Stage win a dream come true

Tour de France

  • Dates: Saturday, 29 June – Sunday, 21 July (8 and 15 July are rest days)

Coverage: Live commentary on the final hours of each stage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Chris Froome called his Tour de France stage eight win “a dream come true” as the British rider took the leader’s yellow jersey for the first time.

Froome, 28,

won the mountain stage in dominant fashion,

surging ahead of his main rivals 5km from the end to finish 51 seconds ahead of Team Sky team-mate Richie Porte.

“It’s a dream come true so far,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for more.

“Now we’ve got the yellow jersey we’ve got to defend it.”

Froome took the yellow jersey from South Africa’s Daryl Impey, whose challenge faded on the first of the stage’s two mountain climbs.

Tour de France title hopefuls Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans also struggled when Froome made his move for the lead.

Contador (Saxo) finished one minute, 45 seconds behind Froome in seventh, while Evans (BMC) was more than four minutes off the pace.

Froome, who won stage seven of last year’s Tour to put team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins in a yellow jersey that he retained all the way to the finish in Paris, was surprised by the gap in times.

“I wasn’t expecting that much today,” added Froome, who is trying to become the second British winner of the race, in its 100th edition.

“I can only thank my team for the opportunity today and for their hard work.

“We’re in a really good position now, but we’re going to have our work cut out for us over the next two weeks for sure.

“It’s a long way from being decided.

“There are two weeks of hard racing to come but now we’ve got the yellow jersey we’ve got to defend it.”

Colombian rider Nairo Quintana staged an attack on the Col de Pailheres – the first and hardest of the day’s two mountain ascents, breaking away from the rest with only Frenchman Pierre Rolland following him initially.

However, Peter Kennaugh led the Team Sky chase on the descent and the lower slopes of the climb to the finish at Ax 3 Domaines,

When the Isle of Man rider peeled off, Porte helped Froome gain ground on Quintana and Rolland, while Contador tried to stay on the former’s wheel.

As the majority of the leading pack started to struggle, Froome and Porte made their move and the other riders were unable to stay with them.

“We rode from the front and the team was absolutely perfect today, there was no need to stress,” Porte said.

“When Quintana attacked we didn’t panic because you’re not going to ride solo to the finish like that.

“I’m absolutely finished but it was an incredible day.”

Stage eight results:

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 5:03:18″

2. Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) +51″

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1:08″

4. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Belkin) +1:10″

5. Laurens ten Dam (Ned/Belkin) +1:16″

Overall standings:

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 32:15:55″

2. Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) +51″

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +1:25″

4. Bauke Mollema (Ned/Belkin) +1:44″

5. Laurens ten Dam (Ned/Belkin) +1:50″

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/23213763

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