Belgian Wout van Aert won his second stage of this year’s Tour de France, and eighth in his career, while Slovenian Tadej Pogacar finished third to increase his overall standings lead in Saturday’s eighth stage.
Van Aert, the top sprinter through eight of 21 stages, overtook Pogacar and Australian Michael Matthews in the final meters of an uphill finish in Lausanne, Switzerland, the fourth country that the Tour visited in the first week-plus.
Van Aert, the Tokyo Olympic road race silver medalist, won at least one stage in all four of his Tour de France starts. His goal for this year’s Tour is to win the green jersey sprinters’ competition for the first time. He has a comfy 115-point lead in the standings.
“Today was a big chance to take a lot of points on a few of my competitors,” van Aert said.
Pogacar, going for a third consecutive Tour de France title, upped his lead by another four seconds over Dane Jonas Vingegaard. They were given the same time for finishing in the same group, but Pogacar got a four-second time bonus for placing third overall.
“Maybe I hesitated a bit, and van Aert passed me,” said Pogacar, who had what he called a “soft” crash in a group pile-up near the start of the stage. “It’s a little bit disappointment, but third place is still great.”
The Tour has another mountain stage on Sunday with two category-one climbs.
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