Tour de France - Stage Eight guide: Evans eyes yellow
Australian Cadel Evans is expected to snatch the overall lead as the Tour de France enters the Massif Central mountains during the eighth stage, a 189-km trek from Aigurande.†
Stage 8 – Sat, 9 July – Aigurande – Super-Besse Sancy – 189km
Type: Medium mountains
Details: This bumpy ride through the Massif Central features the two lower category climbs and the second-category Col de la Croix de Saint-Robert (6.2km at 6.2 per cent) before the punchy third-category summit finish at the winter sports resort of Super-Besse (1.5km at 7.6 per cent).
Watch out for: The heat – the Massif Central is renowned for its cold winters and hot, humid summers. As much of the rock there is black and volcanic, the sun's heat is absorbed to create one large frying pan for the riders, who will have to drink loads of liquids to keep hydrated.
Prediction: After their success in the Giro, Euskaltel's climbers are showing fine form this year and this could be perfect for someone like Samuel Sanchez. It's doubtful any of the GC candidates will go for the win today so expect victory to go to a solid climber with eyes on the polka dot jersey.
History: The last time the Tour finished in Super-Besse was in 2008 when Riccardo Ricco won the first of his two stages which would later be taken away from him after the Italian was caught out for doping offences. The race organisers will be hoping for a less controversial winner in 2011.