08/07/17 - 6:25 PM
Dole - Station des Rousses
Tour de France • Stage8

Dole - Station des Rousses
Tour de France - 8 July 2017

Tour de France – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 18:25 on 8 July 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Confirmation of today's top ten - with Chris Froome also coming home in that main pack, 50 seconds down.


Brilliant day for Calmejane and his attacking Direct Energie team, who made a bold call not to bring Bryan Coquard on the Tour - but one that looks to be paying off.


The Wanty rider who took third place in the sprint, 50 seconds down, was Guillaume Martin, another 24-year-old French Tour debutant. Great day for the host nation.


Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) crosses the line for second place 30-odd seconds back, before a Wanty-Groupe Gobert rider wins the sprint for third place when a reduced pack crosses the line...


An emotional win for Lilian Calmejane of Direct Energie in Station des Rousses. He's all smiles as he rides down the home straight, looks behind him, clenches his fist, then urges the crowd to roar and roar some more.


Under the flamme rouge for Calmejane, who can now afford to smile a bit.


Some downhill respite now for the lone leader ahead of the slight rise to the line. Back with the pack, there's some movement from riders wishing to steal back some time...


Calmejane is in a world of pain - but he's still 38 seconds ahead with a few kilometres to go. Provided he doesn't cramp up again, he should deliver.


The road starts to flatten out for Calmejane, who still has 30 seconds on Gesink and 1:20 on the pack.


It will be interesting to see if Gesink rallies, now. Calmejane seems to be recovering from those cramps, but it really was a big wobble.


OH NO! Lilian Calmejane almost comes to a standstill with cramp!! This has opened the door to Gesink... the Frenchman is really struggling...


Calmejane is holding nothing back as he hits the final uphill segment before the finish. It hits 6% but he should have enough. A superb ride from the Frenchman today. He tried to get in the break on numerous occasions before finally getting into that big move. When 16 went clear, he didn't panic and managed to get back in the mix before the final climb.


Calmejane still has 32 seconds on Gesink, 1:15 on Roche and 1:25 on the main pack. It's not in the bag, but it's looks good for the 24-year-old Frenchman. He won a stage in his debut Vuelta, now he's about to win a stage in his debut Tour.


The Team Sky-led pack crests the summit just as they catch Brice Feillu, who attacked earlier in the climb. They trail Calmejane by 1:25.


Over the top goes Calmejane - and he has 30-odd seconds to play with over Gesink. Polka dot jersey in the bag - but will he win the stage as well?


The gap is growing for Calmejane as he approaches the summit. Meanwhile, Valgren is about to be caught by the peloton.


Calmejane nears the summit - and this is a titanic performance from the Frenchman, who will take the polka dot jersey today. He already had a point this morning, so will have 11pts, which is one more than Aru...


Gesink is not giving up here. He's only 10 seconds down on Calmejane, and there's still 11km of this stage once the riders crest the summit - a lot of it downhill, some of it up, the rest flat.


Barguil has been caught by the peloton. There once was a time when Barguil was talked about in more glowing terms than the man currently leading this stage, Calmejane. But his stock has dropped over the past couple of years after that break out in the 2013 Vuelta, where he won two stages.


Gesink is really digging deep here. The rangy Dutchman has caught and passed Roche, and has the young Frenchman in his sights. The hardest part of this climb is to come.


Calmejane has 10 seconds over Roche, who has Gesink in pursuit. The Frenchman has 1:30 over the Sky-led pack, so it's looking good for the Tour debutant.


ATTACK FROM CALMEJANE: The Frenchman puts in a huge dig to drop the other escapees. Roche rides in pursuit but Gesink and Pauwels have been distanced while Valgren has cracked.


Gesink and Valgren join the three leaders and the rangy Dutchman comes right to the front, eliciting a smirk from Roche. Back with the pack - just 1:20 down - Brice Feillu attacks.


