Tour de France (st. 8)
Alejandro Valverde suffers his third incident in three consecutive days, gets stitched up in his right tibia after stage eight in the Tour – Rui Costa closes in on overall top-ten before Monday’s ITT
After a horrific first week of racing, Movistar Team took off all their courage against adversity and fought to be at the front within the best on stage eight in the 2012 Tour de France, ridden on Sunday over 157 kilometers from Belfort to Porrentruy with up to seven categorized climbs. The telephone squad made all splits into a really fast first half of the race. Firstly, with Rui Costa, into an 11-man attempt aborted after the two opening climbs; later on, with Juanjo Cobo and Vladimir Karpets controlling the gaps; and finally, with Alejandro Valverde and Vasil Kiryienka into a massive, 30-rider group the Spaniard had later to drop from in order to allow the Belarusian looking for his winning chances.
However, bad luck stroke hard again the Blues at km 58 with a violent crash by Valverde together with Samuel Sánchez (EUS). Valverde suffered a hard blow in his right tibia and a wound that had to be closed with a stitch by the Tour docts at Movistar Team bust just after the stage, as well as several bruises in his right side y varias magulladuras en su costado derecho. With that status, the Spaniard struggled to keep the pace of the main favourites into the Col de la Croix -he lost 2.21 at the finish, together with Cobo-, the leaders swallowing, one by one, all favourites but the day’s winner, the Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ). Behind them and into a second group came Costa, whose 1-minute loss with the main field allows him jumping into 12th place overall -3.24 behind Wiggins (SKY)- before Monday’s important ITT over 41.5k from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon.