Froome takes stage eight, Tour overall lead

BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON • Chris Froome won stage eight of the Tour de France and, with it, the yellow jersey yesterday.

The Team Sky rider broke away on the final descent to take the stage victory 13 seconds ahead of a group of seven riders including Dan Martin, Romain Bardet, Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen and Nairo Quintana.

No one could follow Froome, who won the stage ahead of Ireland's Dan Martin and Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain.

"It was just a bit of fun really," said Froome of the descent. "I just thought I'd see what I could do. It was real old-school bike racing. Maybe it took a bit too much, tomorrow's going to be a hard day, but I'll take every second I can get at this stage."

The British cyclist used an unorthodox riding technique on the descent, squatting over the crossbar for aerodynamic purposes as many riders have done over the years but also pedalling from the position.

The unusual style may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing but it was effective, with the Team Sky rider pulling out a sizeable advantage over all his rivals.

"It was one of the toughest days so far," said Sky rider Geraint Thomas. "I was on my knees - I thought I was going to get dropped after the first two climbs.

"Today we weren't planning to do too much, but the way the race went, everyone was on their knees, so Chris took the chance."

It was a fifth stage win in eight for Britons following three for Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings on Friday.

With BMC's Greg van Avermaet dropping out early on a challenging day in the Pyrenees, Froome assumes the overall lead of the race.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 10, 2016, with the headline 'Froome takes stage eight, Tour overall lead'. Print Edition | Subscribe