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Pinot grabs first stage win as Wiggins clings on to yellow jersey

updated 3:52 PM EDT, Sun July 8, 2012
Thibaut Pinot crosses the line to record his maiden stage win in the Tour de France
Thibaut Pinot crosses the line to record his maiden stage win in the Tour de France
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Young Frenchman Thibaut Pinot claims the eighth stage of the Tour de France
  • Britain's Bradley Wiggins holds off a late attack from his rivals to keep yellow jersey
  • Wiggins is ten seconds in front of his nearest challenger Australian Cadel Evans

(CNN) -- Youngster Thibaut Pinot claimed the eighth stage of the Tour de France as Bradley Wiggins retained his overall lead for Team Sky.

Pinot, from France, is the Tour's youngest rider at 22 and held on after hitting the front with 2km to go, despite the overall leaders desperately trying to hunt him down.

Though Cadel Evans finished second to FDJ-Bigmat's Pinot, he wasn't able to shave off any of Bradley Wiggin's lead as the Briton preserved his ten second advantage.

The stage was punctuated with another nasty crash as Spain's Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez came off his bike, suffering head and shoulder injuries that might prevent him from competing at London.

"It's a dream come true," Pinot told reporters, of his maiden stage win on what is his debut Tour.

Bradley Wiggins, left, celebrates on the finish line with teammate Michael Rogers of Australia after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France on Sunday, July 22, in Paris. Bradley Wiggins, left, celebrates on the finish line with teammate Michael Rogers of Australia after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France on Sunday, July 22, in Paris.
Tour de France 2012: The best photos
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"I just did the longest 10km of my life, I'll never forget it. I was quite scared when I heard the peloton had closed the gap to 50 seconds.

"But a lot of this is down to Jeremy (Roy). He did a lot of the preparation work for me, I can't thank him enough."

After Saturday's strong performance from Team Sky, which saw Wiggins take the yellow jersey and teammate Chris Froome win the stage, Wiggins survived a late attack on his lead.

Evans, riding for the BMC team, and Italian Vincenzo Nibali, of Liquigas, cranked up the pressure in the final stages but Wiggins did enough to record the same time and keep his nose in front.

And with Monday presenting the first of two individual time trials in a 41.5km stage from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon, Wiggins has the chance to put more distance between himself and the chasing pack.

But the 32-year-old said: "There is so much fuss made about them, but there's been another eight stages before then. You don't win the Tour on time trials alone.

"It's the race of truth, so you've got to have the legs ultimately. Anything's possible tomorrow. I try not to think too negatively, and just concentrate on my own race."

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