Tour de France 2021: Tadej Pogačar obliterates the race to take yellow as Teuns claims stage eight victory

The defending champion was untouchable putting huge gaps into all of his rivals on the first mountain stage of the race

Tadej Pogačar attacks solo on stage eight of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogačar destroyed all of his rivals on stage eight of the Tour de France 2021 on his way to going into the yellow jersey, putting over three minutes into his closest rival, Richard Carapaz.

Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) attacked the penultimate climb with Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) but the Slovenian quickly went away solo and then he was away on a huge solo effort to gain time and try to take the stage.

But it was Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) who claims the stage after bridging across to Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) before dropping him and soloing to the line. He was the only rider to hold off Pogačar.

Behind the fight for the stage, Carapaz was almost four minutes down with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) losing a further minute and a half. 

>>> Tour de France: Geraint Thomas and Primož Roglič dropped early on stage eight

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) both got dropped on the first couple of climbs and settled into the grupetto along with the likes of Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step).

How it happened

Stage eight of the Tour de France was the first day of two in the Alps with 150.8km between Oyonnax and Le Grand-Bornand in very wet conditions.

The race was high-paced from the start seeing multiple riders drop out of the back of the peloton including Geraint Thomas who was still suffering from his stage three crash. He lost contact alongside the sprinters and other wounded riders.

On the next rise, the next big name to lose touch with the main bunch was Roglič. He too crashed on stage three and continued to suffer. He backed into the Thomas group.

The main break eventually went away with about 70km to go with Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) the main man to get up the road solo, but he was eventually caught by 18 other riders including Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Woods, Simon Yates (BikeExchange) and Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech). 

stage eight 2021 Tour de France

(Image credit: ASO/Tour de France)

The break gained about four minutes before hitting the final three climbs of the day with 52km to go. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) dropped back from the break to the peloton that was being led by Rui Costa and Brandon McNulty of UAE Team Emirates.

Søren Kragh Andersen and Tiesj Benoot (DSM) both went clear on the descent of the first of the final three climbs with Kragh Andersen dropping Benoot on the Col de Romme. Woods bridged across and dropped them both and soloed away.

Behind him saw Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Quintana, Poels and Yates with about 35km to go.

In the peloton, it was a battle between UAE and Ineos with Pogačar and Carapaz battling it out. But Pogačar continued to hammer the pace and eventually dropped Carapaz to go solo after the break and potentially the yellow jersey.

Carapaz had a team-mate in Jonathan Castroviejo but was close to losing two minutes on the early slopes of the Col de la Colombiere to Pogačar. Wout van Aert was losing almost three minutes to the defending champion.

At the front of the race, Woods continued to ride solo holding about a minute on most of the chasers who were in twos and threes all the way up the mountain with 18km to go. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) managed to drag himself up to the Canadian with 17km to go and 3km to the top of the final climb.

Pogačar was gaining on the leaders all the time as he was heading towards going inside a minute to the duo up front. He was in the big ring on a horribly steep climb as he was inside a minute going into the final 2km as he went comfortably into the virtual yellow jersey.

Teuns dropped Woods and managed to hold off the defending champion over the top of the climb but Pogačar continued the chase on the descent after catching and dropping everyone else.

Izagirre and Woods both came back to Pogačar on the descent to try and chase down Teuns but the Belgian rider was soloing to the line to take Bahrain Victorious’ second stage win in as many days.

Dylan Teuns wins stage eight of the 2021 Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Izagirre took second with Woods taking third, and Pogačar fourth. A few minutes later Carapaz came to the line and had been caught by the main GC group aside from Van Aert who came in over a minute afterwards.

That means that Pogačar will go into the yellow jersey ahead of Van Aert with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) going up into third overall after a very solid ride.

Stage nine is the last stage before the first rest day of the Tour with a 144.9km route from Cluses to Tignes with the first summit finish of the Tour.

Tour de France 2021, stage eight: Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand (150.8km)

1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious, in 3-54-41
2. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Astana-Premier Tech, at 44 seconds
3. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 47s
4. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 49s
5. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious, at 2-33
6. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange, at 2-43
7. Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Fra) Ag2r Citroën Team, at 3-03
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at same time
9. Matteo Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, at 4-07
10.Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 4-09

General classification after stage eight

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 29-38-25
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-48
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 4-38
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, 4-46
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 5-00
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 5-01
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, 5-13
8. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 5-15
9. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 5-52
10. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 6-41

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

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