2024 Tour de France Stage 8: Superb Girmay Takes the Win on Stage 8

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TOUR DE FRANCE 2024 | STAGE 8 | SEMUR-EN-AUXOIS > COLOMBEY-LES-DEUX-ÉGLISES

COLOMBEY-LES-DEUX-ÉGLISES, France (July 6, 2024) — Another exciting bunch sprint in Colombey-les-deux-Églises was won by Biniam Girmay (Intermarché – Wanty) to take the Stage 8 bouquet and strengthen his position in the green jersey. Girmay just got the better of second placed Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) in a tough uphill finish. Meanwhile it was Arnaud de Lie (Lotto-dstny) who finished in third place, with Pascal Ackermann (Israel-Premier Tech) and Marijn Van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) completing the top five. In the Yellow Jersey Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) remains in charge in the overall rankings, with nothing changing at the top of the general classification on the eighth day of racing. Pogačar therefore still leads the GC rankings by 33” from Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and 1’15” from Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma | Lease a Bike).

Pedersen out of the Tour

There were 173 riders on the start line in Semur-en-Auxois, after Mads Pedersen was ultimately forced to abandon the race following his crash in the bunch sprint into Saint Vulbas on Stage 5. Intermittent rain, strong wind and the hilly parcours meant it would be a demanding day. Neilson Powless and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost) attacked as soon as the starting flag was shown, along with Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X). That trio built an advantage that increased to 2’25” at km 16. However, the attacks of EF Education-EasyPost itself on the Côte de Vitteaux (Cat 3, km 24.1) caused the peloton to accelerate and at the summit polka dot jersey wearer Abrahamsen went over first, with the gap back to bunch by then down to just 1’15”.

06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY), BISSEGGER Stefan, POWLESS Neilson (EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – POWLESS Neilson (EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters

Abrahamsen charges on

Not finally able to place Ben Healy or Alberto Bettiol in the breakaway, EF gave up on the attacks and also stopped Bissegger and Powless. Jordan Jegat (TotalEnergies) tried to join Abrahamsen in vain, and the Norwegian would top the climbs of Côte de Villy-en-Auxois (Cat 4, km 32.5) and the Côte de Verrey-sous-Salmaise (Cat 3, km 38.8) unchallenged and alone. At the intermediate sprint marker at Lamargelle (IS, km 59) Abrahamsen enjoyed a 5’40” lead over a relaxed peloton. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) was the first rider from the peloton at the intermediate sprint point, thus securing another day in the green jersey.

06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters

More polka dot prominence

Abrahamsen ploughed on alone over the Côte de Santenoge (Cat 4, km 96.7) and the Côte de Giey-sur-Aujon (Cat 4, km 122.4) picking up more points for the Mountain classification, though by the time he had reached the summit of the second of those climbs – the final categorised climb of the stage – his lead was down to just over 4 minutes. Abrahamsen’s successful day meant he secured himself at least two more stages in the polka dot jersey, as there will only be 4 Climbers points available to the riders on Stage 9 and then in the 10th stage there will be none.

06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters

A hectic finish in Colombey-les-deux-Églises

Abrahamsen’s epic breakaway endeavours concluded 14.4 km from the finish and from there on the peloton raced together to Colombey-les-deux-Églises. The frantic finale saw Girmay outsprint his rivals in an awesome display of power to grab the stage win in the green jersey.

Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty): “Today’s Finish Was Perfect For Me”

“To win one stage is already unbelievable, and winning a second stage while wearing the green jersey even more so. Torino was a very flat finish, and I knew some other guys could push more watts than me, so I wasn’t sure of my options. Today’s finish, on the other hand, was perfect for me and I was super confident. I guess also then, the Tour de France being one of the hardest races of the world, once you win a stage you become aware that you are amongst the very best and that spurs you on. A lot of pressure was relieved when I raised my arms in Torino. The green jersey? I’ve already won two stages and worn the jersey, so my Tour de France is already a success and I don’t care what comes next! Anyway, I will for sure try my best to win this Points classification.”

06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – GIRMAY Biniam (INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – GIRMAY Biniam (INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – GIRMAY Biniam (INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters

Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility): “I Gave It My All Today”

“In the beginning I was hoping I could get in the breakaway to get some more points for the climbing competition. At first it was me and two from EF Education EasyPost so it was good, but on the climbs I had to pull all the time and they went behind back to the peloton. Then I was really just trying to give it full gas to try and get the victory. But I’m happy to get more points in the Mountain classification and the intermediate sprint and to be the most aggressive rider. I gave it my all today but I was not strong enough in the end. The legs are quite painful so hopefully I will recover well for tomorrow. I like to have pain in my legs, then they get stronger afterwards.”

