not quite in pole position @LeTour #TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/gKQx8svbwRSeptember 5, 2020
Race Director Christian Prudhomme has waved the official start outside of Cazères and we have a first attack.
Here we go. 3-2-1. Go! The riders roll out of Cazères.
The stage covers flat country roads for the opening 42km until the intermediate sprint, then the mountains begin with the legendary Col du Mente, it is followed by the 11km Porte de Bales and then the Col de Peyresourde, before a fast, technical descent to the finish in Loudenvielle.
Fasten your seatbelts, the Tour de France ands the fight for overall victory is about to get very serious.
Meanwhile at the start, the riders are lining up, they’re taking off their masks and are about to roll out.
“The Pyrenees are heartless, ruthless and atheist. Devoid of affection, a psychologist would say,” the late Italian juornalist Gianni Mura wrote, outlining precisely why the Pyrenees matter.
The Tour, an endurance race shrouded in emotion, always benefits from an indifferent arbiter like the Pyrenees to lay everything bare.
To understand what might happen in the Pyrenees this weekend, check out this excellent preview by Barry Ryan.
He suggests the Pyrenean stages offer a launchpad for attacks but warns the fight for the yellow jersey is also a game of patience.
Before we get going, why not catch up on yesterday’s action. There was a lot of action, with Bora attacking early to distancing Peter Sagan’s green-jersey rivals before a tail/cross wind sparked echelons and lead to several GC contenders losing time.
Wout (Wowt!) van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won the sprint finish. Enjoy our full report, results and photo gallery in the link below.
This is the profile of today’s 141km stage.
At the start the teams are getting ready to race. With 20 minutes to the roll out, its time to put the bidons in the race bikes.
🇫🇷 #TDF2020 Not long until the start of the first Pyrenees stage. Bikes are ✅ #RideBianchi #OltreXR4 pic.twitter.com/CO2eEDDOm2September 5, 2020
🎙️ 🇫🇷 @alafpolak1 “It’s not going to be easy today. We’ll see how the legs are. It will all depend on how hard the col is, the Port de Balès and we’ll see about the descent.”#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/0r0PT2XbmkSeptember 5, 2020
We’ll also see if Julian Alaphilippe can take back the yellow jersey from Adam Yates.
Today’s stage is relatively short but is packed with major climbs in the Pyrenees.
As always, we’ll have all the action as the overall contenders will go head to head.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the riders are signing on in Cazères before the 141km stage.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 8 of the Tour de France.