V for Victory and Vuillermoz
After mounting an outstanding attack on the final ascent, Alexis Vuillermoz (Team AG2R La Mondiale) was the first to cross the line of the 8th stage in Mûr-de-Bretagne and, in doing so, has won his first Tour de France stage. Alexis (27) attacked twice on his new FOCUS Izalco Max to break free from the peloton. On accelerating for the second time, he was able to put enough distance between himself and the pack. His victory is the most important so far this season. That is particularly true for the new Izalco MAX equipped with the electronic SRAM group.
Moreover, it is the first French victory in this year's Tour de France. "I was third at Mur de Huy. That itself was amazing enough", he said after the stage. "That's why I wanted to try something special today. I tried two or three times and on the third go it worked. I knew someone was behind me but I just put my head down and pedalled like crazy. I think it's just starting to sink in that I won the stage."
"Initially, I wasn't sure whether I could take on Chris Froome in the mountains, but during a final ascent like this the fighter in me just comes out. I know this is where I have a chance. These ascents are what I am good at and that's why I'm so pleased at how today went. I specialise in these kinds of stage profiles. I can't say the same for the mountains. In the mountains it is my job to support my team mates."