Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay clinched his second stage victory at the 2024 Tour de France after winning earlier this week, prevailing in a fiercely contested sprint finish in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises. Two-time Tour champion Tadej Pogacar held onto the yellow jersey. The eighth stage of the Tour concluded with a dramatic sprint on a false flat, perfectly suited to Girmay’s style. He edged out Jasper Philipsen and Arnaud De Lie, thereby extending his lead in the best sprinter’s ranking.

As the riders departed from Semur-en-Auxois under a grey sky, torrential rain hammered down, but conditions improved to merely grey as the peloton wound its way to the finish. The stage saw early excitement with Jonas Abrahamsen of Uno-X Mobility initiating an attack, joined by EF Education-EasyPost teammates Stefan Bissegger and Neilson Powless.

Jonas Abrahamsen on the attack

Despite an anticipated showdown, the peloton showed little initial response, allowing the trio to establish a lead. Abrahamsen, seeking points for the best climber’s classification, went solo on the Côte de Vitteaux, maintaining his lead over the peloton.

The peloton, led by Lotto-Dstny favouring Arnaud De Lie, began reeling in Abrahamsen as the race progressed. Heavy rain returned, adding to the challenge, but Abrahamsen’s solo effort was brought to an end 15 kilometres from the finish. The sprint teams then took control.

As the race approached the final climb, the sprint teams mobilised. Astana Qazaqstan, Jayco-Alula, Intermarché-Wanty, and Lotto-Dstny were all prominent at the front, setting up their sprinters for the final battle.

Girmay timed his sprint to perfection on the rising road to the finish, securing his second Tour de France stage win. Reflecting on the achievement, Girmay said, “Winning another stage here is incredible. My team did a fantastic job putting me in the perfect position.”

In the general classification, Tadej Pogacar maintained his 33-second lead over Remco Evenepoel, with Jonas Vingegaard in third place, 1:15 behind. Pogacar’s team successfully kept him in the yellow jersey, navigating the tricky conditions and managing the pace effectively.

Speaking after the race, Nils Eekhoff of Team dsm-firmenich PostNL shared his experience: “It was a nervous day out over hilly terrain with quite some rain. John and Romain did a great job keeping me in front in the final. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind some other riders dropping to the back which made me lose a lot of positions; I couldn’t correct this anymore. Now we look to tomorrow where we have new chances.”

Tomorrow’s stage promises further excitement as riders face a nearly 200-kilometre trek through the gravel roads near Troyes, featuring 14 sections of the famed white roads, including six in the stage finale.

2024 Tour de France Stage 8 result

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All photo credits: ASO – Billy Ceusters