The 8th stage of Tour de France (Arras-Reims, 194 km) had no demanding difficulties on the road profile (two 2nd category Kom), but it caused troubles to the bunch because of some crashes.
Two crashes at 70 km to go broke the pack: two LAMPRE-MERIDA’s cyclists, Nelson Oliveira and Josè Serpa, got involved.
No consequences for the Portuguese champion, bruised hip for the Colombian climber.
After Richeze withdrawal, that was caused by the injury to the knee he suffered during the 5th stage, Cimolai was the captain of the team for the sprint, but he faced a puncture that forced him to spend energies to chase the bunch, so he could not have ambitions for the sprint (137th place).
On the contrary, Rui Costa and Horner were skilfull and lucky in avoiding any trouble: they both crossed the finish line in the head group (22nd place for the world champion, 40th place for the winner of Vuelta a Espana 2014). Victory for Greipel.
“In these early part of Tour, it’s important to pay the max attention not only in stages as yesterday one, but also in stages that could appear easy - Horner (photo Bettini) explained - Today I achieve my goal, Rui too, so we’re satisfied”.
Team manager Copeland said: “Avoiding crashes in stages like these it’s a good result for the two riders that we hope could be competitive in the mountains, that are Rui and Chris.
They paid high attention and team mates are giving their best to improve the cooperation: it’s also important to point out that we faced the withdrawals of two cyclists such as Modolo and Richeze that could have been useful to support mates thanks to their skills of pedaling in the bunch”.
1- Greipel 4h11’39″
2- Kristoff s.t.
3- Dumoulin s.t.
4- Renshaw s.t.
22- Rui Costa s.t., 40- Horner s.t., 95- Oliveira 59″, 121- Durasek s.t., 137- Cimolai 3’25″, 153- Valls 4’51″, 176- Serpa s.t., Richeze dns
1- Nibali 24h38’25″
2- Fuglsang 2″
3- Sagan 44″
4- Kwiatkowski 50″
13- Rui Costa 2’11″
28- Horner 4’13″