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Almaden - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Alejandro Valverde (ESP - Movistar) - Peter Sagan (SVK - Bora - Hansgrohe) pictured during 73rd La Vuelta ciclista a España (2.UWT) Stage 8 from Linares to Almaden (195.1 KM) - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2018

VUELTA’18 Stage 8: Victorious Valverde!

Stage Report: 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).

Vuelta stage win No.11 for Bala-verde

Stage 8 from Linares to Almadén:
Linares has been waiting for La Vuelta’s return for 25 years. The 2018 edition returns to the Jaén locality that, despite being born in a mining area, knew how to grow sustainably around its extensive historical, natural and sporting patrimony. The extinct, yet unforgettable, Linares International Chess Tournament hosted some of history’s greatest chess players year after year. A twin city of Linares due to their shared mining origins, this municipality of Ciudad Real has been able reinvent itself and convert its heritage into a historical asset: the Heritage of Mercury features on the UNESCO World Heritage listing. These mines represent the maximum examples of mercury deposits in the world, and also constitute the most important collection of mercury extraction technology in existence.

Not the nicest of start points – the mining town of Linares

Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Jorge Cubero (Burgos-BH) and Hector Saez (Euskadi-Murias) made the break of the day and at the end pf the first hour of fast racing they had covered 43.6km in the first hour and had a lead of 10:40. They reached a lead of 11:14 before Trek-Segafredo, Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis and Quick-Step Floors started a serious chase.

The break of stage 8: Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Jorge Cubero (Burgos-BH) and Hector Saez (Euskadi-Murias)

The gap still increased to over 12 minutes at the only climb of the day, the Alto de Españares, taken by Hector Saez. The leaders still had 10 minutes after 100 kilometers of racing.

The peloton were in no hurry to catch the break

The gap gradually came down: 5:15 with 50km to go and 1:50 at 20km out. Tiago Machado went solo with 7km remaining, but was eventually caught a kilometer later. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) tried his hand at a solo attack, but failed. The ‘Old Fox’ Alejandro Valverde perfectly timed his move to put World champion Peter Sagan in second place for the second day in a row.

The peloton’s view of the finish

Stage winner, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I got on Sagan’s wheel and was able to get past him. I know I’m in good shape but I was surprised with that.”

Sagan 2nd again!

Second on stage 8, World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Yet another hard and hot Vuelta stage where the entire team worked very well. We managed to keep a small break, the guys then pulled hard to bring it back and I was in a good spot for the sprint. I gave my all in the hard, final metres but it wasn’t enough to win. Still, I feel my form is improving each and every day.”

Catch up with the ‘Vuelta First Week Photo Gallery’ HERE.

• Note: Canadian readers can watch the Vuelta LIVE with a subscription at Flobikes.com

Vuelta a España Stage 8 Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 4:35:54
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Danny von Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
7. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
11. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
12. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC
13. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
14. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky
15. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
16. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo
17. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
18. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
19. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
20. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
21. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
22. Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
23. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
24. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
25. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 8:
1. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 31:20:34
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:37
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:48
4. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:51
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:59
6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky at 1:06
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:11
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:14
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:18
10. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:23
11. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:26
12. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 1:27
13. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:28
14. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 1:29
15. David De La Cruz (Spa) Sky at 1:34
16. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 1:46
17. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 2:50
18. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 3:08
19. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 3:25
20. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:56
21. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 4:28
22. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida at 4:45
23. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 4:50
24. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC at 5:07
25. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data at 5:35.

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