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Tour de France: Dutchman Dekker does it again in eighth stage

Erik Dekker's sprint for the finish line gave him his second consecutive victory Keystone

The Dutch rider, Erik Dekker has won the hilly eighth stage of the Tour de France. The win has helped the Rabobank team, of which Switzerland's Marcus Zberg is a member, to stay top in the overall team standings.

Dekker burst clear from the rest of the pack to complete the 203 kilometre course from Limoges to Villeneuve-sur-Lot, in just over four hours, 22 minutes. It is his second consecutive win.

Defending champion and one of the tour’s favourites, the American, Lance Armstrong, finished comfortably with the chasing pack and is 16th in the overall standing. Italy’s Alberto Elli stays top.

Swiss riders are still outside the top fifty of the overall standings, with Zberg at 66th, and Alex Zülle in 74th. Laurent Dufaux, Armin Meier and Sven Montgomery are outside the top 100. Zberg and Zülle may be able to climb back up over the next few stages. Sunday’s race will be a 181 kilometre flat course, from Agen to Dax.

With riders facing four climbs, the eighth stage course could be considered a taster for the Pyrenees mountain stages starting on Monday. However, strong mountain cyclists were perhaps saving their energy before then, as the race was very much dominated by sprinters, such as Dekker.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR