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VUELTA’18: The Second Week Photo Gallery!

PeloPics: The second week of the Vuelta a España has thrown up more surprises with stage wins from Alexandre Geniez, Alessandro De Marchi and Oscar Rodriguez, plus the red jersey of overall leadership on the shoulders of Jesus Herrada. More of the best pics of the Spanish Grand Tour by Cor Vos and Luis Ángel Gómez.

Every stage so far has been fast and furious, the final eight stages to Madrid are going to be very hard as the peloton climbs toward Andorra before the finalé in the Spanish capital a week on Sunday. Vincenzo Nibali thinks that Tuesday’s time trial will be decisive – Maybe not for him, but for Simon Yates and Nairo Quintana it will be very important. Bring it on!

Click on the stage for full ‘Stage Report’ and go to EUROTRASH Monday and EUROTRASH Thursday for rider quotes and race video and you can see the The First Week Photo Gallery HERE.

Second stage win for Valverde – Stage 8:
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) dominated the uphill stage 8 finish in Almaden to claim his second stage win at La Vuelta’18. The Spanish veteran out-sprinted Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) after 195.1 kilometers. Valverde now has eleven Vuelta a España stage wins in his palmarès. Valverde is now 37 seconds down on overall leader Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ).

Stage 8 started in Linares, an old mining town now more famous for an International Chess Tournament

Julian Duval and the Vuelta Toro at the sign-on

Nice old Motto Guzzi at the side of the course

A round-about in Spain is called a rotunda, unless it has something on it, then it’s a glorieta

Alejandro Valverde put World champion Peter Sagan in 2nd place again

Ben King wins another stage – Stage 9:
Ben King (Dimension Data) took another stage win on another mountain top finish as Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) again had to settle for a valiant second place. The GC contest never really took off but Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) lost seconds and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) didn’t, leaving the Brit in red.

Stage 9 was a day for the climbers and the break

Cobbles in Spain! The climb of Candelario

Alberto Contador is now working for Eurosport, along with Juan Antonio Flecha

Ben King… again!

King more than happy with his second Vuelta stage win

Ed’s First Rest Day Round Up HERE.
The 2018 Vuelta a España has lived up to its reputation for excitement with full-on racing in the stage finalés. Ed Hood has not missed a pedal stroke in Spain to give us his round up of the first week’s fun. Can we guess who will be the final winner?

The Caja Rural riders visited the kids in Salamanca hospital on the rest day

Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana had a press conference – “Nairo is the leader”

Viviani again – Stage 10:
Just to prove that not every stage of the Vuelta a España can be exciting; stage 10 took in the flat land towards the Portuguese border to deliver Quick-Step Floors’ Elia Viviani over the finish line for his second Vuelta stage win of 2018. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) held his overall 1 second advantage on Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to stay in the red jersey.

Bike doping for Bauke Mollema? Someone will notice

The NamedSport girls are happy at their work

The start from Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor

The peloton with Salamanca Cathedral in the background

And the photog’s view

It’s not looking good for the solo rider in a crosswind

There was no gaps at the end of stage 10

Elia Viviani gave the Quick-Step Floors team its 60 win of the season

Michael Mørkøv played a big part

De Marchi marches on – Stage 11:
After the ‘quiet’ stage 10, the Vuelta a España reignited the fire for stage 11 for BMC’s Alessandro De Marchi to fight his way through a downpour in the finalé to hold off his break companions for the victory. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished with the GC men to hold the overall lead as the mountains loom large on the horizon.

I would guess at a local’Moros and Cristianos’ fiesta in the start town of Mombuey. The famous Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was built in the 13th century and is attributed to the Templars

Border country between Spain and Portugal – Lots of castles

The break eventually succeeded

Vincenzo Nibali was the man who instigated the move

The climbs were on the other side of the tunnel

The cold rain on the warm road caused a steam fog

It was a hard finalé, but Alessandro De Marchi took the win

You can see the effort in his face

Herrera takes the overall lead – Stage 12:
Yet again the break of the day went all the way to the finish and Frenchman Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale) won the stage in a close sprint from Sky’s Dylan van Baarle. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) was in the second split of the escape and took the overall lead by 3:22 from Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who finished 9 minutes later with the peloton.

Rigoberto Uran still has a chance in this Vuelta

Stage 12 followed the Galician coast to finish at the lighthouse of Mañón

Again the break went all the way

The sprint came down to a battle between Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Dylan van Baarle (Sky) with Bahrain-Merida’s Mark Padun taking a close 3rd

The narrow finish, photographers and a member of the race organization caused Geniez and Van Baarle to crash just after the finish line

Van Baarle had to be helped, but both riders were OK

You can see how narrow the finish of stage 12 was

Imagine if it had been a big group going for the win

The Vuelta had a new overall leader – Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), but for how long?

A big day for Oscar Rodriguez – Stage 13:
Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias) was the surprise winner of the day as he paced the final climb perfectly to beat everyone else. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) lost touch early on but he kept his red jersey as Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) won the battle of the GC contenders.

It rains a lot in Galicia

Movistar, Mitchelton-Scott and Cofidis tried to pull the break back

Another fast day

Alejandro Valverde lost a little time and his 3rd place overall

One steep finish!

A well timed effort from Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias) took the stage win

A dream come true for the man from Burlada

Probably the biggest win for the Euskadi Basque Country-Murias team

Another tough day for Sepp Kuss

Floris De Tier encouraging the fans – Not that they needed it

Bahrain-Merida’s Iván García Cortina is from Gijón, not far from the stage finish

The PEZ Preview HERE and Vuelta route details HERE

# Keep it PEZ for the final week of Spanish action. #

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