2012 Tour De France Stage 8: Sammy Sanchez Crashes Out; Wiggins, Evans Stalemate

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2012 Tour De France Stage 8: Sammy Sanchez Crashes Out; Wiggins, Evans Stalemate
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Sammy Sanchez - not smiling now

As the Tour headed into Switzerland for Stage 8 of the 2012 Tour de France, the second mountain stage looked set to make life uncomfortable for some, but it was unlikely to have much of an impact on the leaders.

The eight climbs were not terribly threatening with the exception on the final mountain of the day—a short, but steep climb up the Category 1 Col de la Croix, with some sections approaching 24 percent.

Astana rider Fredrik Kessiakoff was part of a 22-man breakaway, but he was the last man standing as the others fell away one by one. He appeared in great shape to take out the stage, but the final climb saw FDJ-Bilmat’s Thibaut Pinot breeze past to take the lead.

By the time the main bunch cleared the peak, it had been whittled down to an elite bunch including yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Vincenzo Nibali, Frank Schleck and yesterday’s stage winner Chris Froome.

Despite a concerted effort by the elite bunch, Pinot clung to the lead and came home 26 seconds ahead of Evans.

While nothing of note changed at the head of the field, further back down the pack the carnage continued to play havoc with team leaders.

A silly crash claimed yet another team leader as Euskaltel-Euskadi Sammy Sanchez hit the ground and was struck by a number of other riders. He had an obvious shoulder injury and is reported to have lost consciousness by The Washington Post.

Movistar leader Alejandro Valverde came down in the same crash, but he was able to continue. 

Sanchez joins Ryder Hesjedal as leaders who have abandoned, but a number of other team leaders have crashed including Radioshack-Nissan’s Frank Schleck and Rabobank’s Robert Gesink.

Tomorrow the race goes back into time-trial mode. Look for Wiggins to extend his lead over Evans as they go into the rest day.

 

Standings after Stage 8

1.

WIGGINS Bradley

SKY PROCYCLING

38h 17' 56''

 

2.

EVANS Cadel

BMC RACING TEAM

38h 18' 06''

+ 00' 10''

3.

NIBALI Vincenzo

LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE

38h 18' 12''

+ 00' 16''

4.

MENCHOV Denis

KATUSHA TEAM

38h 18' 50''

+ 00' 54''

5.

ZUBELDIA Haimar

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

38h 18' 55''

+ 00' 59''

6.

FROOME Christopher

SKY PROCYCLING

38h 19' 28''

+ 01' 32''

7.

MONFORT Maxime

RADIOSHACK-NISSAN

38h 20' 04''

+ 02' 08''

8.

VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen

LOTTO-BELISOL TEAM

38h 20' 07''

+ 02' 11''

9.

ROCHE Nicolas

AG2R LA MONDIALE

38h 20' 17''

+ 02' 21''

10.

TAARAMAE Rein

COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE

38h 20' 23''

+ 02' 27''

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