After hopes of a breakaway success had been extinguished because the race moved into Switzerland, Van Aert had the facility to beat Michael Matthews in an uphill dash to the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne, however Pogacar, ever hungry for achievement, was within the combine too as he got here house in third.
And such is the urge for food of a rider who has been in comparison with ‘The Cannibal’ Eddy Merckx in current days that the 23-year-old tried to struggle for what would have been a 3rd stage win in as many days, and sounded upset when he might solely handle third place.
Wout Van Aert and Tadej Pogacar as soon as once more took the glory on stage eight of the Tour de France as Van Aert snatched his second victory of the week and Pogacar prolonged his lead within the yellow jersey.
“It was not that far-off but it surely was a enjoyable sport as we speak,” mentioned the UAE Workforce Emirates rider mentioned. “It was a protracted day, getting extra sizzling and there have been numerous harmful factors.
“The final climb I appreciated. For the dash possibly I hesitated a bit and Van Aert handed me with tremendous pace. For certain I’m a bit of bit upset however third place remains to be nice.”
The Slovenian can console himself with having used bonus seconds to increase his general result in 39 seconds from Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma team-mate Jonas Vingegaard.
The Ineos Grenadiers’ Geraint Thomas sits third, 74 seconds down going into Sunday’s mountain stage to the Portes du Soleil ski resort in Chatel.
This stage into Switzerland regarded perfect for a big breakaway to go down the street and contest the honours, however solely three riders – Mattia Cattaneo, Frederik Frison and Britain’s Fred Wright – had gone clear earlier than a crash break up the peloton.
Pogacar took a tumble however described it as “one of many softest crashes I ever skilled”. Thomas, David Gaudu and Romain Bardet had been amongst these held up, so the pack sat as much as permit a regrouping, leaving three-strong break dangling up the street in a doomed mission.
Workforce BikeExchange-Jayco, working for Matthews, and Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma squad dragged them again on the roads to Lausanne, but it surely was UAE Workforce Emirates squad on the entrance as Pogacar rode up the 12 per cent ramps of the ultimate climb in third wheel, making this one other normal classification struggle.
Matthews lit up his dash first however needed to accept a second second place of the Tour whereas Van Aert added to his stage 4 win into Calais after spending 4 days in yellow earlier this week – extending his benefit within the factors classification within the course of.
“In fact I’m tremendous pleased with the factors for inexperienced up for grabs as we speak,” the Belgian mentioned. “Immediately was an enormous likelihood to take numerous factors from my opponents and I’m actually happy my workforce put every part into chasing down the breakaway. Then it’s important to end it off.”
Pogacar misplaced team-mate Vegard Stake Laengen earlier than the beginning, one among two riders together with Geoffrey Bouchard to check constructive for Covid-19, however neither that nor that early crash might do something to shake his grip on the race as he seeks a 3rd consecutive title.
Thomas is hoping the mountains nonetheless to come back might be the territory the place the Ineos Grenadiers – who’ve Adam Yates in fourth place general, Tom Pidcock seventh and Dani Martinez tenth, all inside two minutes – can use their numbers towards him, however the dimension of the problem is evident.
“He’s an unbelievable expertise,” Thomas mentioned of Pogacar. “He’s misplaced a team-mate as we speak however I don’t assume that’s going to have an effect on him. What are you able to do? We’ll simply attempt to keep constructive and use our numbers in a while within the race.”