Tour de France: Dylan Teuns misheard radio, thought he had larger gap that helped him win stage eight

The Belgian was part of a large breakaway before attacking in the race's first Alpine stage

Dylan Teuns
(Image credit: Getty)

Dylan Teuns thought he had a much larger advantage on the final descent of stage eight in the 2021 Tour de France, giving him false confidence that ultimately proved to work in his favour.

The Bahrain-Victorious rider won an epic stage in this edition's first trip into the high mountains, attacking on the penultimate climb and then holding a solo lead all the way to the finish in Le Grand-Bornand, winning by 44 seconds from Ion Izagirre.

In a day characterised by foul weather conditions and a non-stop action, the Belgian proved to be strongest and most tactically astute in the Alps, but he was given a helping hand by misunderstanding the time gap at the top of the stage's final summit.

Speaking after the race, he revealed: "For the last climb, at the top I heard 1:15, and I was thinking, 'ok, if I can make it to the top with one minute I can make it to the descent."

His lead was actually closer to 15 seconds. "There was a lot of noise from the spectators," he laughed, "so it was quite hard to understand the radio.

"Maybe I was lucky I didn't hear the 12 seconds. It's hard to say because I knew when I got to the top solo, I had a good chance but still I was very careful on the descent.

"It was wet and slippery. I felt my bike drifting in the corners a lot of times. I was very careful.

"The only time I was sure [he would win] was when I looked back with a kilometre or two to go and the car was behind me and I knew if I ket going the victory would be mine."

The victory replicates his success from the 2019 Tour and is his 12th career win. Upon crossing the line, he raised his fingers to the sky, saluting his great grandfather.

"I'll dedicate it to my grandad who died just two days before the Tour," he said.

"It was a bit emotional in the last 10km. To everyone, your grandparents are very special. After your parents, they are the most important in your family.

"When I was home, I always tried to go there to visit him most of the time.

"He reminded me back to two years ago when I won the stage and the newspaper went to visit them one or two days after. They were super proud, so I'm sure my grandma is now also in this moment and I hope she doesn't suffer being alone too much."

The victory is his first since winning the time trial at the 2020 Ruta del Sol, before the Covid-19 pandemic, and it also represents the latest triumph for his Bahrain-Victorious team who have now won 14 times since the beginning of May.

"This year I have been aiming a lot but never actually came close," he continued. "I was always there but never close enough, there was a lot of disappointment. 

"I kept working hard, believing in myself and now finally there's a victory and I'm happy with that.

"I think we [the team] are on a good level at the moment. Like I said in the spring, it was about waiting a little bit and then from the Giro the success came and you see that when the team is on a good level, it reaches everybody."

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.