Greg Van Avermaet has been caught by the pack. Back with the leaders, Calmejane has managed to join Roche and Pauwels, but Barguil has cracked. Gesink and Valgren ride clear of the Frenchman.


Roche attacks! The Irishman is the first to put in a big acceleration on this climb and he takes the impressive Pauwels - my tip for the win - with him. Barguil tries to close the gap.


Barguil is now on the back of this leading six-man group. Kwiatkowski is the first Sky rider to peel off after his solid pacing for Froome, who now has both Landa and Henao back with him after their role in the main break.


Gesink brings Roche back to the leaders and then moves right onto the front. Behind, Bakelants has cracked, while Calmejane and Valgren manage to return.


Gesink is back, as Pauwels bridges over to Barguil. Van Avermaet waves to the camera after he calls it a day, while Clarke has also been dropped.


Barguil is the first rider to put in a dig. Gesink looks to be struggling a bit.


We're onto the snappily named Cat.1 Montee de la Comble de Laisia Les Molunes (11.7km at 6.4%)


Valgren has managed to bridge over to the leaders, so we have nine riders out ahead of the final climb. They have a minute over a chasing group and just 1:30 over the pack now, with Mikel Landa having dropped back to help leader Chris Froome.


Alexis Vuillermoz of Ag2R-La Mondiale is allowed to ride a little bit ahead of the Team Sky train as the race goes through his home town of Saint-Claude. The Frenchman - a stage winner back in 2015 - waves to his fans, friends and family.


Valgren continues his lone pursuit of the eight leaders. They're on the descent to the foot of the final climb now. The yellow jersey group is now just 1:40 behind the leaders, so on a day that seemed destined to belong to a breakaway, it may be a mad GC rush to the line at Station des Rousses.


Michael Valgran of Astana has attacked from the main break in pursuit of the leaders. It's worth adding that Geraint Thomas was involved in that incident with Froome, but both riders are back with the main pack.


Gesink sets the tempo for the eight leaders, who are on an uphill segment that punctuates the descent to the foot of the final climb. They have about 40 seconds on the large chase group and 2:55 over the pack.


A reminder that we have eight men in the lead now: Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale), Nicolas Roche and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Warren Barguil (Sunweb), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie). They have 45 seconds over 25-odd riders in pursuit, and 2:55 over the pack.


NEAR MISS: Chris Froome overcooks a bend and leaves the road! The Sky rider was caught napping there. Luckily there was a run off for him, so he didn't crash or come a cropper. Heart-in-mouth moment for the yellow jersey.


With Emanuel Buchmann and Pierre Latour both in the break, Simon Yates's white jersey is under threat today. The British rider from Orica-Scott is currently leading the youth classification by 24 seconds over Latour, 41 seconds over Meintjes and 46 seconds over Buchmann (who won the white jersey at the Dauphine last month). It's shaping up to be a nice four-way tussle.


Warren Barguil takes the 5pts over the top with Jan Bakelants in pursuit. That means the Frenchman moves onto 7pts in the KOM standings - so he's just 3pts from Fabio Aru's leading tally. He'll be in polka dots as long as he crests the next climb in fourth place or better today - unless, of course, Bakelants takes all 10pts by winning the climb.


Barguil clearly wants the 5pts over the top in his bid to take the polka dot jersey today. They're within 500m of the summit now, but have Calmejane, Clarke and Robert Gesink in pursuit.


An attack by Van Avermaet results in the Belgian riding clear with Pauwels, Barguil and Bakelants. Behind, Calmejane leads the chase with Simon Clarke.


The front of the main break has returned to the leaders, thanks to that acceleration from Buchmann. With both Latour and Buchmann back in with the leaders, that means the Frenchman is once again the virtual yellow jersey on the road.


Emanuel Buchmann drives the pace in the main break in pursuit of the leaders. The German rides clear just as Trentin is swept up. Further back, Christian Knees - who was with the break before dropping back to help Chris Froome - has been dropped. The yellow jersey still has Nieve, Kwiatkowski and Thomas in support.


