Chris Froome (Sky) confirmed his status at the favourite for the 2013 Tour de France as he soloed to win the first mountain stage of the race at Ax 3 Domaines this afternoon and take the race leader’s yellow jersey.

Froome attacked with 5.2 kilometres of the first-category climb remaining after his Sky team-mates Peter Kennaugh and Richie Porte had helped catch lone leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

He beat Porte by 51 seconds to set up the prospect of another Sky one-two on GC. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took third, 1-10 in arrears.

Quintana’s explosive attack on the Col de Pailhères, which at 2001m tops out as the race”s highest point, 36km from the finish failed to put Sky on the back foot, as Froome was left with Vasil Kiryienka, Kennaugh and Porte for company.

Kennaugh’s brilliant descending and his pacesetting at the bottom of the final climb reduced the gap to the Colombian to around 20 seconds and when Porte took over three kilometres into it, his work saw Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Cadel Evans (BMC), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) distanced.

Froome attacked just before he caught Quintana. After he raced into the distance, Porte also jumped clear of the Movistar rider, but never looked like catching his team-mate who was simply unstoppable.

Result

Tour de France 2013, stage eight: Castres to Ax 3 Domaines, 195km

1. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky in 5-03-18


2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0-51

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 1-08

4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 1-10

5. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 1-16

6. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1-34

7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1-45

8. Alberto Contador (Fra) Saxo-Tinkoff

9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar

10. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi all same time

Other

11. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 2-06

26. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 4-13

53. Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky at 11-09

85. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp at 23-12

171. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky at 31-15

173. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 31-15

180. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 31-15

Overall classification after stage eight

1. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky in 32-15-55


2. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0-51

3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 1-25

4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin at 1-44

5. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 1-50

6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1-51

7. Alberto Contador (Fra) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1-51

8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2-02

9. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 2-31

10. Michael Rogers (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 2-40

Other

13. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 2-48

21. Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack at 4-00

22. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Saxo-Tinkoff at 4-10

23. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 4-36

44. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing at 12-38





Johnny Hoogerland heads the early escape group



Nairo Quintana crested the Col de Pailhères solo to claim the €5000 Souvenir Henri Desgrange





Daryl Impey





Daniel Martin





Richie Porte





Chris Froome





Chris Froome in the race lead

Tour de France 2013: Related links

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour de France 2013: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

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  • JeffGoldblumIII

    Unbelievable.

  • mark ford

    Well that’s that then. Game over with 13 stages to go I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  • Robert

    “Not normal”…