Suisse stage 8: Démare wins sprint; Porte holds lead
Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) took an impressive sprint victory on stage 8 of the 2018 Tour de Suisse.
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Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) took an impressive sprint victory over Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step-Floors) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates) on stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse. Reigning world champion Peter Sagan just missed the podium in fourth place, while Richie Porte finished safely in the bunch to retain his overall lead heading into tomorrow’s final stage.
Both the start and finish line for the 123-kilometer stage was hosted in Bellinzona, and the course featured multiple laps of a 21.5km rolling loop through the Ticino countryside, an Italian speaking portion of Switzerland. The majority of the stage was extremely docile, and followed the traditional formula of a small early breakaway building up an advantage, only to be reeled in by the peloton inside the final 10km.
With 4km to go, the remaining breakaway riders of Eddie Dunbar (Aqua Blue Sport) and Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin) were brought to heel as the Bora-Hansgrohe team of stage-favorite Sagan hit the front. A kilometer later, the Groupama-FDJ team of Demare took over, while Gaviria, Kristoff, and Sagan were left fighting for wheels.
Crossing under the 1km-to-go banner, Sagan looked in prime position to add to his immense career tally of Suisse stage wins. However, an early jump from Gaviria was followed by a well-timed surged from Demare and the French champion was able to hold the lead all the way to the line. The win gave Demare a much-needed win and signaled his form is on track heading into next month’s Tour de France.
Tomorrow’s final stage takes place once again in Bellinzona, and features a 34km time trial over much of the same course seen on stage 8. Porte will look to defend his 17-second lead over Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and 52-second lead over Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb).
Results will be available once stage has completed.