Posted by Editor on 07/13/97
Erik Zabel, possibly still smarting from his relegation two days ago has just won his second consecutive stage. It was a fairly short stage today, with no major climbs, and the peleton has been taking it relatively easy - preparing for the upcoming mountains. Baldato and Auger took off early, reaching a 6 minute lead by the 80 kilometre mark, but then the big teams - Gan and Telekom - started to reel them back in. With 35 kilometres to go the gap was down to 1:30, and Baldato dropped his tiring breakaway companio to try and win it on his own. Baldato was hovering around 1 minute infront until the final climb of the day (Cote dÃ¢â‚¬Å¡Auga), when Festina brought the top climber of the Tour Laurent Brochard up to him (for the valuable Climbers points). A last ditch attempt by a small group of riders, including Ekimov and Sorensen, with less than 10 kilometres to go did not succeed, and Telekom once again positioned their sprinting ace Erik Zabel to take the stage ahead of Blijlevens. Stage 8, Sauternes to Pau - 161.5 km 1. Erik Zabel (Ger) 3:22:42 2. Nicola Minali (Ita) 3. JEROEN BLIJLEVENS (Ned) 4. Frederic Moncassin (Fra) 5. Lauri Aus (Est) 6. Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) 7. Andrej Tsjmil (Oek) 8. Massimo Strazzer (Ita) 9. Nicolas Jalabert (Ita) 10. Adriano Baffi (Ita) all s.t.
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