Mads Pedersen claimed a second career stage win at the Tour de France on Saturday with a big burst of power to win a reduced sprint.
Jonas Vingegaard kept the yellow jersey after the 201-kilometer eighth stage from Libourne to Limoges in central France.
Pedersen proved the strongest in the long final stretch of road leading to the finish line and the Danish rider held off a late challenge from Jasper Philipsen, who had won all three previous sprints this year.
“My boys gave me a perfect leadout,” said Pedersen. “The final stretch was very painful. I still had the legs to finish it off.”
Wout Van Aert completed the stage podium in third.
The stage was marred by several crashes, including the one that ruled Cavendish out of the race. The ace sprinter hit the ground with 64 kilometers left while riding at the back of the peloton.
Vingegaard spent the day well protected by his Jumbo-Visma teammates and kept his 25-second lead over two-time champion Tadej Pogacar in the general classification. Jai Hindley remained in third place, 1 minute 34 seconds off the pace.
The pulsating duel between Pogacar and Vingegaard is expected to resume during Sunday’s ninth stage, which finishes with a spectacular climb to Puy-de-Dome, a famed volcanic crater in the Massif Central region of south-central France which last hosted a stage 35 years ago.
The mountain is part of the Tour lore and all cycling fans cherish the memorable duel to the summit between French rivals Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor back in 1964. Anquetil went on that year to become the first five-time Tour winner.
⏪ A very fast finish in Limoges crowning a very fast Dane. Relive the final kilometer of Stage 8 of the #TDF2023
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 8, 2023