NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES, France (AP) — After a stage determined by millimeters and sprinters, it is time to see some vital gaps between the leaders within the Tour de France.

The race heads into the mountains this weekend and yellow-jersey holder Chris Froome is trying ahead to taking measure of his challengers.

“This weekend, we are going to see precisely the place everybody’s at,” Froome stated, explaining that the highest 10 riders are nonetheless too shut collectively for him to obviously determine one sole rival.

Stage eight from Dole on Saturday finishes on the Rousses ski station within the Jura Vary, near the border with Switzerland. Three climbs on the 187.5-kilometer (116-mile) route will function a warm-up for the extraordinarily powerful Stage 9 within the Alps on Sunday, which has seven climbs, together with three with the “hors categorie” or past ranking.

The final climb on Saturday “may shake issues up a bit,” Froome stated.

“The larger obstacles will come on Sunday. It ought to be a giant weekend of racing. That is what we spend all season coaching for.”

Froome remained 12 seconds forward of Sky teammate Geraint Thomas and 14 seconds forward of Stage 5 winner Fabio Aru of Italy.

Dan Martin of Eire was fourth, 25 seconds behind, and Froome’s former teammate, Richie Porte, was fifth at 39 seconds again.

“Fabio Aru is definitely threatening,” Froome stated. “However I definitely would not say he is any extra of a menace than Richie Porte.”

Again down within the flats on Friday, the wine-themed Stage 7 was received by Marcel Kittel in a photograph end.

The German made his transfer almost too late and edged Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway by six millimeters to win his third stage of the race, and second in two days.

Kittel appeared positive he received, holding up three fingers to rejoice his three stage wins.

“It was tremendous, tremendous shut,” Kittel stated. “When there is a picture end, you may have your doubts. I used to be fortunate.”

It was Kittel’s 12th profession win within the Tour, tying him with Erik Zabel for the German report.

Kittel clocked barely greater than 5 hours over the principally flat 213.5-kilometer (132-mile) leg from Troyes in champagne nation to Nuits-Saint-Georges within the coronary heart of the Burgundy winemaking area.

Michael Matthews of Australia crossed third.

Boasson Hagen took over the management duties at Staff Dimension Information after Mark Cavendish deserted the race with a damaged shoulder this week. World champion Peter Sagan was disqualified from the Tour for inflicting Cavendish’s high-speed crash.

The victory helped Kittel take the inexperienced factors jersey from French nationwide champion Arnaud Demare, who completed 11th.

Kittel is aiming to put on inexperienced all the way in which to the end in Paris on July 23.

Sagan received the inexperienced jersey up to now 5 Excursions.

Froome stated the stage wasn’t as straightforward because it regarded, beneath the searing solar. He stated he drank almost 15 bottles of water.

“Each kilometer you concentrate on what can occur that might change the race,” Froome stated. “When you flip left or proper or if there may be wind. It was a day for staying in entrance.”

The southeasterly route handed by the mustard capital of Dijon then concluded with a circuit via picturesque vineyards of Burgundy.

Like within the different three sprinting phases, an early breakaway — this one that includes Manuele Mori, Yohann Gene, Dylan van Baarle and Maxime Bouet — was caught shortly earlier than the end.

A correct assault within the mountains, as Aru confirmed on Wednesday, will be carried all the way in which to the road.

Copyright 2017 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.