Vuelta a Espana 2017

August 19 - September 10, 2017, Nimes, Nîmes, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 8 of the Vuelta a Espana

 

Vuelta a España race hub
Vuelta a Espana start list
Stage 7 report: Vuelta a Espana: Mohoric wins in Cuenca
Vuelta stage 8 preview: Race returns to brutal climb of Xorret de Cati
Sunweb send Barguil home from Vuelta after disagreements over tactics



 

  1. 12:09:24 CEST

    • Giant Alpecin jersey 2016

    There's no other place to start than with the news that Sunweb have sent Warren Barguil home over disagreements over race tactics and race roles. This is significant news as the Frenchman was the team's best placed rider on GC, sitting in 13th place, 1:43 down on leader Chris Froome (Team Sky). Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen were 14th and 15th on GC,1”45 and 2:14 down respectively.

     

  2. 12:14:51 CEST

    No word from Barguil this morning, other than the short quote provided by the team in their statement. Clearly this decision was made last night. We spoke to the team a few minutes ago and they confirmed that this was down to Barguil's perceived role in the team and tactics. The Frenchman is leaving at the end of the season for Fortuneo and this could be the last time we see him in a Subweb jersey, although the team have added that 'After the Vuelta, Barguil will pick up his planned race program.'

     

  3. 12:17:09 CEST

    For an detailed look at how Barguil had his contract at Sunweb dissolved a year earlier than planned, and moved to a fresh team for 2018, you can read our feature from earlier this month, right here.

     

  4. 12:18:19 CEST

    • Twitter Icon

    And you can have your say on the matter, with our Twitter poll. Should Barguil have been sent home from the Vuelta? Vote here.

     

  5. 12:20:43 CEST

    Very briefly, the stage starts in around 12 minutes and the riders are currently in the neutralized zone. It's a super tough day for the peloton with another brutally hard finish. We'll bring you a detailed looked at today's route in just a few minutes, but of course we're focusing on the Barguil news from this morning. We've just tried to reach the rider by phone but no luck. We will keep you posted throughout the morning and afternoon. 

     

  6. 12:28:32 CEST

    We're on the phone with the team now. They confirm it was a 'general thing' but it also came down to the fact that Barguil didn't wait for Kelderman who punctured on stage 7.

     

  7. 12:29:25 CEST

    The team add that the decision was made last night with Barguil informed for the decision late in the evening. 

     

  8. 12:33:50 CEST

    Sunweb has just told us the following:

     

    “You can see it as a general thing but we have the goal of supporting Wilco for GC in the Vuelta and all the other guys are working towards that. We have a strategy to work towards that but everyone has to move in the same direction."

     

  9. 12:38:24 CEST

    In other news we have a race on our hands and the riders have finished with the neutralized zone. I have a feeling that today is going to be another crazy, non-stop, day at the Vuelta. 

     

    Also, Sven Erik Bystrom (Katusha-Alpecin) is another non starter. He crashed yesterday and leaves the race with a broken scapula. That's bad news in the short term but also the Worlds next month. Big blow for Norway and the rider himself. 

     

  10. 12:39:47 CEST

    And we've had a crash. Just 3km into the race and riders are on the deck. Orica, Trek BMC and Manzana all have riders involved. It was a frantic start to the stage and there's been a touch of wheels. We'll bring you the names as soon as we have them. 

     

  11. 12:45:08 CEST

    Dennis down. BMC Racing's Rohan Dennis was one of the riders involved in the crash. The Australian has suffered a number of cuts but he's back on the bike and riding towards the front. Meanwhile, De Marchi and Mas have jumped clear and the pair have a small gap on the rest of the bunch. Not sure Team Sky will let a BMC rider go up the road...

     

    And just like that, it's all back together in the main field. A breathless start to proceedings. 

     

  12. 12:46:32 CEST

    We've updated our story on Barguil with more comments from the team. Here's the latest.  

     

    The raw emotion of Warren Barguil after his narrow photo finish loss on stage 9 to Rigoberto Uran

     

  13. 183.5km remaining from 199.5km

    12:52:00 CEST

    The Orica riders brought down in that earlier crash - still no confirmation on names - are all back on their bikes and have returned to the peloton. We've covered 16km of today's stage. 

     

  14. 12:58:43 CEST

    De Marchi goes once more. The Italian is intent on getting into the break today. Of course he's had success in this race before, winning a stage in 2014 and again in 2015 (first for Cannondale and then for BMC). He's been part of a few TTT wins but I think that Vuelta stage in 2015 was his last solo triumph. He could have gone to UAE for 2018 - I believe they made him an offer - but he's chosen to stay with BMC for another 12 months. 

  15. 12:59:26 CEST

    No luck for the Italian from BMC, who is once again caught with the peloton moving like a train. We've already covered 24km. 