Pauwels, Bakelants, Barguil, Ulissi and Van Avermaet have been caught by Talansky and Calmejane, so we have seven riders out ahead now. They're 1.2km agead of the peloton and a huge 3.1km ahead of the Kittel gruppetto. No news on Demare for now.


Calmejane and Talansky have ridden clear of the main break in pursuit of the leaders. They will soon catch Trentin, the latest to be dropped after Burghardt and Matthews.


The leaders are onto the second categorised climb of the day, the Cat.2 Cote de Viry (7.6km at a gentle 5.2%). This is the first Cat.2 climb we've had so far on this year's Tour - and there are 5pts up for grabs for the man who scales in pole position.


Reminder of the eight leaders: Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jan Bakelants (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Warren Barguil (Team Subweb), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors). They're cooperating well to stretch the lead out to 38 seconds over the chasers, and 2:12 over the main pack, ahead of the next climb.


Direct Energie are leading the chase from this large 41-man group that's ahead of the peloton, but trailing the leaders by 30 seconds. They have Calmejane, Chavanel and Quemeneur all working hard to reduce the gap on these long, wide, sweeping descent.


So, Sunweb have two cards to play in this leading group in Matthews and Barguil. On the other end of the race, we're hearing that Demare is now 17 minutes down. His two team-mates will have to ditch him soon if they want to stay in the race themselves, otherwise FDJ will lose a third of their riders in one fell swoop.


Barguil and Pauwels have been caught by the four chasers, who themselves were caught by Jan Bakelants, so we have seven out ahead now we're on to the descent proper. Matteo Trentin has almost managed to bridge over. That would make it eight.


As expected, Christian Knees has dropped back from the break and is helping to pace Froome in the pack - which might be why the gap has been slashed by a minute or so.


It's worth adding that Pauwels is the virtual yellow jersey now: the Belgian was two minutes down on Froome this morning. Both Latour and Buchmann - who are in that main break further back - have also been in the virtual yellow hot seat today. It's all happening out there.


Our two leaders are on an uphill drag that breaks up this descent from the climb. They now have four men in pursuit: Ulissi, Van Avermaet, Matthews and Burghardt. They edged clear of the other escpaees on the first part of the descent. The gap is 30 seconds, with the pack now trailing Barguil and Pauwels by 2:50.


Chris Froome has three Sky team-mates with him in the main pack: Thomas, Mikel Nieve and Michal Kwiatkowski. But he has three men in the break ahead: Sergio Henao, Christian Knees and Mikel Landa. So Sky have options.


Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) leads Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) over the summit of the climb to pick up 2pts in the KOM competition, with the Belgian taking 1pt for second.


The leading duo have one minute on the huge chase group of 48 riders, with the peloton at 3:40. The Demare grupetto is 14 minutes down - and it's just the struggling French national champion with two FDJ team-mates in a battle to stay in the race: the broom wagon is just behind. The Luke Rowe group has dropped them.


The two breaks look to be coming back together after Ulissi drags many of the distanced riders back towards that leading group. Barguil and Pauwels still out ahead.


Pauwels has joined Barguil and so we have two leaders now with a small gap on this wooded climb.


Frenchman Barguil has attacked on the climb. He's clearly got the polka dot jersey in mind. Meanwhile, it's Bora's Buchmann who is the virtual yellow jersey now - by vitrue of Latour not being in the leading group, but the large chasing group of 34 riders behind.


Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) and Warren Barguil (Sunweb) have joined the leaders, which is now 16-strong as they edge onto the Cat.3 Col de la Joux (6.1km at 4.7%), the first of three categorised climbs today.


Arnaud Demare, who was dropped early on, and who has been ill, is now 13 minutes off the pace. The French national champion could well see himself on the other side of the time cut today... he's in a gruppetto that also includes two of his FDJ team-mates, and also Luke Rowe of Sky, who crashed badly early in the race and has been playing catch up since.


