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Summary

  1. Alexis Vuillermoz wins Stage eight
  2. Dan Martin finished second with Alejandro Valverde third
  3. GB's Chris Froome remains race leader
  4. Stage eight: Rennes - Mur de Bretagne, 181.5 km (112.7 miles)

Live Reporting

By Peter Scrivener

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Until tomorrow

It's a slightly later start on Sunday because there's just 28km to race and 22 teams to complete it. So, you've got plenty of time to nip out for a morning warm-up of your own.

The first team down the ramp in Vannes is scheduled to depart at 14:00 BST and I'll be here to take you through every pedal revolution to Plumelec.

Today's report is taking shape, so thanks for your company today and I'll see you back here for more tomorrow.

Geraint's guide

Tour de France stage nine profile
Tour de France

Here's

Geraint's guide to stage nine: "The tactics for a team time trial are simple: ride as fast you can and get the fifth guy over the line as quickly as possible because that is when the clock stops and all the riders in your team get credited with that time.

"It's a bit different to a normal team time trial because the profile is quite lumpy, and after eight days of hard racing there'll be a few teams who don't start with nine riders but six or seven. When you have to finish with five that will make it harder again."

Geraint's one to watch: "I can't see beyond the usual suspects like Team Sky, Etixx - Quick-Step, Orica-GreenEdge, Astana and BMC."

On to stage nine

Just one more stage to come then before a well-earned rest day for the riders. There's no let up though with Sunday's stage nine being a 28km team time trial.

It's a lumpy, bumpy affair with an uphill drag to the finish and with the time not stopping until the fifth rider is over the line, expect a big shake-up in the standings.

Orica GreenEdge are normally a good bet but their depleted ranks will hinder them, while BMC Racing may fancy their chances of getting Tejay van Garderen into the yellow jersey.

Expect Team Sky to have something to say about that though.

Loser Nibali

Yellow Jersey

Classification

So no change in the top five, or indeed between Chris Froome and two of his three main rivals for the overall win. Alberto Contador remains 36 seconds adrift, while Nairo Quintana is one minute 56 seconds back.

Vincenzo Nibali was the surprise of the day though, losing another 10 seconds on a climb that should have suited his more explosive style. The defending champion is now one minute, 48 seconds behind race leader Froome.

Standings after stage eight

Yellow Jersey

Classification

1 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky 31hrs 01mins 56secs

2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo +11 secs

3 Tejay van Garderen (US) BMC Racing +13secs

4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal +26secs

5 Greg van Avermaert (Bel) BMC Racing +28secs

Yates looking to Pyrenees

British youngster Adam Yates had a real go up the Mur de Bretagne and was still puffing a bit when a microphone was shoved under his nose.

The Orica GreenEdge rider said: "I tried following Vuillermoz but I had nothing left. I did what I could. We've lost a couple of major guys but we'll wait for the mountains and see what me and my brother Simon can do there, maybe try and get in a break or two."

Distraught Dan

A distraught Dan Martin of the Cannondale-Garmin team said: "I knew what I had to do but I couldn't get out. I was stuck on the right-hand barrier and I couldn't move. I'm really disappointed because they guys rode incredibly well."

Stage five result

1. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R 4hrs 20mins 55secs

2. Daniel Martin (Ire) Cannondale +5secs

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +10secs

4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff - Saxo Same time

5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto

6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing

7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica

8. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky

9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek

10. Tejay van Garderen (US) BMC Racing

A surprising winner?

Well, that was a bit of a shock. Vuillermoz went clear with about 500m to go and nobody had the legs to catch him. It's a first French victory of the 2015 Tour.

Ireland's Dan Martin was five seconds adrift in second, with Alejandro Valverde a further five seconds back, leading Peter Sagan, Tony Gallopin and the group that contained Chris Froome and co.

Alexis Vuillermoz
EPA

Nibali loses 10 seconds

Chris Froome finished about eighth, alongside Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana. The big loser is going to be Vincenzo Nibali though. He has shipped a further 10 seconds.

