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Tour de France - Cycling: Stage eight preview

Tadej Pogacar strengthened his iron grip on the yellow jersey on Friday but Saturday provides a chance for the peloton to breathe.

It's been said elsewhere but the Tour organisers have done little to favour the sprinters in 2022 and the late sting in the tail planned for Saturday's stage is arguably a case in point.

After Friday's slog to La Super Planche des Belles Filles, this route between Dole meanders through Jura and into Switzerland, with the home of the International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, hosting the finish.

With none of the climbs rated as more severe than category three, this doesn't look to be a day for the overall contenders, with them instead likely to be looking ahead to Sunday's first real outing in the mountains.

While they'll need to remain alert, and at least one of them may look to make a late dig to take seconds from their rivals, Saturday's stage looks more suited to the puncheurs.

The finish sees the riders head up the Cote du Stade Olympique and with parts of that climb reaching 12 per cent, there are likely to be fireworks.

The 2022 Tour de France at bet365


Tour de France, Stage Eight


Dole, France to Lausanne, Switzerland


12:05 UK Time, Satuday 9th July, 2022

How to Watch:

Live on ITV4, Eurosport, Discovery+ & GCN+


Wout van Aert 7/2, Tadej Pogacar 10/1, Michael Matthews 12/1, Matej Mohoric 16/1, Mathieu van der Poel 16/1 

Stage eight route details

Saturday sees the peloton traverse 186.3km from Dole in Jura and across the border into Switzerland.

With the real climbing limited, this would usually have been a day for the sprinters. However, that late kick up takes that option off the table.

The Category Four Cote du Marechet and Col de Petra Felix sit on either side of the Category Three Cote des Rousses before a long drag down towards the finish, only for the road to rise for the closing Category Three Cote du Stade Olympique.

If a sprinter who can climb gets involved, it might become quite interesting, while there is always a chance that Pogacar will burst from the pack to try and claim a third win in as many days. However, the one-day racers will all be eyeing victory in Lausanne.

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Three to watch

Tom Pidcock @ 25/1

The Olympic mountain biking champion has continued to demonstrate his versatility on his Tour debut, expertly piloting his Ineos Grenadiers colleagues through the travails of the opening week.

Pidcock showed how strong he is by finishing fourth on Thursday in Longwy on a final ascent that shares similarities with this one.

That marked his first top-five finish at the Tour and if he can put Geraint Thomas, Dani Martinez and Adam Yates in position on the Cote du Stade Olympique, he may fancy making a late push for the victory.

The 23-year-old is clearly strong having finished 14th on Friday and only looks to be getting better.

Wout van Aert @ 7/2

What a week Van Aert has had, with him even being accused at times of toying with the peloton at the 2022 Tour.

The Belgian lost the yellow jersey on Thursday, but only after spending almost 140km driving the breakaway. With Jumbo-Visma having other priorities, his tactics were questionable and he perhaps got caught up in the emotion of the race, having also pulled most of the favourites home on Wednesday's cobbled stage.

After a quiet stage seven, he will be back in the picture on Saturday and may see this as a chance to add to his already impressive lead in the points classification.

The 27-year-old is another rider who will be relishing a chance to put the hammer down on the final climb, especially if he feels it will benefit colleagues Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic.

Michael Matthews @ 12/1

A different take on a potential winner but Matthews has the attributes to take his first Tour stage victory since 2017, when he also won the green jersey.

The Australian looked well placed to break his duck on Thursday but couldn't resist Pogacar's late charge.

However, Matthews showed he is in good shape with that performance and will be eyeing the victory here, with Team BikeExchange–Jayco colleague Dylan Groenewegen unlikely to be in the mix in Lausanne.

His team hit the front to support the 31-year-old in Longwy and after going close, they may fancy their chances again 48 hours later.

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