The 13-man leading group have 40 seconds over the other escapees and 3:40 over the pack, which is still being controlled by Team Sky. It remains to be seen if Sky recall Knees, whose pace-setting may be useful for Froome. But having both Landa and Henao up front may work in their favour - either as a yellow hedge, or to help relay Froome in the closing climbs.


We've got the first of three categorised climbs coming up. There are 17 points on offer today for the polka dot jersey, so Fabio Aru is bound to concede the spots to someone in this break. The Italian has 10pts, with Dan Martin on 8pts, Froome on 6pts and Richie Porte on 4pts.


CRASH: Bernie Eisel has a musette or feed zone-related crash, and will have to fight back on once he gets a new wheel. He's torn his big shorts - and there will be a big pressure for many riders to finish within the time limit today, such is the pace and the deficits already for those who were shelled out the pack early on.


The race has zipped through the feed zone - and it's still frantic out there. So many races within the race, making it extremely chaotic.


Right, so 13 riders have broken clear of the 46-man group: Buchmann, Pauwels, Frank, Calmejane, Bakelants, Ten Dam, Van Avermaet, Bettiol, Keukeleire, De Kort, Valgren, Schar and De Gendt. They have 30 seconds over the big break and 3:30 over the Sky-led pack.


The gap is now three minutes over the Sky-led peloton, so it loosk like they're letting it go. The dangerman in the break is Pierre Latour, who is only 1:07 down on GC, which makes the Frenchman from Ag2R-La Mondiale the virtual yellow jersey on the road. Emanuel Buchman of Bora is 1:29 down, so he's one to watch; but Sky do have a security blacnked in Mikel Landa, who is 1:47 down on his team-mate Froome on GC. Wouldn't that be a story, if the Spaniard became the third Sky rider to wear yellow in this race...


Latour, Buchmann, Landa, Talansky, Pauwels, Roche, Henao, CAruso, Frank, Chavanel, Molard, Edet, Calmejane, Brajkovic, Bakelants, Ten Dam, Kiserlovski, Barguil, Minnaard, Bouet, Gilbert, Ulissi, Impey, Castroviejo, Clarke, Mori, Van Avermaet, Gautier, Bettiol, Keukeleire, Matthews, De Kort, Quemeneur, Burghardt, Gesink, Bauer, Valgren, Lammertink, Felline, Knees, Bole, Amador, Sutterlin, Schar, Sicard, De Gendt, Lemoine, Pichon, Trentin and Kozhatayev are all in this break. Wow, that took me a LONG time to type.


CORRECTION: That six-man group actually attacked out of the main pack, not that leading group of 50-odd riders. Easy mistake to make, given just how huge the leading group is: I mean, it's practically a third of the field. They have 45 seconds on the chasers and 1:20 on the yellow jersey pack. We're going to try and bring you some names once we've got our head around the situation...


Now six riders have some how managed to edge ahead of that large group. Team Sky have come to the front of the main pack for Chris Froome, restoring a bit of order. They trail the leaders by 55 seconds. Sky have Sergio Henao in the large group of 50 riders which is ahead of the peloton and behind those six leader. Crazy race situation.


The four leaders are reeled in and now it's Cyril Gautier of Ag2R-La Mondiale who is driving the pace on the front of a group of around 40 riders, with more chasing over. Surely this won't be allowed to stay out? They have about 30 seconds to play with over the streamlined peloton.


Frank looks over his shoulder - and he sees that large chasing group, and the peloton, behind, and the four leaders sit up. They know it's going nowhere.


It's relentless today. The quartet have about 20 riders in pursuit, but the peloton is closing in fast. No favours are being given and yet again it looks like it will all come back together again. The likes of Kittel and Greipel have been dropped on that last climb - and we've still yet to hit any of the categorised climbs on the menu.


Sutterlin has been replaced by Ulissi in this leading quartet - but the pack is strung out in pursuit, with riders poised to bridge over...


