Belfort – Porrentruy (157.5km) Click for route map
While on holiday in Alsace, when we also visited Gérardmer, we crossed into Franche Comte and Territoire de Belfort, a region which in 1871 was allowed by treaty to remain French when Germany annexed most of Alsace. We were on our way to Ronchamp and the Le Corbusier chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, which we saw helicopter shots of yesterday as the Tour passed close by. At Belfort it was pouring with rain and everything was closed as it was 15th August, the Feast of the Assumption, so we felt we had somehow missed out. We saw the impressive red sandstone Lion of Belfort sculpture by Bartholdi, marking the siege in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War, however we completely missed the views from the vast star shaped Citadel designed by Vauban which dominates the town. We know we did not see Belfort at its best, and really ought to go back.
Today the tour passed from Franche Comte, France and into the Canton of Jura, Switzerland, passing through the impressive Gorges du Pichoux and ending in the picturesque town of Porrentruy. In the race today Olympic Champion Sanchez crashed out with a broken collarbone and he seems unlikely now to be able defend his title at the London 2012 Olympics less than three weeks away. On a positive note, Wiggins retained the yellow jersey although his team mate Froome had to relinquish the Polka Dot jersey and Team Sky was overtaken in the Team placings by Radioshack.
The top five of Stage 8
1. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ
2. Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC at 26″
3. Tony Gallopin (FRA) RNT at 26″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) SKY at 26″
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) LIQ at 26″
Team placings after Stage 8
1. Team Radioshack
2. Sky Procycling
Jerseys for Stage 9
Yellow – Wiggins
Green – Sagan
Polka Dot – Kessiakoff
White – Taaramae
For more information on the cyclists, their teams and how they were placed see the Tour de France official site.
Read my TDF posts covering this and previous years.