PINAY-SOUS-SENART, FRANCE, JULY 8 -- Dutchman Jean-Paul Van Poppel won the eighth stage of the Tour de France today and Switzerland's Erich Maechler retained the overall lead for the fifth consecutive day.

Van Poppel, from the Superconflex team, completed the mainly flat, 127.7-mile stage from Troyes in 5 hours 23 minutes 53 seconds, finishing just ahead of Belgians Michel Vermote and Johan Capiot.

Maechler, of the Carerra club, leads France's Christophe Lavainne of the Systeme U team by 36 seconds in the overall race.

Julio-Cesar Cadena of Columbia escaped the pack on a bonus sprint 16.8 miles into the stage before being caught six miles from the finish.

His lead lasted 11 minutes -- briefly making him the overall leader -- before several riders increased their pace with 31 miles left. Cadena, who began the day in 137th place, 9:49 off the lead, picked up 30 seconds in bonus sprints during his escape.

"At the start, I was just chasing a bonus sprint but, when I looked around, there was no one there," Cadena said. "I picked up speed and felt really good.

"I knew I would have trouble keeping it up to the end, but I thought I could win the stage. I'm a little disappointed at not being first, but not in my race."