It's all kicking off on the next climb - another uncategorised lump which has blown the pack apart. A large chasing group looked to be forming around Chavanel and Ulissi, with Roglic there too and Rolland joining later on. Behind the pack is strung out, while the leaders were really being pegged back - with Sutterlin the first to crack.


Lilian Calmejane is not happy with the situation and has attacked from the pack, taking Philippe Gilbert with him. Astana have a couple of riders near the front too...


The pack bunches up a little - and it looks like they may let these four riders stay out. The gap is 40 seconds as they riders pass yet another astonishing piece of field art.


Christ Froome is being very attentive here, riding very near the front alongside his lieutenants Christian Knees and Michal Kwiatkowski. The yellow jersey does not want to be caught out by an ambush by one of his rivals today - and these four leaders still only have 20 seconds to play with.


The four riders out ahead are Burghardt (Bora-Hanshrohe), Mathias Frank (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) and Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar). The gap is 15 seconds.


The pack came back together before four riders pinged clear. As the gap opens up, numerous riders try to bridge over - which could spell the death of it.


Confirmation that it was Matthews who took second place in the intermediate sprint ahead of Kittel and behind Greipel, the winner. There was no sign of Demare, who was dropped on the climb - and has only just passed through the sprint, 3:20 down. It's going to be a long day for some of the riders already distanced by the pack.


As expected, a large group of riders has taken advantage of the chaos of the intermediate sprint to open up a small gap. Frenchman Lilian Calmejane is very much in the mix for Direct Energie, as is that man Vuillermoz for Ag2R-La Mondiale.


It's a fiercely contested intermediate sprint, and after Kittel is led out by Philippe Gilbert, it's Greipel who powers through the middle to take maximum points with Kittel and Matthews neck-and-neck either side of him. Could well be another photo finish to work out who came second in that one...


Kittel is still in this main pack, which is why Quick-Step Floors have come to the front. Kristoff is there for Katusha, as is Colbrelli - the intermediate sprint king - for Bahrain Merida.


With the intermediate sprint coming up, it's getting feisty again. So many of the sprinters have been dropped, so others are sensing an opportunity. One of those is Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb: the Australian is third in the green jersey points classification on 123pts. Yesterday, Marcel Kittel took the jersey back off the shoulders of Arnaud Demare with his third win of the race - the German has 197pts, with Demare on 182pts. The top five in what is a tight competition is completed by Andre Greipel on 110 and Alexander Kristoff on 102pts.


Chavanel and Pauwels are reeled in as the road levels out after the climb. Another UAE Team Emirates rider has a pop - it's Diego Ulissi.


Chavanel has managed to open up another gap - this time with Serge Pauwels of Dimension Data.


Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) are active on the front, too. Sprinters and domestiques continue to be dropped.


Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) drags numerous riders back to Feillu and Barguil, and the two Frenchmen are reeled in. Luke Rowe of Team Sky has been dropped - he's not the only one.


Warren Barguil (Sunweb) pings clear, joined quickly by Brice Feillu of Fortuneo-Oscaro. Two Frenchmen out ahead...


It's all over for the break as Chavanel, van Avermaet and Lutsenko are caught by the Sunweb-led pack. Already, some sprinters have been canned out the back of this pack - including the French national champion, Arnaud Demare.


Chris Froome and his Team Sky colleagues are near the front as the road starts to kick up a little. A reminder that Froome, the defending champion and triple winner, leads his team-mate Geraint Thomas by 12 seconds in the overall standings, with Italy's Fabio Aru (Astana) at 14 seconds, Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) at 25 seconds and Richie Porte (BMC) at 39.


The gap is still only 28 seconds for the three leaders as Sunweb continue the chase. It will all probably blow apart on the uncategorised climb coming up, which drags the riders up to a plateau ahead of the intermediate sprint.


Team Sunweb are pulling on the front of the pack, which has quietened down a little. Perhaps they are going to let these three riders go clear? Chavanel is the best placed rider of the trio, 3:03 down on GC. Remember, it was in a stage like this last year that Greg van Avermaet took his win and rode into the yellow jersey - at Le Lioran in the Massif Central.


