Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) won a highly competitive bunch sprint on stage eight of the Tour de Suisse on Saturday while Richie Porte (BMC) held on to the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
Porte must now survive a 34km individual time-trial on Sunday where his nearest rival, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) trails by just 17 seconds.
In his second win of 2018, Demare left it late before turning up the tempo to overtake and beat Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), who came second while Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) was third.
Three-time world champion Peter Sagan got slightly boxed in and was fourth.
With three weeks to go before a Tour de France where there should be at least eight bunch sprints, Demare’s win over other top sprinters gave fans a taster for the green jersey sprint points fight starting July 7.
The sprint teams were merciless on Saturday hunting down an escape group with 6km to go and setting up a high tempo finale to a short 123km stage raced in fine conditions.
Tour de Suisse 2018 – stage 8 results (Bellinzona – Bellinzona):
|1||Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)|
|2||Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)|
|3||Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)|
|4||Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|5||Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)|
|6||John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)|
|7||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data)|
|8||Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)|
|9||André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)|
|10||Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)|
General classification after stage 8:
|1||Richie Porte (BMC)|
|2||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)|
|3||Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)|
|4||Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors)|
|5||Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb)|
|6||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)|
|7||Mikel Landa (Movistar)|
|8||Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo)|
|9||Simon Spilak (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|10||Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)|