Vuelta a Espana 2018

August 25 - September 16, Malaga, Spain, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

For the latest updates please refresh this page

 

Vuelta a España race hub

Start list

Stage 7: Gallopin gets the win in Pozo Alcón

Podcast: Vuelta analysis, Aqua Blue fallout, and the future for Cavendish

 

 

  1. 10:09:59 GMT

    Hola! It's stage 8 of the Vuelta a España. Sunday's summit finish at La Covatilla looms large but first the riders have to tackle this 195km stage from Linares to Almadén. With just one categorised climb on the menu, it should - and you have to be careful about these things in the Vuelta - culminate in a bunch finish, though the uphill drag in the final kilometres could see quite an open sprint. 

  2. 10:11:14 GMT

    The riders have just rolled out of Linares and are making their way through the neutralised zone.

     

  3. 10:12:39 GMT

    Before we get going, how about a recap of yesterday's action? Report, results, photos from stage 7 - all in the following link. 

     

    Vuelta a España: Gallopin gets the win in Pozo Alcón

     

  4. 10:14:21 GMT

    Rudy Molard remains in the leader's jersey and while Sunday's stage might cause some trepidation later this evening, he cut a pretty relaxed figure this morning. 

     

     

  5. 10:17:36 GMT

    They're off!

     

  6. 10:18:16 GMT

    Almost immediately, we have a breakaway. 

     

    Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Jorge Cubero (Burgos-BH) and Héctor Sáez (Euskadi-Murias) are the three riders who are heading up the road.

     

  7. 185.5km remaining from 195.5km

    10:28:15 GMT

    After 10km this trio have put three minutes into the peloton. Everyone seems content to let them go up the road. 

     

  8. 10:32:50 GMT

    Here's that uphill finale I was talking about. Will this be enough to take the sting out of Viviani's sprint? Peter Sagan was second yesterday behind the solo winner Gallopin, so if his legs have indeed improved compared to the first couple of days then he could be in with a real shout here.

     

     

  9. 175km remaining from 195.5km

    10:38:55 GMT

    Machado, Cubero, and Saez have increased their lead to 4:30.

     

  10. 10:41:21 GMT

    New podcast!

     

    Our latest episode has just landed and in it Daniel Benson and Ed Pickering discuss the action so far from La Vuelta, along with the demise of Aqua Blue and the future for Mark Cavendish. Here's the link you need.

     

  11. 163km remaining from 195.5km

    10:54:23 GMT

    There's no urgency whatsoever in the peloton as the gap to the three leaders yawns out to nearly 10 minutes.

     

  12. 11:07:02 GMT

    The last couple of days have seen some frantic racing in the closing kilometres. Dan Martin was particularly unhappy yesterday and vented his frustration with the race organisers. "We’ve been riding on these beautiful roads all day and then the last 15 kilometres it’s just chaos," he said. Full story at the link below.

     

    Dan Martin slams 'chaotic' Vuelta a Espana finale

     

  13. 11:16:01 GMT

    FDJ are at the head of the peloton, fulfilling their duties with the red leader's jersey on the shoulders of Molard. They're not exerting themselves, however, and the gap continues to grow. 10:45 now. Quick-Step and the other teams interested in a sprint will come to the front and bring the break back later in the day.

     

  14. 11:36:19 GMT

    43.6km/h covered by the break in that first hour.

     

  15. 11:42:51 GMT

    Trek and Bora are contributing to the pacemaking in the peloton now. Bora, of course, have Sagan as a favourite for today, while Trek are backing Giacomo Nizzolo, who was second to Viviani a few days ago.

     

  16. 11:52:59 GMT

    The gap has stabilised at the 11-minute mark.

     

  17. 120.5km remaining from 195.5km

    11:54:37 GMT

    The break are almost at the foot of the only categorised climb of the day. It's the Alto de Españares, and it's 10.3km long with an average gradient of 3.4%. 

     

  18. 12:03:34 GMT

    The leading trio hit the climb with a lead of 12 minutes.

     

  19. 12:12:46 GMT

    Breaking news today in that ONE Pro Cycling will fold at the end of the season. Well, not completely. They're cutting their current men's squad and will instead create a new women's team. Full story here

     

  20. 12:21:52 GMT

    If you haven't seen Tiesj Benoot's injured knee, then I envy you. No way am I going to post that photo in here, but here's what the Belgian had to say this morning. 

