The penultimate stage before the first rest day in the 2015 Tour de France didn’t look to present much let up in what has between a fast and furious first week, with a tough uphill finish into Mûr-de-Bretagne.
27-year-old Frenchman Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r-La Mondiale) took the victory on the climb, attacking from 800m out to hold off a late charge by Daniel Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) to seal a first Tour stage win.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) held on to the yellow jersey by 11 seconds over Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), who yet again fell short on a stage that looked to suit him. However, the Slovak was able to take over the green jersey from André Greipel after finish fourth on the stage.
GC contenders Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) finished safely on the same time as Froome in the group behind Vuillermoz, but it wasn’t good news for Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who finished 10 seconds off the pace as he struggles on the final climb.
Sunday’s stage nine sees the teams take on a 28km team time trial from Vannes to Plumelec before the rest day on Monday, with many teams already struggling with numbers after a crash-ridden first week of the 2015 Tour de France.