/ Cycling

Nicolas Roche held on to his top-ten spot despite losing ground on leader Bradley Wiggins in stage eight

Updated: Sunday, 08 Jul 2012 16:48 | Comments

Stage winner Thibaut Pinot
Stage winner Thibaut Pinot

France's Thibaut Pinot won stage eight of the Tour de France in Porrentruy but Bradley Wiggins retained the race leader's yellow jersey under attack from defending champion Cadel Evans.

The 157.5-kilometre route from Belfort saw the peloton make a brief sojourn to the finish in Switzerland and Pinot won by 26 seconds from Evans, with Tony Gallopin third and Wiggins fourth.

Ireland's Nicolas Roche finished in 13th place, 1'25" behind Pinot, resulting in him dropping back to ninth place in the general classification, 2'21" behind Wiggins. Dan Martin, 64th today, is 66th overall, 27'17" behind.

Australian Evans attempted to gain vital seconds in the closing moments of the stage, but Wiggins had enough strength to follow every revolution and maintain his 10secs lead.

Wiggins became the fifth Briton to don the maillot jaune on stage seven, won by Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, and will enter tomorrow's 41.5km time-trial to Besancon seeking to gain further time in his bid for victory in Paris on 22 July.

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) stayed third, 16secs adrift, after placing fifth on the stage.

Wearing yellow was not unfamiliar to Wiggins - the triple Olympic champion won the yellow jersey at the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine stage races this season - but it was his first time as leader of cycling's most prestigious race.

The 32-year-old Londoner was the fifth Briton to wear the fabled maillot jaune at the Tour and first since David Millar in 2000, emulating the Scot's achievement of leading all three Grand Tours.

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