     

    “Actually, I had a good night, so we will see on the bike how it will go. You have to check everyday how the wound is evolving because, on the bike, there’s a lot of movement in the knee. I hope I can heal so I can finish La Vuelta. Today I just hope I don’t suffer too much.”

  21. 95km remaining from 195.5km

    12:45:39 GMT

    After the riders come through the feed zone following the top of the climb, the pace starts to increase in the bunch. 10:30 it is with 95km to go.

     

  22. 12:47:09 GMT

    The usual rule of thumb is that the peloton will take back a minute every 10km. They're just outside that at the moment but with just three riders out front, this gap shouldn't present too much of a headache.

     

  23. 12:49:52 GMT

    Puncture for Rigoberto Urán, who has a couple of teammates dropping to help him back to the peloton, where the tempo has been lifted.

     

  24. 82km remaining from 195.5km

    12:57:09 GMT

    with 82km to go, the gap has come down to 9:15.

  25. 13:01:35 GMT

    It's Quick-Step on the front at the moment, but they don't see this as the best opportunity for Viviani.

     

    “Basically, there’s not much elevation today, so from that it should be a good stages for fast guys. But, having said that, the last 700 metres are very tricky," the Italian's lead-out man Michael Morkov tells the Vuelta's website. 

     

    "We come from a big road to a roundabout, and then we will be climbing to the finish line like 5%, so it’s not going to be a real sprint, but probably the fast guys will be there. It’s perfect for Sagan or Valverde. There’s a lot of this type of riders here. For us, it’s not the perfect final.”

  26. 75km remaining from 195.5km

    13:07:36 GMT

    75km to go and the gap continues to fall. It's just over 8 minutes now.

     

  27. 13:09:40 GMT

    Cofidis are contributing now, too. Nacer Bouhanni has had a terrible season but he rescued it with a win on stage 6.

     

  28. 13:11:07 GMT

    Our man in Spain Alasdair Fotheringham has driven today's finale en route to the press room and has this to report. 

     

    "It's HOT! High thirties out there. It's also a tricky finale, last 500 metres in particular have a real kick up. Not talking Mur de Huy but will defo take the wind out of the pure sprinters' sails."

     

     

  29. 13:18:42 GMT

    With 65km to go, the gap stands at 7 minutes. 

     

  30. 13:25:58 GMT

    Cubero took the points at the intermediate sprint, ahead of Saez and Machado.

     

  31. 13:27:01 GMT

    Quick-Step continue to trade turns with Bora, Trek and Cofidis.

     

  32. 13:31:58 GMT

    New podcast!

     

     

    Our latest episode has just landed and in it Daniel Benson and Ed Pickering discuss the action so far from La Vuelta, along with the demise of Aqua Blue and the future for Mark Cavendish. Here's the link you need.

     

  33. 13:33:34 GMT

    With 55km to go, the gap is down to 5:40. The roads are very much undulating now, and every false flat is hurting the three escapees. 

     

  34. 13:37:09 GMT

    Mechanical for Sagan, who's making his way back through the cars, with a lengthy spell behind LottoNL. 

  35. 13:40:53 GMT

    Sagan is still chasing and a time check puts him just under a minute down.

     

  36. 13:44:52 GMT

    Sagan makes it back in.

     

  37. 44km remaining from 195.5km

    13:49:25 GMT

    44km to go now and the gap stands at 4:20.

     

  38. 14:01:56 GMT

    Quick-Step, Cofidis, Trek, and Bora continue to keep the pace high. The gap is down to 2:50 with 33.5km to go and the peloton are making no mistakes here. 

     

  39. 30km remaining from 195.5km

    14:07:10 GMT

    There's an uncategorised climb coming up in the next couple of kilometres. Here's a reminder of the stage profile. 

     

  40. 22km remaining from 195.5km

    14:20:02 GMT

    Nearly into the final 20km and things have calmed down dramatically in the peloton. Aware the break was nearly reeled in, it has bunched back up as they keep the escapees on a short leash.

     

  41. 14:25:53 GMT

    A reminder that today's run-in is anything but straight-forward. There's a roundabout near the end and then another sharp bend in the final few hundred metres. And then there's the hill...

