ORANGE, France (AP) _ Benny van Brabant of Belgium won the sprint to the finish Monday in the eighth leg of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race, a 107-kilometer dash from Serres to Orange, but Frenchman Pierre Bazzo retained a slim overall lead.

The final leg, 34 kilometers from Orange to Avignon, was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Van Brabant, who won the fourth leg of this event, was part of a group that escaped from the pack at the 10th kilometer. He led the sprint home ahead of Steve Bauer of Canada, Sean Kelly of Ireland, Peter Hilse of West Germany and Regis Simon of France.

The Belgian covered the distance in a time of 2 hours, 22 minutes and 12 seconds, which with his bonus points was reduced to 2:22.02. Bauer's bonus-cut time was 2:22.07, and Kelly's 2:22.09. ---

TORONTO (AP) - Bridger, one of the top trotters in Canada in recent years, has been retired because of a hairline break to the coffin bone in his right front foot, says trainer Dave Green.

The six-year-old trotter, owned by Martin Starr of Toronto and Lawrence Ball of Mississauga, Ont., won $512,172 in his career and holds the all-age trotting track record at Greenwood Raceway of 1:57 2-5.

He won the Maple Leaf Trotting Classic at Greenwood for two successive years, beating Diamond Exchange and Babe Kosmos. Last year, Bridger and Spunky Baron represented Canada in the Roosevelt International Trot in New York.

''He came up lame about two months ago,'' Green said Saturday. ''We thought it was a foot infection, so we poulticed it and he came sound, so we started back with him.

''But when we got him ready again, he came up lame again.''

It took 75 X-rays to discover the break, Green said.

This was to have been Bridger's last year of racing before he was retired to stud. ---

PERTH, Australia (AP) - Canada's national rugby team suffered its first defeat in three games on its Australian tour when Western Australia handed the Canadians a 16-6 setback Sunday.

Canada had previously defeated Queensland County 13-6 and Northern Territory 30-12 to open their nine-game tour.

The victory by Western Australia marked the first time it had ever defeated a visiting national side.

The Canadian squad travels to Adelaide to play South Australia on June 5. Other matches include New South Wales, June 8 in Sydney; New South Wales Country, June 11 in Bathurst; and Brisbane All-Stars, June 18.

The Canadians plays the Australian national team June 15 in Sydney and June 23 in Brisbane. ---

OTTAWA (AP) - Gervais Rioux of Mont Joli, Quebec, pulled away from the pack with about 18 kilometers to go to win the Ottawa Grand Prix bicycle race Sunday.

About 130 top-class cyclists from North America, England and Australia raced the 70-kilometer course.

''Many of us had a good chance of winning, and none of us wanted to let anyone else get it,'' said the 24-year-old Rioux.

Rioux and second-place finisher Paul Crowley, 20, from St. Bruno, Quebec, managed to get ahead with 18 kilometers left and stretched out a 20-second lead by the finish.

Dan Lefebvre of Niagara Falls, Ontario, was third.

Of the 130 who started the race, 60 finished.