Thomas survives crash to finish in pack as De Gendt solos to superb stage win

Thomas de Gendt

Defending champion Geraint Thomas recovered from a crash with 15km remaining to finish alongside most of his main rivals on stage eight of the Tour de France.

Belgium’s Thomas de Gendt won after a stage-long breakaway, as France’s Julian Alaphilippe regained the yellow jersey with a late attack.

He escaped with Thibaut Pinot, who came second to climb to third overall.

Thomas is fifth overall, now one minute and 12 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

“I’m fine but it was just frustrating,” said Thomas, speaking to ITV4. “It was a key moment in the race. [Michael] Woods crashed and took out Gianni [Moscon] and me and I just got tangled in Gianni’s bike.

“By the time I got up to the group I was gassed for a bit and obviously that’s when they started to sprint away. It’s annoying and frustrating but to come back like I did [is pleasing].

“If I hadn’t crashed I could have followed [Pinot and Alaplilippe] and it’s a totally different story then. Still a lot of racing to go though.

“Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphillipe have a good kick and punch – they are the guys to watch and beat.”

Sunday’s stage nine is a 170.5km hilly ride from Saint-Etienne to Brioude.

Stage eight result

1. Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) 5hrs 17minutes

2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +6secs

3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) Same time

4. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb) +26secs

5. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA hansgrohe) Same time

6. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel/Wanty-Gobert)

8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/CCC)

9. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos)

10. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team INEOS)

General classification

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 34hrs 17mins 59secs

2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +23secs

3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +53secs

4. George Bennett (NZ/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 10secs

5. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Ineos)+1mins 12secs

6. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos) +1mins 16secs

7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 27secs

8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First) +1mins 38secs

9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana Pro Team) +1mins 42secs

10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/BORA-hansgrohe) +1mins 45secs

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