At 140 kilometres, the 8th stage on the Tour de France is not exactly long. Following a prolonged (false) flat opening phase the riders crest the Col de Menté half-way through the race. The second half is where the real action is to be expected. Following two gigantic climbs the decisive factor will be the downhill of the Col de Peyresourde.
After the Menté the route continues to the Port de Balès. The ascent begins just before the 100 kilometres mark and is 11.7 kilometres long, while the average gradient sits at 7.7%. The second part is tougher than the first and leads onto a long descent to the foot of the Col de Peyresourde. This is a 9.7 kilometres climb at 7.8%. The first three riders at the top win time bonuses, which could be of interest to GC riders.
How motivated are the teams/GC riders – or should we say, Jumbo/Roglic? – to take the yellow jersey ahead of the first rest day? The course lends itself to keep the breakaway within range and go for the stage victory and the bonus seconds, both on the line and at the Peyresourde. And yes, Roglic is a very skillful descender
By the way, this Peyresourde descent is not the one where Froome unexpectedly attacked over the summit to hold off his rivals with a daredevil descent into Bagnères-de-Luchon in 2016.
Favourites 8th stage 2020 Tour de France
*** Primoz Roglic, Tadej Pogacar, Adam Yates
** Miguel Ángel López, Egan Bernal, Bauke Mollema, Tom Dumoulin
* Julian Alaphilippe, Sergio Higuita, Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa
Take a look at the route of the 8th stage on the Tour de France.