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The break also included American Nike Free 3.0 Orange Tejay Van Garderen. The 22 year old showed great promise this season, with podium finishes on stages in the Tour of California and Tour de Suisse. However, the HTC Highroad rider was untested in the world hardest race and only eight days into his first Tour Nike Free 5.0 Dove Grey/Electric Green/Volt/Black
So with a sprinter donning the yellow leader jersey, and the always aggressive Alberto Contador sitting about 1:30 behind his top rivals, fans and experts alike expected an animated break, the opening shots of the general classification battle, and the passing of the maillot jaune to Cadel Evans, or even one of the Schleck brothers.
At the podium ceremonies, the day champions were united and rewarded for performances few expected. Thor Hushovd was handed one more yellow jersey for his collection reign over the GC now extended to a full week. Costa received kisses for his win and the young rider jersey. And finally Van Garderen stood on stage as both the most aggressive rider and the new mountains leader.
The Australian late jump wasn enough, as he too was matched by fellow GC contenders, and he finished 15 seconds behind Costa along with Hushovd trailing just 13 places back in their group.
After trading pulls with his breakaway companions, Van Garderen made a move on the Category 2 Col de la Croix Saint Robert, the day highest point, and crossed the KOM line first to take the Nike Free 5.0 Flash Review
Tour de France Stage 8
lead in the climbing competition. And after the small pack split on the approach to Super Besse, Van Garderen gutted out the climb until he was one of only four riders left.
the Massif Central region featured four categorized climb and finished with a Category 3 drag up to the Super Besse ski resort. The undulating but not exactly leg cracking terrain had the makings for both a successful breakaway and a chance for small time gaps among the leaders.
As Contador accelerated again and again, trying in vain to drop his fellow climbers, Thor kept the lightweight racers in sight and pressed on. Cadel Evans, who only shadowed Contador attacks, finally jumped out in the closing meters in an attempt to gain the one second he needed over Hushovd.
Eventually dropped, Van Garderen continued alone and was caught by a 24 rider lead group that included a determined Thor Hushovd. The big Norwegian rode with teammates Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson, as Evans, Contador, and the Schlecks pulled to the front.
The first break of the day, a nine man group including high powered riders such as 2010 Tour stage winner Christophe Riblon and Olympic medalist Alexandr Kolobnev, went clear in the opening kilometers and eventually launched 24 year old Rui Costa to a victory. The summit finish, last won by Ricardo Ricco in 2008, gave Costa the biggest win of his young career and catapulted the Portuguese Movistar racer into the white jersey for the best young rider after sitting 3:42 out the lead after Stage 7.
Racers were coy at the start line about their goals for the day. BMC Cadel Evans, one second away from the lead, claimed he planned only to stay safe and see how the stage developed. Garmin Cervelo big, yellow clad race leader, Thor Hushovd, said he didn hope to defend the yellow jersey in the face of the day climbs.
Saturday stage to Super Besse gave riders their first taste of the mountains in this year Tour de France. The bumpy 200 or so kilometers across Nike Free Rn Gray
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