Stage 8: A mostly flat 112.5-mile trek starting from Rennes and finishing with a short but tough climb Saturday up Mur de Bretagne.
Winner: Alexis Vuillermoz, who gave France its first stage win this year after a bold counterattack. Vuillermoz, a former mountain bike specialist, won five seconds ahead of Dan Martin, with Spaniard Alejandro Valverde ending third, 10 seconds back.
How did the "Fab Four" perform? Froome reasserted his authority with an attack in the final climb. Two-time champion Alberto Contador and 2013 Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana were able to follow the quick pace but defending champion Vincenzo Nibali was dropped. Overall, Froome leads Contador by 36 seconds, Nibali by 1:48 and Quintana by 1:56.
Quote of the day: "I don't understand what happened. Hopefully this was just a bad day, otherwise this Tour will be difficult." — Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli, about Nibali's alarming performance in the final climb.
Stat of the day: 10 — In seconds, the time lost by Nibali over just 2 kilometers of climbing.
Next stage: Sunday's ninth stage is a 17.4-mile team time trial between Vannes and Plumelec featuring an uphill finish.