Home Grand Tours Lilian Calmejane leads breakaway to win 8th stage of Tour de France

Lilian Calmejane leads breakaway to win 8th stage of Tour de France

Lilian Calmejane tour de france 2017

Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) won the eighth stage of the Tour de France, a 187.5-km trek from Dole on Saturday.

Calmejane, in only his second year as a professional, dropped his breakaway companions in the last climb of the day and despite cramping up in the closing stages, held off Robert Gesink for a second grand tour stage win. Another Frenchman, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), took third place.

Chris Froome had a minor scare when he went off the road in a descent, but the Team Sky rider kept his cool in sweltering heat to retain the overall leader’s yellow jersey.

“Me and (team mate) Geraint (Thomas) took the wrong trajectory in a corner and we went off the road, it happens sometimes,” said Froome.

Thomas crashed but he was quickly back on his bike.

Calmejane of Direct Energie kept his strategy close to his chest in the day’s breakaway, but barely looked back after pulling away in the 11.7-km climb to La Combe de Laisia.

Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) chased hard but the Frenchman had too much power in the finale. Calmejane, almost came to a halt five kilometers from the line, however, due to cramp in his right thigh.

“It’s huge. It was everything I was dreaming of,” said Calmejane, who won a stage in last year’s Vuelta. “When I had cramp in the finale, I decided to drop a gear so I could pedal softer,” he said.

“I suffered like never before,” added Calmejane, who snatched the polka-dot jersey as mountains leader.

Team Sky were in control all day despite a hectic start to the stage, with almost 50 riders managing to break away from the main pack.

Dan Martin attacked from the pack in the finale but the Quick-Step Floors rider, fourth overall, was quickly reined in.

They will be further tested on Sunday, when the ninth stage takes the peloton through the Jura mountains with three lung-busting climbs in prospect before a dangerous descent to Chambery.

“Tomorrow will be a very very hard day, it will be very selective,” said Froome ahead of a stage that features 4,700m of climbing.

Froome holds a 12-second lead over Thomas with in-form Fabio Aru of Italy in third place, 14 seconds off the pace.

Tour de France 2017 – stage 8 results (Dole – Station des Rousses):

1Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie)


2Robert Gesink (LottoNl-Jumbo)


3Guillaume Martin (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)


4Nicolas Roche (BMC)


5Roman Kreuziger (Orica-Scott)


6Fabio Aru (Astana)


7Michael Valgren (Astana)


8Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


9Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac)


10Romain Hardy (Fortuneo – Oscaro)


11Carlos Betancur (Movistar)


12Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates)


13Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)


14Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)


15Mikel Landa (Team Sky)


16Damiano Caruso (BMC)


17Richie Porte (BMC)


18Chris Froome (Team Sky)


19George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo)


20Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


General classification after stage 8:

1Christopher Froome (Team Sky)


2Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)


3Fabio Aru (Astana)


4Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors)


5Richie Porte (BMC)


6Simon Yates (Orica-Scott)


7Romain Bardet (AG2R)


8Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)


9Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


10Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


11Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac)


12Pierre Latour (AG2R)


13Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates)


14Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)


15Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)


16Mikel Landa (Team Sky)


17Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac)


18Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data)


19Nicolas Roche (BMC)


20Guillaume Martin (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)