Biniam Girmay wins stage 8 in final sprint

A thrilling mass sprint in Colombey-les-deux-Eglises saw Biniam Girmay (Intermarche – Wanty) clinch the Stage 8 victory, bolstering his lead in the green jersey competition. Girmay narrowly edged out Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) in a challenging uphill finish. Arnaud de Lie (Lotto-dstny) secured third place, whilst Pascal Ackermann (Israel-Premier Tech) and Marijn Van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) rounded out the top five.

In the Yellow Jersey standings, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) maintains his grip on the overall lead, with no changes at the top of the general classification on the eighth day of racing. Pogacar continues to head the GC rankings, holding a 33″ advantage over Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and a 1’15” lead over Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma | Lease a Bike)

Pedersen out of the Tour
There were 173 riders on the start line in Semur-en-Auxois, after Mads Pedersen was ultimately forced to abandon the race following his crash in the bunch sprint into Saint Vulbas on Stage 5. Intermittent rain, strong wind and the hilly parcours meant it would be a demanding day. Neilson Powless and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost) attacked as soon as the starting flag was shown, along with Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X). That trio built an advantage that increased to 2’25” at km 16. However, the attacks of EF Education-EasyPost itself on the Côte de Vitteaux (Cat 3, km 24.1) caused the peloton to accelerate and at the summit polka dot jersey wearer Abrahamsen went over first, with the gap back to bunch by then down to just 1’15”.

Abrahamsen charges on
Not finally able to place Ben Healy or Alberto Bettiol in the breakaway, EF gave up on the attacks and also stopped Bissegger and Powless. Jordan Jegat (TotalEnergies) tried to join Abrahamsen in vain, and the Norwegian would top the climbs of Côte de Villy-en-Auxois (Cat 4, km 32.5) and the Côte de Verrey-sous-Salmaise (Cat 3, km 38.8) unchallenged and alone. At the intermediate sprint marker at Lamargelle (IS, km 59) Abrahamsen enjoyed a 5’40” lead over a relaxed peloton. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty) was the first rider from the peloton at the intermediate sprint point, thus securing another day in the green jersey.

More polka dot prominence
Abrahamsen ploughed on alone over the Côte de Santenoge (Cat 4, km 96.7) and the Côte de Giey-sur-Aujon (Cat 4, km 122.4) picking up more points for the Mountain classification, though by the time he had reached the summit of the second of those climbs – the final categorised climb of the stage – his lead was down to just over 4 minutes. Abrahamsen’s successful day meant he secured himself at least two more stages in the polka dot jersey, as there will only be 4 Climbers points available to the riders on Stage 9 and then in the 10th stage there will be none.

A hectic finish in Colombey-les-deux-Eglises
Abrahamsen’s epic breakaway endeavours concluded 14.4 km from the finish and from there on the peloton raced together to Colombey-les-deux-Eglises. The frantic finale saw Girmay outsprint his rivals in an awesome display of power to grab the stage win in the green jersey.

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