     

     

  42. 14:28:33 GMT

    With 14km to go, the gap to Machado, Cubero and Saez is down to one minute.

     

  43. 14:36:04 GMT

    The three leaders plough on. It's been a hell of an effort out there with just three of them in near-40-degree heat and almost 200km in the saddle. 

  44. 8km remaining from 195.5km

    14:36:23 GMT

    8km to go and the peloton are just 15 seconds in arrears now.

     

  45. 14:37:43 GMT

    Machado looks over his shoulder and sees the charging pack, and so he puts in a big acceleration. The other two spring out of the saddle to match him. They're only prolonging the inevitable, but the last man standing should take the combativity prize.

     

  46. 14:38:22 GMT

    Machado goes again and finally drops Cubero and Saez. Going by some of his gestures earlier, he was the chief contributor to that break and he is indeed the last man standing.

     

  47. 6km remaining from 195.5km

    14:38:48 GMT

    6km to go and now the big teams are biding their time, no one really taking it up just yet.

     

  48. 14:39:07 GMT

    Machado is caught. All together!

     

  49. 14:40:11 GMT

    AG2R are prominent, as are Astana. 

     

  50. 14:40:37 GMT

    Team Sky are doing their thing, while Movistar - as has been the case throughout this Vuelta - are keen to be well positioned towards the front.

     

  51. 5km remaining from 195.5km

    14:40:52 GMT

    Under the 5km-to-go banner and Lotto Soudal take it up

     

  52. 14:41:18 GMT

    Big acceleration from Lotto and it's Tiesj Benoot with a teammate on the wheel. Postlberger tracks it from Bora.

     

  53. 14:41:31 GMT

    No gap for now but the bunch has suddenly strung out.

     

  54. 14:42:23 GMT

    It's Campenaerts on the front for Lotto but his turn is done now. Postlberger doesn't want to take it up so it's UAE, with Astana in the wheels. 

     

  55. 14:43:29 GMT

    It looks like Astana's Omar Fraile - who won in Mende at the recent Tour de France - fancies this one. 

  56. 14:43:42 GMT

    Postlberger does take it up now, with just under 3 to go.

     

  57. 14:44:08 GMT

    Viviani and Valverde are side-by-side in the middle of the pack.

     

  58. 14:44:29 GMT

    Astana take it up now with 2km to go. The pace just drains slightly as the bunch spreads across the road.

     

  59. 14:44:43 GMT

    Team Sky and Mitchelton suddenly find themselves on the front. 

     

  60. 14:45:08 GMT

    1500m to go and the roads narrow now.

     

  61. 14:45:26 GMT

    The gradient is starting to bit now. Everyone's out of the saddle.

     

  62. 14:45:36 GMT

    LottoNL take it up with numbers. 

     

  63. 1km remaining from 195.5km

    14:45:43 GMT

    Flamme rouge!

     

  64. 14:45:56 GMT

    Still LottoNL on the front with three.

     

  65. 14:46:15 GMT

    700m to go and big switchback at that roundabout.

     

  66. 14:46:31 GMT

    LottoNL deal with it nicely and drive into the final few hundred metres.

     

  67. 14:46:43 GMT

    Bora take over now. Sagan and Kwiatkowski up there

     

  68. 14:46:51 GMT

    Cortina goes!

     

  69. 14:47:00 GMT

    Sagan on the wheel... 150m to go

     

  70. 14:47:09 GMT

    Sagan goes now! But here's Valverde!

     

  71. 14:47:17 GMT

    Valverde takes it!

     

  72. 14:47:38 GMT

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) wins stage 8 of the Vuelta a España

     

  73. 14:48:14 GMT

    Wow! What a battle between Sagan and Valverde. It looked like the world champion was going to hang on but the Spaniard had enough power to come round at the last to take his second win of this Vuelta.

     

  74. 15:24:07 GMT

    Stage 8 result

     

    1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 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, Solutions Credits
    7 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
    8 Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal
    9 Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
    10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo

  75. 15:24:31 GMT

    General Classification after stage 8


    1 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 31:20:34
    2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:37
    3 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:48
    4 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:51
    5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:59
    6 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:01:06
    7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 00:01:11
    8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:01:14
    9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:01:18
    10 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 00:01:23

  76. 15:31:08 GMT

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