06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters
06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – ABRAHAMSEN Jonas (UNO-X MOBILITY) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters

Remco Evenepoel: “I’m Excited and A Little Nervous”

“In the end it was quite a good day, even if the start was a little difficult due to the legs from yesterday’s time trial. But then my teammates surrounded me well and I spent most of the stage at the front of the peloton. In the last km uphill, I just wanted to be careful not to stupidly lose time. So I stayed in front and finished 10th, but it was more by accident, I didn’t do it on purpose. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s stage, I’m both very excited and a little nervous. I can’t wait to discover these French gravel paths and at the same time I know that anything can happen. All riders involved in the general classification will want to be careful not to lose time. I know all the sectors, I have been to see the most difficult ones and honestly I like them. We will see the scenario, it will depend on the breakaway, if we have very strong riders in front or not. In any case, I have the impression that tomorrow’s stage will be one of the most watched sporting events of the year.”

06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – EVENEPOEL Remco (SOUDAL QUICK-STEP) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It Was a Really Fast Day”

“Actually, it was quite cold today. It was a really fast day, as Jonas Abrahamsen was flying at the front and we had to ride at his pace. It was a bit of a stressful day in the peloton. It’s good to tick the day off and start thinking about tomorrow. Will tomorrow’s stage be decisive? I don’t think so. Of course, you will need to stay even more sharp and focused. Every entrance to a gravel sector will be a battle. There will be wind, and maybe some rain… You can be the best on the gravel, but if you puncture at the wrong moment you will lose time. It will be a hectic, dangerous day. It will be key to stay close to the front and well surrounded by the team. Everybody wants to be at the front on every stage, and tomorrow’s stage won’t be no different – just more stressful than usual!”

06/07/2024 – Tour de France 2024 – Étape 8 – Semur-en-Auxois / Colombey-les-Deux-Églises (183,4 km) – POGACAR Tadej (UAE TEAM EMIRATES) – Photo © A.S.O./Billy Ceusters

TOUR DE FRANCE 2024 | STAGE 8 | SEMUR-EN-AUXOIS > COLOMBEY-LES-DEUX-ÉGLISES | DAILY STATS

50,9: WHEN IT GOES UP, GIRMAY SPEEDS UP

Already a history maker with his stage win in Torino and his first few days with the green jersey, Biniam Girmay dominated the intermediate sprint (on slightly descending roads) in the bunch: up to 72.4 km/h according to the NTT Data trackers. The final kilometre was much harder, rising to the line… And the African icon excels in these conditions, as illustrated by his speed of 50.9 km/h right before the line to get the better of his rivals. As the road flattened, Arnaud De Lie was able to accelerate up to 52.2 km/h but it was too late for him to move past Girmay.

2: GIRMAY REPEATS SUCCESS AND ENDS STREAKS

With a second victory in the Tour 2024, Biniam Girmay ends a streak that saw seven different riders win the seven first stages of the Tour de France 2024. His previous success came in Turin, on day 3. Romain Bardet, Kévin Vauquelin, Tadej Pogačar, Mark Cavendish, Dylan Groenewegen and Remco Evenepoel are the other winners this year. The Eritrean star also ends a run of six sprints that were dominated by six different winners (starting with Mads Pedersen last year in Limoges, all the way to Dylan Groenewegen in Dijon).

27: IT’S A TIE BETWEEN VINGEGAARD AND POGAČAR

Tadej Pogačar is up to 27 Maillot Jaune since he stormed the Tour de France in 2020… And Jonas Vingegaard collected the exact same amount of jerseys in the last two editions, which saw him match Pogačar’s two overall victories. The two of them can now eye Fabian Cancellara’s record of 29 Maillot Jaune. Eddy Merckx remains far ahead with an all-time record of 111 Maillot Jaune (including half stages).

38%: ABRAHAMSEN IS TIRELESS

After 8 stages, Jonas Abrahamsen has spent 12 hours, 9 minutes and 30 seconds in breakaways… That represents 38% of his total race time! Omnipresent since the Italian Grand Départ, the Norwegian attacker was especially aggressive today, averaging 44.3km over 167km at the front (most of it on his own) to secure a second combativity award in this edition.

1984: ABRAHAMSEN IS SET TO BEAT PEETERS

With a margin of 13 points on Tadej Pogačar (33 vs 20) at the top of the KOM standings, Jonas Abrahamsen is, barring incidents, set to retain the polka dot jerseys at least until Wednesday, since there are only 4 KOM points up for grabs in stage 9 and none on day 10. A couple of years ago, Magnus Cort Nielsen was the first leader of the KOM standings and he only lost the jersey on day 9. Abrahamsen is already set to beat that reference. The only time the first leader of the KOM standings carried the polka dot jersey into the second week happened in 1984, when Ludo Peeters lost it to Jean-René Bernaudeau in stage 10.

2-2: ERITREA MATCHES SOUTH AFRICA

When Biniam Girmay sprinted to victory in Turin, Eritrea became the second African nation with a stage win in the Tour, in the wake of South Africa. Girmay’s record of two victories now matches the tally of Robert Hunter (Montpellier 2007) and Daryl Impey (Brioude 2019).

1-3: DE LIE STAYS BEHIND GIRMAY

With a place of 3rd, Arnaud de Lie finished in the top-3 for the second time in the Tour de France. He was already 3rd in Turin… And he already witnessed Biniam Girmay.

2: INTERMARCHÉ-WANTY ENJOYS THE BINI EFFECT

After they went winless in their first six Tours, Intermarché-Wanty are now up to two successes in the first eight stages of this edition!

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