Loudenvielle, France, Sep 5 (efe-epa).- Nans Peters (AG2R) won Stage 8 of the Tour de France on Saturday, giving the French something to cheer about after the first day in the Pyrenees saw former race leader Julian Alaphilippe drop to 26th in the General Classification and Thibaut Pinot crumble while British rider Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retained the yellow jersey.
Competing in the Tour for the first time, the 26-year-old Peters emerged from the 13 riders who launched a breakaway just 10km into the stage from Cazeres-sur-Garonne to Loudenvielle.
Peters finished 49 seconds ahead of Latvia’s Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Spaniard Carlos Verona (Movistar).
The Frenchman dropped Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team) on the descent of Port de Bales before making the climb of Peyresourde alone.
Among the GC contenders, Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) finished ninth, 6 minutes behind Peters, recouping 38 seconds of the 121 seconds he lost in Friday’s stage and climbing to ninth overall.
Yates, who has been wearing the yellow jersey since Wednesday, when then-leader Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) received a 20-second time penalty for accepting water inside the final 20km, had some difficult moments on the climbs, but will keep the jersey for at least one more day.
Just 3 seconds behind is Slovene rider Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), followed by Frenchmen Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Romain Bardet (AG2R), who trail the leader by 9 seconds and 11 seconds, respectively.
Last year’s Tour de France winner, Colombian Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) is fifth and three of his countrymen, Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Rigoberto Uran (EF) occupy the next three spots.
Pogacar, in ninth, is 48 seconds off the pace of Yates, while 10th-place Enric Mas (Movistar) of Spain sits a minute behind the Tour leader.
Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who finished third in the 2014 Tour de France, was dropped with 41km left in Saturday’s stage while struggling with back pain as a result of a crash on the opening stage a week ago.
The riders face a second day in the Pyrenees on Sunday, when the route will take them 153km from Pau to Laruns with five categorized climbs. EFE