Tour de France: Leaders pulling clear as champ has a bad day

THE first rest day of the 2015 Tour de France hasn't come a minute too soon for defending champion Vincenzo Nibali.

The Italian (pictured) surprisingly lost another 10 seconds to his main rivals - race leader Chris Froome, dual champion Alberto Contador and Colombia's Nairo Quintana - on stage eight, which left him in 13th place, one minute 48 seconds behind Froome.

"At the start of the stage, I was OK, but when the accelerations took place, I was unable to react. It was a bad day," Nibali said.

Astana team director Giuseppe Martinelli admitted his No.1 rider could not afford to lose more time when the race resumed tomorrow night and the peloton headed into the Pyrenees.

"I can't understand what happened. We must believe it was bad day," he said.

Alexis Vuillermoz won the stage, the first French rider to salute in this year's Tour.