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Frenchman Calmejane wins Tour de France eighth stage solo

Frenchman Calmejane wins Tour de France eighth stage solo

Kittel looked to be struggling in the final dash for the line as he failed to grab a wheel, but an 11th Tour stage win was secured in typically explosive fashion to mark a good day for the 29-year-old.

Marcel Kittel celebrates winning the stage and taking the points jersey. French rider Guillaume Martin placed third on the stage, another 13 seconds back.

Close gaps in the general classification meant a number of teams chose to try and take advantage of the lumpy profile on the 188km stage from Dole to Station de Rousses.

After I finished, one of the first people I went to thank before I warmed down on my stationary bike in the shade near our team bus was teammate Nicolas Roche.

Froome, the defending champion who came into the eighth stage as the overall classification leader, was able to retain his yellow jersey despite a mistake 45km from the finish.

"He's obviously going well but I think he's going to have more pressure on him now".

Whether that leads to sanctions remains to be seen, but aside from a parasol blowing into the road, it was an uneventful day's racing that saw Chris Froome remain in possession of the yellow jersey.

It's unbelievable how something as simple as the taste of home can make your day when you're in the middle of a race.

"Nothing has changed, (we've just got to) stick to going for the stage wins and after that see what happens". "There are more sprints to come, I'll take my revenge", he said following the sixth stage, where he had to squeeze down an nearly imperceptible gap next to the safety barriers alongside Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen in order to contest the sprint. "The level that we have here for the sprints is still very, very high".

"The weather could be a big factor", warns Jim Ochowicz, the BMC manager for Richie Porte, considered Froome's top rival, with thunderstorms forecast for the weekend.

Otherwise, Froome said, he spent the day chatting with other riders and admiring the views as the peloton rode into champagne country and through Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, the hometown of France's wartime hero and former president, Gen. Charles de Gaulle.

Tomorrow we have a first-category climb to the summit finish at the ski station of La Rousse. Arguably the toughest of this Tour, it has seven notable climbs.

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