Sunday, 12 July 2015
#TDF2015 Alexis Vuillermoz conquers Le Mur + Team Time Trial to shake up Overall Standings
Top 20 on Stage 8 with Alexis Vuillermoz as clear winner
Overall top 21 led by Chris Froome in Yellow
Alexis Vuillermoz confirmed the promise he showed on Le Mur de Huy (Stage 3) where he was third by winning on Le Mur de Bretagne. This was Vuillermoz's first TDF stage win and France's first success in this 2015 edition. I had meant to include Vuillermoz in my list of favourites for the stage but needed to check the spelling of his name and then never got round to including him. Anyway an impressive win.
Chris Froome showed at the front on the climb of Le Mur de Bretagne making sure his rivals didn't grab any time but didn't follow Vuillermoz's second attack, presumably not wanting to waste too much energy, which will be needed for today's time trial. Froome and Vuillermoz's first acceleration was enough to drop Vincenzo Nibali, who lost 10 seconds on the stage to Froome and the other leading GC contenders. 1.48 down overall Nibali doesn't appear to be on the same form as last year when he won the Tour comfortably. However, perhaps he will get some time back in the Team Time Trial today and 1.48 can easily be made up in the mountains if Nibali can find his form. However, so at the moment he appears to be at the same level as he was in the Dauphiné.
Peter Sagan ended the day in Green as the points leader. With the Tour now getting mountainous the intermediate sprints will be crucial if André Griepel is to get the jersey back off Sagan.
Stage 9: Vannes to Plumelec 28 K Team Time Trial
Last 5 kms of stage showing uphill finish at 6.2
Today's lumpy Team Time Trial will be crucial for the GC contenders keen either to gain time on their rivals or not lose too much. Tejay Van Garderen's BMC could put him in Yellow tonight, which would be his first.