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2011 Tour De France: Rui Alberto Costa Wins Stage 8; Thor Hushovd Keeps Yellow Jersey

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Entering the mountains for the first time in the 2011 Tour de France, riders had plenty to contend with on Saturday. On the ride from Aigurande to Super-Besse Sancy, Rui Alberto Costa proved to be the toughest of them all this time around. Philippe GIlbert attempted to overcome him down the final kilometers of the stage, but he fell just short. Alexandre Vinokourov had a chance as well, but he wound up finishing with the peloton.

Thor Hushovd kept the yellow jersey though he finished this segment 15 seconds behind Costa, in 16th place. After the race, Hushovd said:

“I really didn’t believe that I could keep this yellow jersey. I knew that the final was very hard but I’ve got incredible form right now and also the motivation to keep the lead, so I’m very happy with the result today.

He must be thinking the same thing for Sunday's stage, which is also another mountainous trek.

Gilbert took the green jersey with his second-place finish, reaching 187 points. Jose Joaquin Rojas is in second with 172 points. Hushovd is fourth with 130 points.

The top 10 leaderboard:

1 Thor Hushovd 33h 06' 28"   
2 Cadel Evans 33h 06' 29"  + 00' 01"
3 Frank Schleck 33h 06' 32"  + 00' 04"
4 Andreas Kloden 33h 06' 38"  + 00' 10"
5 Jakob Fugelsang 33h 06' 40"  + 00' 12"
6 Andy Schleck 33h 06' 40"  + 00' 12"
7 Tony Martin 33h 06' 41"  + 00' 13"
8 Peter Velits 33h 06' 41"  + 00' 13"
9 David Millar 33h 06' 47"  + 00' 19"
10 Phillippe Gilbert 33h 06' 58"  + 00' 30"

For in-depth coverage of the race, visit out cycling blog, Podium Cafe, and our SB Nation StoryStream.