A breakaway group with Thomas De Gendt sat down early on the eighth leg. After seven climbs, the Belgian won in the end single-handedly. Julian Alaphilippe recaptured the yellow jersey.
Belgian Thomas De Gendt won the eighth leg of the 2019 Tour de France over 200 kilometers from Mâcon to Saint-Etienne. The rider from Lotto-Soudal set off early with a four-person breakaway group, won all seven climbs and distanced himself from his last rival, Alessandro De Marchi, 15 kilometers from the finish. The finish line crossed De Gendt with a lead of six seconds before the two Frenchmen Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe.
The third-placed Alaphilippe could still cheer, he will go on Sunday, the French national holiday, again in the yellow jersey at the start. Italian Giulio Ciccone had led the Tour classification since Thursday but finished 26th behind De Gendt in the peloton. Alaphilippe is 23 seconds ahead of Ciccone and 53 seconds ahead of Pinot. Defending champion Geraint Thomas finished fifth (1:12 minutes behind). As the best German, Emanuel Buchmann (1:45) advanced to tenth place.
“The stage was really hard, it was almost 4,000 meters in altitude, Peter was caught in the end and was still in the lead, as a team we did it very well again, the whole team did a good job,” said Buchmann and also referred on Captain Sagan. The Slovak defended the green jersey.
It involved Thomas of Team Ineos in a crash in the closing stages and threatened to lose even more time on Alaphilippe and Pinot. But together with teammate Wout Poels, the top British favorite fought back into the field and kept the damage with the tenth stage rank in limits.