Tour De France 2018: Dylan Groenewegen Wins Stage 8, Greg Van Avermaet Leads

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2018

Netherlands' Dylan Groenewegen (C) celebrates as he crosses the finish line ahead of Germany's Andre Greipel (R) to win the eighth stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Dreux and Amiens, northern France, on July 14, 2018. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Dylan Groenewegen took his second stage win of the 2018 Tour de France on Saturday, while Dan Martin suffered a heavy crash and lost over a minute on the other contenders for the general classification.

Groenewegen beat the bunch in another mass sprint at the conclusion of an otherwise drab stage. Just like on Friday, the Dutchman had too much raw power for Fernando Gaviria to overcome.

Andre Greipel finished the stage in second place ahead of Gaviria, but both were relegated after video replay showed the two had clashed. The Colombian appeared to headbutt Greipel, with many calling for him to be disqualified:

BMC's Greg Van Avermaet maintained the overall lead. The only change in the top 10 saw Julian Alaphilippe drop out, as he was involved in Martin's crash.

Here are Saturday's results and the updated standings:

The late crash was the day's main talking point:

The Tour de France organisers have mostly coordinated stages with tons of breakaway potential on Bastille Day in the last few years, but Saturday's ride to Amiens was always expected to end in a bunch sprint, and it delivered.

As Sunday's stage will feature cobbles, most of the top teams barely put in an effort on Saturday, knowing there was no real opportunity to gain time.

Instead, the sprint teams spent the last 30 kilometers chasing down the break. In the background, Martin and Alaphilippe hit the pavement. The Irishman couldn't take advantage of the leisurely pace to close the gap before the finish line, losing well over a minute in the general classification.

Sunday's stage should be one for the more powerful punchers such as Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan, who have taken plenty of wins on the cobbles in the Spring Classics over the years. The finish will be at Roubaix, where the Paris-Roubaix race also concludes.

After Monday's rest day, the peloton will head for the mountains, where the battle for the general classification can begin.

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