Froome jabs a spectator in the face during Tour de France

by Sadie Mccarthy Julio 10, 2016, 4:10
Froome jabs a spectator in the face during Tour de France

Chris Froome stunned his Tour de France rivals by attacking on a fast descent to take eighth stage honours on Saturday and claim the race leader's yellow jersey.

The Brit didn't make his usual move on the tough last climb but instead broke clear on the 16km descent to the finish.

It was the fifth victory for a British rider in the first eight stages of this Tour following wins for Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings. "It's just a really good feeling".

Later in the Tour, this is where a long range attack could be launched, but only on Stage 8 and with such a punishing day tomorrow, it is unlikely anyone will go long range, although BMC could try the 1-2 punch with Richie Porte already 1:45 behind the overall contenders.

Britain's Chris Froome celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the eighth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 184 kilometers (114.3 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Bagneres-de-Luchon, France, Saturday, July 9, 2016. "I thought I'd give it a try in the downhill as the few tries on the climb didn't work out".

"Entering the descent of the Peyresourde, I took a bottle of water to refresh myself".

"I've never won a stage like that", he added. He leads Adam Yates and Joaquim Rodriguez by 16 seconds overall, according to provisional results.

Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford praised his rider, saying it "took some balls" for Froome to take such risks in the descent as he reached a maximum speed of about 90 kph.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) had led the way over the summit as part of a small break alongside Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) and Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep), leading by more than two minutes, but that advantage was whittled down on the category two Hourquette d'Ancizan and they were caught on the category one Col de Val Louron-Azet.

It was a bad day for Spanish two-time former victor Alberto Contador, who's still struggling with injuries he suffered in a crash on the opening stage.

Sky continued to set the pace on the front of the peloton, strong in numbers compared to their rivals as they headed on to the final climb.

At times it gets frustrating, and the last thing you need is some fan who looks like a chicken getting in your way.

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