Britain’s Chris Froome secured the Tour de France yellow jersey after a stunning win on the first day in the mountains as his rivals slumped on Saturday.
Sky team leader Froome launched a solo attack 5km from the race’s first summit finish at Ax-Trois-Domaines and crossed the finish line 51sec ahead of Aussie Richie Porte to underline his overall victory credentials.
Spain’s two-time runner-up Alberto Contador finished over a minute behind while the victory hopes of 2011 champion Cadel Evans all but faded on an epic eighth stage.
Froome, last year’s runner-up behind teammate Bradley Wiggi-ns, now tops the general classification with a 51sec lead over Porte, with Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third at 1min 25sec.
Contador (Saxo) is 1:51 off the pace while Aussie Evans (BMC) is nearly five minutes adrift after ending the stage 4:12 down on Froome.