Tour de France 2014: Stage 8 Route, Live Stream, Predictions, Updated Standings

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2014

The pack passes the Verdun War Memorial, which commemorates the Battle of Verdun fought in 1916 as part of there first World War, during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 234.5 kilometers (145.7 miles) with start in Epernay and finish in Nancy, France, Friday, July 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

After seven days on the relatively flat roads of Britain, Flanders and the North of France, the peloton will finally get their first taste of the 2014 Tour de France's mountainous terrain on Saturday.

The Vosges don't feature the highest or most challenging climbs, but with the opening week experiencing difficult weather conditions and the nightmare stage on the cobblestones near Roubaix, the riders are already tiring fast, setting the stage for fireworks on Saturday.

The finish at the sky station of Gerardmer La Mauselaine comes at the end of a particularly steep slope, and while the contenders for the general classification will likely wait for the Alps to make their move, attackers will have every chance to avoid a sprint finish to Stage 8.


Date: Saturday 12 July

Distance: 161 km

Profile: Mountain

TV info and live stream: NBCSN (for U.S. viewers) and ITV4 (for U.K. viewers) will be broadcasting every stage of the 2014 Tour de France, with mobile coverage available via NBC Sports' Live Extra and the ITV Player app.


Updated Standings

2014 Tour de France Leaderboard (Yellow Jersey)
1Vincenzo NibaliAstana29h 57' 04''
2Jakob FuglsangAstana+2
3Peter SaganCannondale+44
4Michal KwiatkowskiO.Ph-Q-Step+50
5Tony GalopinLotto-Belisol+1:45
6Richie PorteSky+1:54
7Andrew TalanskyGarmin-Sharp+1:56
8Alejandro ValverdeMovistar+2:11
9Romain BardetAG2R+2:11
10Rui CostaLampre+2:11
Sky Sports
2014 Tour de France Mountain Classification (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1Cyril LeMoineCofidis6
2Blel KadriAG2R La Mondiale5
3Jens VoigtTrek4
4Nicolas EdetCofidis4
5Luis Angel Mate MardonesCofidis3
6Thomas VoecklerEuropcar3
7Pierre RollandEuropcar2
8Tom-Jelte SlagterGarmin-Sharp2
9Perrig QuemeneurEuropcar2
10David de la Cruz MelgarejoNetApp-Endura2
Sky Sports
2014 Tour de France Points Classification (Green Jersey)
1Peter SaganCannondale259
2Bryan CoquardEuropcar146
3Marcel KittelGiant-Shimano137
4Alexander KristoffKatusha117
5Mark RenshawO.Ph.-Q-Step95
6Andre GreipelLotto-Belisol91
7Greg van AvermaetBMC Racing60
8Tony GallopinLotto-Belisol56
9Samuel DumoulinAG2R55
10Matteo TrentinO.Ph.-Q-Step54
Sky Sports



Calling Stage 8 a mountain stage might be a bit of a stretch. The first 130 kilometers between Tomblaine and Vagney are still mostly flat, with three climbs scheduled in the final 30 kilometers.

The opening climb, the Col de la Croix des Moinats, is the most challenging one, a Category 2-climb that will have the riders pushing hard for close to 10 kilometers.

The race profile, via Defiende El Maillot:

The pack will spend most of the day travelling in a southerly direction before turning east at Epinal, making their way to the Vosges capital of Gerardmer La Mauselaine.


Preview, Prediction

Peter Dejong/Associated Press

The peloton might be headed for the mountains, but don't expect the lightweight specialists to explode on Saturday. The three climbs are far too short to do some real damage in the general classification, and most of the peloton will have little issues keeping up with the pace until the first of three climbs actually arrives.

The top contenders will still be surrounded by teammates, making it difficult for someone like Alberto Contador or Rui Costa to gain much on leader Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian is still wary of the threat, however, as he told

The coming week-end is going to be very difficult with a lot of climbs on the course. Alberto Contador gave me a signal of what he's keen to do when he asked Nicolas Roche to pull today. They didn't take me by surprise. It's normal that they try to make it up for the time lost and that I always have to keep an eye on them. I was up there. I'm well. My condition is good.

Nibali took an early option on the yellow in the first week of the Tour, and he has the profile to do some damage in the Vosges, as more of a power climber. But with the yellow jersey around his torso, he will have little space to move, and he stands to gain little from an early attack.

The mountain stages in the Alps and Pyrenees look particularly daunting this year, and the top contenders will want to save their strength in order to make the difference on the flanks of the Tourmalet or a similar climb. Not much time can be won in the Vosges, so don't expect the likes of Nibali to move before the final climb.

Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press

Riders looking for an early attack will like their chances on Saturday, but the peloton will likely keep the pace high during the first 130 kilometers. Thomas Voeckler has been his usual, aggressive self so far, and he has to be one of the favourites to try his luck during this stage.

The best spot to place an attack is right at the bottom of the final climb, just 1.8 kilometers from the finish line. With an average gradient of over 10 percent, the climb is challenging, and a single rider with good legs should be able to outjump the pack and hold his pace until the very top.

An early attack and unheralded winner is still very likely, however, with the big guns doing little more than testing their form on the final climb.