Tour de France 2017 Favourites stage 8: Breakaway day for climbers

The 8th stage of the Tour de France is played out on a mountainous course of 187.5 kilometres. The ride is perfect for a breakaway to succeed. (Slideshow route/profile)

On a course like this, Robert Gesink is a name that springs to mind when talking about a successful break away. Last year he won the Vuelta’s Queen Stage on the Col d’Aubisque, which opened his eyes to new opportunities. Having been an overall contender for most of his career, the 31-year old Dutchman now eschews on GC obligations at the Tour de France and targets stage successes.

Tim Wellens always targets stage success, so we can add his name to the list with our eyes closed. If there is a chance for the break to stay away we can rest assured the 26-year old Belgian will (try to) be in the mix. Same goes for Pierre Rolland and Thomas De Gendt.

With the exception of the first 28 kilometres, the course of stage 8 in the Tour de France is either climbing or descending, but at the same time it’s no so tough that we should expect a GC clash. In fact, the last climb is the steepest – at 11.7 kilometres, the Montee de la Combe de Laisia Les Molunes is averaging 6.4%, so that’s perfect terrain for the best climbers in the break to head out on their own. At the top there are 11 kilometres left to race to the finish in ski resort Station Les Rousses. That final section is on rolling roads.

In the 2010 Tour de France, Sylvain Chavanel soloed to victory in Station des Rousses.

Favourites 8th stage 2017 Tour de France

*** Robert Gesink, Tim Wellens, Thomas De Gendt, Stephen Cummings
** Pierre Rolland, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianluca Brambilla, Lilian Calmejane, Jan Bakelants
* Damiano Caruso, Jarlinson Pantano, Pierre Latour, Oliver Naesen, Carlos Betancur

Tour de France 2017 stage 8: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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