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Le Tour de France 2019
#11
He has, but rest assured that Corbyn knows plenty of people who are willing to burn down the synagogues at six o'clock Whistle
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#12
Great ride by De Gendt but the man is back in yellow Allez Alaphillipe




Defending champion Geraint Thomas lost time to Frenchmen Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot after crashing 15km from the end of stage eight of the Tour de France.

[Image: 107868786-ghent1.jpg]

Belgium's Thomas de Gendt won after a stage-long breakaway, as France's Alaphilippe reclaimed the yellow jersey with a late attack on the 230km route from Macon to Saint-Etienne.

He escaped alongside Pinot, who came second to climb to third overall. Briton Thomas, 33, is fifth overall, one minute 12 seconds behind.

Sunday's stage is a 170.5km hilly ride from Saint-Etienne to Brioude.

Adam Yates' Tour de France stage-by-stage guide
'It was a key moment in the race'
The Welshman had looked strong, occupying a spot near the front of the peloton for most of the day, but was unable to avoid trouble when Canada's Michael Woods and Thomas' Ineos team-mate Gianni Moscon collided in front of him.

Thomas, who was unhurt, became tangled up with Moscon's bike, which snapped in two.

With the help of Wout Poels, Thomas was able to chase back to a much-reduced peloton, but he was unable to respond to Alaphilippe's near-simultaneous attack.

"I'm fine but it was just frustrating," Thomas told ITV4. "It was a key moment in the race. Woods crashed and took out Gianni and me and I just got tangled in Gianni's bike.

"By the time I got up to the group I was gassed for a bit and obviously that's when they started to sprint away. It's annoying and frustrating but to come back like I did [is pleasing].

"If I hadn't crashed I could have followed [Pinot and Alaplilippe] and it's a totally different story then.

"Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphillipe have a good kick and punch - they are the guys to watch and beat."

Thomas' position in the general classification was unaffected, but he lost 39 seconds to Alaphillipe and 28 to Pinot, both of whom collected time bonuses on the final climb on the Cote de la Jaillere as well as at the finishing line.

Britain's Adam Yates finished in the same group as Thomas, alongside all the other main contenders to move up to 12th overall, 1:47 behind Alaphillipe.

De Gendt's solo ride to victory
De Gendt's superb solo capped a day that began with him among a four-man breakaway on the longest stage of this year's race.

The 32-year-old, whose only previous stage victory at the Tour came on Mont Ventoux in 2016, won all the classified climbs to move into second in the king of the mountains competition behind Lotto-Soudal team-mate Tim Wellens.

With the chase intensifying behind him, De Gendt then broke clear of CCC's Alessandro de Marchi and held off Alaphilippe and Pinot's late charge.

"The pack was closing and I had to go solo to try and stay ahead of them," De Gendt told ITV4.

"I had amazing legs today. I had a really good feeling all day and with 70km to go I really started to believe in it. It hurts. It really hurts."

Stage eight result
1. Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) 5hrs 17minutes

2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +6secs

3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) Same time

4. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb) +26secs

5. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA Hansgrohe) Same time

6. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel/Wanty-Gobert)

8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/CCC)

9. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos)

10. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team INEOS)

General classification
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 34hrs 17mins 59secs

2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +23secs

3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +53secs

4. George Bennett (NZ/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 10secs

5. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Ineos)+1mins 12secs

6. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos) +1mins 16secs

7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 27secs

8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First) +1mins 38secs

9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana Pro Team) +1mins 42secs

10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/BORA-Hansgrohe) +1mins 45secs
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#13
Back on live TV watch this weekend, but most of next week is probably out for me. At least Saturday's race was the real thing, a solo triumph, a spirited chase for 2nd and 3rd with a bunch finish for most of the GC players.

As for today, boredom was the big winner with a large breakaway allowed to build up a lead of well over 10 minutes, resulting in an impressive victory by Daryl Impey over Tiesj Benoot with the rest of the breakaway coming in up to 7 minutes behind. We had to wait almost another 10 minutes for the peleton bothering to turn up - it was such a nice day for a spin, they probably stopped for a cup of coffee and a cake in one of the towns! For a few brief moments, I thought an attempted break-out from the peleton by Romain Bardet and Richie Porte might shake up the GC placings but they were soon reeled back in.

Not much change in the overall rankings with Alaphillippe holding a 23 second lead over Ciccone and a 53 second lead over Pinot. Peter Sagan still wears the Grren Jersey with a healthy lead, with Lotto-Soudal's Tim Wellens and Thomas de Ghent vying for the Polka Dot Jersey. I'm sure they'll both win stages in the next couple of weeks, but they'll be taking turn about to attack. Ciccone still holds the White Jersey for the Youths and Trek-Segafredo hold a narrow lead over Movistar in the Team Event. Everyone else is over 15 minutes behind, but there's a long way to go yet.

Tomorrow sees a reasonably flat stage in the hills that should suit just about everyone - a committed breakaway shouldn't be allowed to get too far in front, a strong sprinter might still be there for a flat run to the finish. A climber might get a minute or so's advantage, but I doubt the sprint teams will allow that. For me, take your pick from a number of sprinters for the stage win - Sagan, Viviani, Kristoff, Colbrelli, Ewan - the possibilities are endless.
Cabbage is still good for you
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#14
A frantic sprint finish saw Wout van Aert win the stage by a tyre width from Elia Viviani, followed by Caleb Ewan, Michael Matthews and Peter Sagan.

Julian Alaphillippe, recording the same time as the winner, consolidated his GC leadership, now leading by 1m12s from Geraint Thomas, with Egan Bernal another 4 seconds behind. The biggest loser today was George Bennett, losing almost 10 minutes when he missed the break while he was back at the support car picking up water bottles. With a rest day tomorrow, there will be plenty of time for the inquest.

Now that there are a few riders out of the GC reckoning (only 23 are within 5 minutes of Alaphillippe), look out for some fancied riders making a name for themselves with a stage win. George Bennett certainly has something to prove, Vincenzo Nibali is always a danger, Tony Martin and Michael Matthews are others to watch out for.

Some say the TdF doesn't really start until the second week and this will be true with the fierce mountain stages in the Pyrenees on the horizon and then the Alps in Week 3.
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Cabbage is still good for you
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#15
Back on here for the last time until this coming Sunday. After today's rest day, it's a fairly innocuous return to racing tomorrow on a generally flat, slightly undulating 167km course from Albi to Toulouse (interesting to note that one of the sponsors is E.Leclerc - slightly tenuous - and the 2nd placed team is Trek Segafredo - just as tenuous). Moving on swiftly..........

This stage is tailor-made for Peter Sagan, who was caught out of position at the big wind-up by the sprinters yesterday and only finished 5th. He will be annoyed by that and shouldn't make the same mistake again. The last 4km is downhill and should see all the sprinters featuring again. The GC contenders shouldn't be affected by all the jostling and hoo-ha from the sprinters and cruise in en masse. The only problem for them will be if a top 20 rider gets into a big breakaway, which should be closed down quickly by everyone else.

Then the mountain men will come into their own in the Pyrenees on Thursday, then Saturday onwards. The sprinters will be happy to just hang on to their own positions, making sure they don't go over the time limit. There is a time trial in Pau on Friday, where Geraint Thomas might come into his own in the race for the GC leadership. Watch out for Tony Martin (perhaps past his best), Rohan Dennis (current World Champion) and Jonathan Castroviejo.
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