It was a brutal start to Stage 8 of the Tour de France on Saturday afternoon.
After a tough day that blew big holes in the General Classification race the peloton began moving quickly in rainy conditions. That put those riders with heavier legs in a tough situation as they struggled to keep the pace with the emerging lead group.
One of those caught up in the trailing group was former Tour winner Thomas, who couldn’t keep up at all. Another was his old team-mate Chris Froome, both riders had suffered crashes earlier in the race.
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There were also most of the big sprinters including Green Jersey wearer Mark Cavendish as well a number of UAE riders who would act as supports for Tadej Pogacar.
On commentary Brian Smith said he expected that the two groups would come back together but the gap kept climbing to over five minutes. .
There was also a sad sight a few minutes later as Primoz Roglic, still clearly suffering from Friday’s crash, was dropped from the front group.
The gap continued to widen and as it went over 10 minutes it became clear that any GC hopes that Thomas and Roglic had left were well and truly over.
This is how Nick Christian called it on the live blog.


We saw Geraint Thomas struggling early on the first climb, and have now been given graphical proof. The race has split into two distinct bunches, with a sizeable gap of 1.4km between them, and Ineos Grenadiers’ leader is in the second group.
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