Friday, 8 July 2011

Stage 8 Preview

Tomorrow Mark Cavendish's deja-vu continues as the peloton return to the town from which they set off in 2008 to Manxman's first stage victory in Châteauroux. However having returned to Châteauroux for stage 7, stage 8 sees them head 189km to Super-Besse Sancy as the Tour gets into the heart of France and to the heart of what the Grand Bouclé is all about.

The lumpy route will undoubtedly take its toll on the legs. The spectacular sprinters who have battled to overcome everything the first week has thrown at them and thrown them at will settle into the background as the GC favourites start to shine through. With Wiggins making a premature departure via ambulance and the RadioShack team spending more time on the tarmac than on their bikes there have already been some unusual turns of events in this first week.

As they head towards a second week of racing that brings them closer and closer to the Pyrenees, we could well see the Maillot Jaune change hands. Whoever takes it will then feel the pressure of defending it so it may well fall on the shoulders of a hopeful rather than a favourite.

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