On a day of mixed feelings for the home nation, rookie Nans Peters on Saturday won the eighth stage of the Tour de France following a long breakaway in the Pyrenees, while fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot saw his hopes of winning the race vanish.
Peters was part of a group of 13 riders who broke away in the early stages of the 141km stage featuring three punishing ascents to the town of Loudenvielle.
Peters and Ilnur Zakarin moved away from their breakaway companions in the grueling Port de Bales climb. The Frenchman then used his downhill abilities to drop his Russian rival in the descent and never looked back.
“It’s crazy for my first Tour,” said Peters, who rides for French outfit AG2R La Mondiale. “I realized he was really bad in the downhill, I played on my strengths.”
Yellow jersey holder Adam Yates and other Tour contenders, including defending champion Egan Bernal and favorite Primoz Roglic, crossed the finish line 6 minutes, 40 seconds later.
Yates came under a series of attacks in the final climb, the Col de Peyresourde, but hung on to the overall lead after Roglic did not seem interested in taking the coveted shirt this early in the race.
Roglic responded to every attack in the last 4km and gave the impression he could have gone solo.
Overall, Yates has a three-second lead over Roglic, with Frenchman Guillaume Martin completing the podium six seconds further back.
The stage destroyed Pinot, who cracked in the Port de Bales.
Riding at the back with other contenders, Pinot, who crashed last week at the end of Stage 1 and did not fully recover, was dropped in the day’s second ascent. He was accompanied by three teammates who gently patted him on the shoulders and tried to spur him on.
Touching his lower back, Pinot could not react and his Tour hopes are effectively over — a year after he was forced to withdraw with a left leg injury.
He reached the finish more than 25 minutes after Peters.
“I could not pedal, that’s the way it is,” said Pinot, a third-place finisher back in 2014. “I’m not going to leave the Tour, it was complicated. I want to apologize to my teammates and all my supporters. It might be a turning point in my career. I’ve been through too many failures.”
After a long week cooking and cleaning in the cramped households of Hong Kong, a group of Philippine domestic workers are using their Sunday off for an unlikely hobby: cricket. They are proving rather good at it. Despite no background in the game, scant coaching and little time, the SCC Divas have made a startling impact, winning Hong Kong’s development league twice in their first two seasons and going unbeaten since stepping up to the main divisions this year. Along the way, they have inspired the Philippines’ first national women’s cricket team, providing seven of its players, while shaking up Hong Kong’s sleepy
The treatment of Pacific Island rugby union players in the professional era is compared to colonialism in a new documentary film produced and narrated by former Samoa international Dan Leo. Oceans Apart: Greed, Betrayal and Pacific Island Rugby accuses World Rugby and the sport’s elite nations of exploiting the player resources of the Pacific Islands while retaining almost all of the wealth that those players create. The island nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have a combined population of only 1.5 million people, but provide almost one-quarter of all professional rugby players. At last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, 42 players
The cutting-edge yacht that Team New Zealand are to use to defend the America’s Cup took to the water in Auckland yesterday, with crew members describing it as a “flying machine.” The 23m yacht features innovative foil arms, which lift the hull above the surface of the water into the air, reducing drag and increasing racing speed. Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby said that the vessel — which is expected to reach speeds of more than 50 knots (93kph) — was part racing yacht and part aircraft. “It is a boat and it has to go through the water, but it’s also
‘THAT HURT’: Ferran Torres scored an inspired treble, and despite Sergio Ramos leaving the pitch with a hamstring strain, Germany could not stem the tide Spain on Tuesday dealt Germany their worst defeat in 89 years with a stunning 6-0 victory in Seville to qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals, joining France, who came from behind to beat Sweden 4-2. Germany have not been beaten so heavily since losing to Austria by the same scoreline in a friendly in 1931. “That hurt,” German midfielder Toni Kroos said. “The Spanish team showed us at every turn how it’s done — with and without the ball.” “There are no excuses. Now we know where we stand,” Serge Gnabry added. Spain were as sublime as Germany were abysmal in Seville, where