The gap is 22 seconds for the leading trio of Chavanel, Van Avaermaert and Lutsenko. The thing is, there's an intermediate sprint coming up in another 20-odd kilometres - so if it's still close, then the sprinters' teams may bring it all back together for that...


The chasing riders are neutralised before more bound clear. Still, Steve Cummings rides right on the back - he doesn't seem interested in today's stage, after all. On paper, it suits him perfectly, but perhaps it's still too soon for him after his injury lay off. Stage 14 to Rodez in the second week perhaps is a better option, or stage 15 in the Massif Central perhaps.


Chavanel and van Avermaet have been joined by Alexey Lutsenko of Astana. They have a small gap, but about a dozen riders in pursuit.


Just as that leading group is reeled in, Chavanel has another pop - this time with Greg van Avermaet, the Olympic champion at BMC. The reason why Chavanel is so motivated today is that he won in Station des Rousses in 2010 - the only time the race has finished here before. The win catapulted the Frenchman back into the yellow jersey he had surrendered in Arenberg.


Numerous riders trying to ride clear of the peloton - and some of them are managing just that. For those of you who have tipped Steve Cummings today: well, he's not showing any interest at the moment - the British national champion is currently right on the back of the pack.


The Dimension Data rider has managed to bridge across - it's Edvald Boasson Hagen, the man denied by 6mm / 0.0003 seconds yesterday. The four would-be escapees have about 10 seconds.


Three riders with a little gap: Chavanel, Brambilla and Bettiol is the Cannondale rider - but the gap is very small. There's a Dimension Data rider in pursuit.


Marcato has been reeld in and now we have two Cannondale-Drapac riders on the front, posed. One of them goes clear - with Brambilla of Quick-Step and Chavanel of Direct Energie...


The UAE rider is Marco Marcato and he's being pursued by a handful of riders, including German national champion Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe) and local lad Alexis Vuillermoz of Ag2R-La Mondiale, who lived 30km from the finish.


One of the UAE Team Emirates riders has ridden clear to open up a small gap over the pack. He has three riding in pursuit now. A very fast and furious start to this stage - and this is why the race organisers are showing all the stages live on TV from the start. It's really fascinating to see how the breaks form.


Tsgabu Grmay of Bahrain-Merdia is the next rider trying to pull clear of the pack - his move sparks a response by a cluster of riders, but it comes back together.


It's 31 degrees Celsius at the start in Dole and a few degrees cooler at the finish - so another hot day in France, with the sun shining high in a blue sky.


It's Oliver Naesen, the Belgian national champion at Ag2R-La Mondiale, who is driving the pace, with Lotto Soudal's Lars Bak right behind him. Old habits die hard, eh Lars?


They're off! The 187.5km stage 8 from Dole to Station des Rousses gets under way - and from the outset, the Ag2R-La Mondiale team of Romain Bardet start to pull.


The calm before the storm... the riders are bunched up behind the car of race director Christophe Prudhomme, who is readying his flag to get this stage started.


Here's a closer look at today's undulating parcours: just the three categorised climbs, but roads that consistently go up and down after what will be, no doubt, a frantic opening 20km on the flat ahead of the hills.


Yesterday, Germany’s Marcel Kittel sprinted to his third victory of the 2017 Tour de France after beating Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen by a tyre’s breadth in Stage 7 at Nuits-Saint-Georges, as Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey. In a nail-biting conclusion to the 213.5km stage through the Burgundy wine region, Quick-Step Floors sprinter Kittel underlined his green credentials as the fastest man in the peloton by narrowly beating Dimension Data’s Boasson Hagen – thanks to a late lunge at the eleventh hour.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of Stage 8 of the Tour de France - and after 18 consecutive bunch sprints and around 15 wins for Marcel Kittel, it's finally the first of two back-to-back days in the mountains. To be precise, the Jura mountains - the second of five of France's mountainous regions that the Tour will visit this year.