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Tour de France : Belgian Wins 8th Leg; Dane Retains Lead

July 12, 1986|United Press International

NANTES, France — Belgium's Eddy Planckaert sprinted ahead of the pack to take the 127-mile eighth stage of the Tour de France bicycle race Friday, while Denmark's Joergen Pedersen retained the overall lead.

Planckaert, a 27-year-old rider on the Pansonic team, finished the mostly flat stage from St. Hilaire-de-Harcouet to Nantes with a time of 4 hours 39 minutes 55 seconds.

Dutchman Johan Van der Velde trailed Pedersen by eight seconds in the overall standings. Italian Guido Bontempi kept the No. 3 spot, 27 seconds back, and Frenchman Dominique Gaigne was fourth, 44 seconds behind the leader.

Two-time winner Laurent Fignon of France was fifth.

The top American riders in the overall standings were Greg Lemond in 35th, 2 minutes 58 seconds off the pace; Andrew Hampsten in 45th, 3:11 back, and Ron Kiefel in 80th, 4:42 behind. Eric Heiden was 96th, 5:53 behind the leader.

"To win today's stage, I stayed in a position of waiting after the pack regrouped," Planckaert said. "Then, about two kilometers (1.3 miles) before the finish, I moved to the head of the pack."

France's Jean-Claude Bagot and compatriot Bernard Vallet started a 12-man escape as the eighth stage began. The two gained a three-minute lead over the rest of the riders until the pack caught up.

Today, the riders will compete in the 38-mile individual time trial in Nantes. The 23-stage race ends July 27 at Paris.

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