Dan Martin second, Alejandro Valverde second. Rest to follow.

Vuillermoz wins

AG2R's Alexis Vuillermoz wins stage eight.

Vuillermoz
EPA

Vincenzo Nibali is dropped.

Final kilo

We go under the 1km to banner and Chris Froome is not out of this. He is riding tempo and has caught Yates and gone past him and the yellow jersey is leading the peloton up the Mur de Bretagne.

Geraint Thomas is pacing Chris Froome. Joaquim Rodriguez in their shadow. One of the Yates brothers is going for it. 1.5km to go.

On the Mur de Bretagne

The riders swing right and hit the bottom of the Mur de Bretagne. Here we go then. just 2km to go.

2.5km to go

You could have forgiven the Orica GreenEdge boys for not getting too animated today given their depleted numbers and a tough team time trial to come tomorrow. But they have British twins Adam and Simon Yates in their ranks. Both the Yates boys like a climb.

Richie Porte takes over the on the front for Team Sky as we hit the 2.5km to mark. Ireland's Dan Martin is also up there.

They swing left round this tight 120 degree corner and everyone is round nice and safe. Geraint Thomas is suddenly up in second place. No prizes for guessing who is right on his wheel as they go under the 4km to go banner.

5km to go

The pace is high, as Rob Hayles predicted, with everyone fighting for position heading into the this tight, almost u-turn, that is coming up.

Green points jersey leader Andre Greipel is spat out the back of the peloton.

If Peter Sagan is still up near the front he could take enough points to nick the jersey off the Gorilla.

Escape over

Bak and Golas are gobbled up by the peloton and BMC have taken over pacing duties. They have Greg van Avermaert in their midst. He is a definite candidate for the stage win. They also have Tejay van Garderen who is fifth overall and very much in contention. 7km to go.

Astana hit the front

The light-blue jerseys of Astana take over at the front of the peloton. They have Vincenzo Nibali looking to claw back a few seconds on Chris Froome in the overall standings. Froome is handily placed with Geraint Thomas, as he has been since day two, right in front of him.

Crash in the peloton

There has been a crash towards the back of the peloton. Nicolas Edet of Cofidis is one of two riders to hit the deck. No dramas for the main protagonists.

The leaders are toiling up a rather steep incline and Huzarski drops back to the peloton which is just 15 seconds behind as they go under the 10km to go archway.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

With about 4km to go there's a huge 120 degree turn which they will be fighting for position for. Then with 2km to go there is a right-angled turn and then they are on to the final climb.

Leaders hanging on

The leading trio of Bak, Golas and Huzarski are being left dangling by the peloton. Their advantage is sticking around the 30-second mark as they wind their way to the bottom of the Mur de Bretagne. Just 13km remaining. 11km to the Mur.

Didi the Devil

Simon Brotherton

Cycling commentator on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

There's Didi the Devil. We thought he'd hung the trident up. He doesn't leap up and down with quite the same enthusiasm of 20 years ago but it's good to see him.

Yorkshire, Yorkshire...

Matt Slater

BBC Sport at the Tour de France

Huge crowd on Le Mur now, some have been there since early this morning.

Spoke to lots of Brits on the way up, including a couple from Jersey at their 21st Tour. Another couple from Yorkshire, however, had just bought a farm house 20 minutes' walk from the finish line.

Despite missing last year's Tour at home, they were certain that Yorkshire did it better. You can take the boy out of Keighley but you can't take the...

MTN-Qhuebeka chasing victory

Talking to letour.com, team boss Douglas Ryder said: "If Rodriguez doesn't win today, we'll have the polka dot jersey in the Pyrenees, which is amazing! And we'll do our best for Rodriguez not to win today because we want to win today. We have won at Mur-de-Bretagne before, when we were a continental team at the 2012 Tour de Bretagne, and we want to win with the same rider: Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

With 10 Brits in the race there's bound to be a lot of British fans, particularly with us being not too far from home right now. Just wait until we get to the mountains and everyone is down there with their campervans on holiday. They set up their satellite dishes, watch the race on TV, jump outside to watch the riders go past and then jump back inside to watch the finish.

