TdF Daily | Stage 8 | Marijn van den Berg sprints to fifth

Squad gets behind our Dutch Tour rookie, who is getting closer in the sprints.

July 6, 2024

Our thoughts are with the friends, family and teammates of André Drege, who passed away in a tragic crash today at the Tour of Austria. Rest in peace, André.

Our Tour de France rookie Marijn van den Berg came from behind to finish fifth at the finish of stage eight today in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises.

The whole squad got behind Marijn when it became clear that the rest of the peloton was going to control the race and bring it to a bunch sprint. Neilson Powless and Stefan Bissegger did try to force another outcome, attacking as soon as the commissaire dropped his flag on the way out of Semur-en-Auxois. With three climbs packed into the first 50 kilometers of the race, they wanted to get away with a strong break. Only one rider followed them however. Stefan and Neilson slowed, hoping that others would bridge across. Ben Healy tried a number of times, but couldn’t shake the peloton. So Neilson and Stefan decided to drop back and ride for Marijn; as three out front they wouldn’t stand a chance.

The rest of the stage was spent trying to keep Marijn safe and out of the wind, as the race wet race course traversed north across Burgundy towards Champagne.

In the final 50 kilometers, our team pushed to the fore again, riding hard on the climbs to make it difficult for the other sprinters.

Going into the final drag, Marijn was well-placed thanks to a huge pull from Ben Healy. The pair got boxed in a bit after the red kite, but Marijn managed to jump from wheel to wheel, sprinting towards the finish line just behind the best.

He’ll be back for more in the Tour’s next bunch sprint. First up, is stage nine tomorrow, when we take on the gravel in Champagne.

Marijn van den Berg

It was pretty difficult for the team to get me to the front in the last kilometer, but we tried. Ben was still there in the end. We just got a bit unlucky with some guys dropping back, so there was not really a gap to go through. I had to come from quite far behind. Maybe, if there had been an opening a bit earlier, we could have got a better result. I think more was possible today.

Neilson Powless

We were really expecting a faster start and bigger fight for the breakaway. We thought more people would want to go in the breakaway.

After Stefan and I got in there, we tried to slow down a bit before the climbs with the hope of keeping the race alive.There were a few more attacks on the climbs, but not nearly what we were expecting.

We definitely wanted more from today, but it was going to be a really long day out with just three guys. So we decided to go back and support Marijn for the sprint.

I think everyone was expecting a big breakaway. I still don't know why more people weren't trying. Maybe it was a positioning thing on small roads and GC teams at the front trying to keep their riders protected. That's what kind of halted the race over the last few climbs there because the GC teams were starting to get a bit nervous about the wet roads and so they all just went to the front and that shut the road down so you couldn't really race anymore.

It was a little disappointing, because we wanted to do more from Marijn in the end. It was really, really hectic trying to stay together and seeing where everyone was.

Charly Wegelius, sports director

We wanted an aggressive race, a more open race. We were ready to race and had two guys up there, but having them in the wind all day was not going to work for us, so we asked them to stay quite close to the peloton, in an attempt to basically open up the race again on the first three climbs of the stage. The peloton had other ideas today.

Share this story

More from Tour de France