(CNN) -- Team Sky's Chris Froome produced a superb ride on the eighth stage of the Tour de France on Saturday to take the leader's yellow jersey for the first time.
In this year's first mountain stage, the Briton finished the gruelling 195-kilometer (121-mile) ride from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines 51 seconds ahead of Sky teammate Richie Porte with Spain's Alejandro Valverde of the Movistar team coming in third one minute 25 seconds behind.
Alberto Contador, one of Froome's main rivals for the title, finished one minute 45 seconds behind.
"The team has done a fantastic job. We've come through this week in a really good position. Being able to repay my teammates with a stage win, and Ritchie coming second, we couldn't have asked for more," Froome said.
Froome becomes only the sixth Briton to wear the yellow jersey in the history of the race and takes over from Daryl Impey as the overall leader. The Orica GreenEdge rider finished nearly eight minutes behind Froome who produced an amazing sprint on the final ascent to the finish.
Earlier on in the day, Christophe Riblon had opened up a lead of over nine minutes along the flatter opening sections of the stage. But by the time he had reached the bottom of the day's biggest climb -- the Col de Pailheres -- his advantage had been cut to a minute.
Colombia's Nairo Quintana (Movistar) succeeded in overtaking Riblon and reached the summit first to win the souvenir Henri Desgrange which is awarded to the first rider to reach the highest point of the whole race.
Froome and Porte caught Quintana on the final 7.8-kilometer (4.9-mile) ascent before Froome powered away.
On Sunday, riders will tackle the 165-km (102.5-mile) stage nine which starts in Saint-Girons and ends in Bagneres-de-Bigorre.