British fans at the Tour de France
BBC

20km remaining

The pace is on in the peloton and the leading trio are now just 25 seconds clear. Cannondale-Garmin continuing to do all the chasing through rural Brittany.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

Froome has ridden very aggressively and if he gets himself with a clear bit of road he could go for the stage win. If it was a one-day race you'd say no but this far in to the Tour, he might fancy it. Vincenzo Nibali could have a go as well. It's not a gradient for Nairo Quintana. He's waiting to get into the high mountains.

Simon Brotherton

Cycling commentator on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

Effectively, we're all waiting for this final climb. Cadel Evans won when the race came here in 2011 and he went on to win the race.

The race zips past a field full of tractors positioned in such a way that they are supposed to look like a bike from the overhead shot. I'll be honest. It's not the best bit of sculpture I've seen. Just 25km remaining.

Team Sky well positioned

Back in the peloton, Team Sky are lined up down the left-hand side of the road again. British national road race champion Pete Kennaugh leading the way with Welshman Luke Rowe the next in line. The white-rimmed sunglasses of Geraint Thomas a couple of riders further back.

30km remaining

Cannondale-Garmin are continuing to pace the peloton as the leaders race past a wedding.

Rob Hayles, who had been discussing Mark Cavendish's expert sprint on stage seven is cut short by Simon Brotherton who exclaims. "There's a wedding! The happy couple are in the middle of their guests who have formed a heart shape around them. That's beautiful.

"I've lost my train of thought," says a bewildered Rob.

The trio out front have had their lead trimmed to a fraction under one minute.

Tour de France riders breakaway
Getty Images

Pinot plans change

Thibaut Pinot
AP

One man who definitely won't be going for the stage win today is big French hope Thibaut Pinot.

The FDJ rider finished on the podium at last year's Tour, sparking hopes he could become the first home winner since Bernard Hinault in 1985.

But a couple of tumbles and mechanicals on the cobbles earlier in the week have put paid to his hopes of of repeating that feat so his plans have changed.

He told the letour.com website: "My injured knee is getting better. I'm looking forward to Tuesday in the mountains. After the rest day, I'll figure out what I can really hope for in this Tour de France. I'm six minutes down, I can't target the top 5 anymore and I'm not interested by the top 10. So a nice stage win in the mountains will be my goal. The polka dot jersey could be a goal as well but it's complicated because of the points scale at the finishing summits."

More joy for Qhubeka?

One of Teklehaimanot's team-mates is Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, a man who knows today's finish well, having won stage four in the 2012 Tour de Bretagne. He couldn't. Could he?

Matt Slater

BBC Sport at the Tour de France

With the press centre in another department, I have stowed away at the back of the commentary box.

Pros: I can see the race and maybe grab a rider or two before they ride back to their buses. Cons: I have missed a spectacular press buffet.

But while foraging for food, I met the mayor of St Gilles-Vieux-Marche who was quick to point that the finish line is on his patch, not that mob from Mur de Bretagne.

40km remaining

Polkadot Jersey

Classification

It has all settled down on the road after that bit of excitement around the intermediate sprint.

Golas, Bak and Huzarski are riding hard at the front but they cannot stretch their lead beyond 70 seconds.

A shot of the polka dot jersey, which is being worn by Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot. He is doing domestique duties, collecting water bottles from the team car for his MTN-Qhebeka team-mates.

Teklehaimanot will stay in the polka dots for a third day so long as Joaquim Rodriguez does not win today's race. Rodriguez won Monday's climb of Mur de Huy remember.

daniel teklehaminot
AFP

Shhhh...don't tell the wife

On her way to the top of the Mur de Bretagne, Gemma encountered the Jersey Boys...

Jersey boys
BBC

...apparently some of their wives don't know they're on holiday.

Inside the last 50km

The three out front are working well together and are about 70 seconds clear of the peloton which has caught those pesky riders who went on the counter-attack.

A rare sight of the Cannondale-Garmin train dragging the peloton along.