     

  16. 13:05:00 CEST

    • Red Jersey

    A reminder of where things stand on GC coming into today's stage:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 27:46:51
    2 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:11
    3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
    4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:30
    5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:36
    6 David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:40
    7 Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon 0:00:46
    8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:49
    9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:50
    10 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:13

     

  17. 13:05:48 CEST

    More and more attacks from the peloton but the bunch are relentless in their pursuit of every single move. 30km and still altogether. 

     

  18. 13:09:37 CEST

    There were 8 riders off the front but by the time that was typed up they were all brought back by the peloton. 34km covered and still no break.

     

  19. 13:16:26 CEST

    19. Repeat 19 riders have gone clear of the peloton after 35km of racing. 

     

  20. 13:19:30 CEST

    That number has swelled to 21 and Rosa and Bardet are both in the move. No time gaps at present. 

     

  21. 149.5km remaining from 199.5km

    13:28:14 CEST

    Courtesy of our good friends at la.vuelta.com here are the names of the riders in the break. They have 1'25 on the peloton and we've covered 50km of the stage.

     

    Jesus Hernandez (Trek-Segafredo), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), Loic Vliegen (BMC), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Rafal Majka, Emanuel Buchmann, Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe), Clément Chevrier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Alberto Losada (Katusha-Alpecin), Daan Olivier (Team Sunweb), Przemyslaw Niemiec, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Sergei Chernetski, Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Bart De Clercq, Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Guillaume Bonnafond (Cofidis) and Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport)

     

  22. 13:30:42 CEST

    Oliveira is 3'02 down and Polanc at 4'00 so the bunch might keep this lot at close quarters. It looks like Rosa has marked Bardet out of the move though. 

     

  23. 141km remaining from 199.5km

    13:38:18 CEST

    2'50 for the 21 leadesrs, who include Alaphilippe, Majka and Hernandez. 

     

  24. 13:43:40 CEST

    At the moment Team Sky are tapping out a steady rhythm on the front of the peloton. Even though they have threats up the road in Polanc and Oliveria there's still a long way to go in today's stage. No reason to panic just yet. 

     

  25. 13:49:41 CEST

    Three minutes for the break as we hit the long flat section before the stage starts to climb again. The outcome of today's action will come down to the final brutal climb that comes in the closing kilometres. 

     

  26. 13:53:56 CEST

    A few more seconds for the break but it's clear from Team Sky's riding that they're not intent on letting this move gain too much time. Froome's men will not expect any help for now but that might change the closer we get towards the final climb. On stage 6 it was Trek who helped chase down an early break in a bid to set up Alberto Contador. We could see such a tactic once more. 

     

  27. 14:04:10 CEST

     Back to Barguil and this is what he's told L'Equipe.

     

    “I don’t understand,” Barguil said, according to L’Equipe's website. this morning, when asked about the situation by journalists in the team hotel. The newspaper adds that according to Barguil, his attitude on Friday and not waiting team leader Wilco Kelderman when the Dutchman punctured did not constitute such a serious fault. “I must leave the race because of the team’s decision,” L’Equipe quotes the Frenchman as saying. “I felt very good, I had good legs, I saw myself in a different role and I wanted to be able to go on the offensive in the mountains, like I did in the Tour. The Vuelta is a great race and it’s disappointing to have to leave it, but I have to accept the team’s decision.”

  28. 14:08:46 CEST

    4'10 now for the leaders. A reminder of who is in the break:

     

    Jesus Hernandez (Trek-Segafredo), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), Loic Vliegen (BMC), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Rafal Majka, Emanuel Buchmann, Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe), Clément Chevrier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Alberto Losada (Katusha-Alpecin), Daan Olivier (Team Sunweb), Przemyslaw Niemiec, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Sergei Chernetski, Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Bart De Clercq, Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Guillaume Bonnafond (Cofidis) and Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport)

     

  29. 14:24:43 CEST

    Still a steady tempo from Team Sky but the gap is almost at five minutes with around 90km of the stage covered. With Bora, Astana, UAE and Lotto Soudal all have numbers in the break it means that a lot of the 21 riders up the road are willing to commit. 

     

  30. 14:29:22 CEST

    After a seven-year absence, stage 8 of the Vuelta a Espana sees the race return to a finish at the Xorret de Catí climb, one of the most brutally steep ascents in southern Spain.

     

     

    Xorret de Cati is considered to all extents and purposes to be a summit finish, the second of nine in this year’s Vuelta. This is because the descent afterwards is a very short one - less than three kilometres - and is so fast that whatever gaps there are at the top tend to remain in place by the finish. And gaps there will be, for sure.

     

     

  31. 14:32:24 CEST

    Alasdair Fotheringham spoke to Igor Anton, who was in the leader's jersey after the stage last made the ascent. 

     

    “It’s a very tough climb, very steep but the thing that really makes you suffer there is if there is hot weather. Because it’s inland in Alicante and August, it can end up being like a furnace in there. It feels like it’s impossible to breathe.”

    Temperatures are currently predicted to hit around 35 degrees, so the heat could be an extra challenge this afternoon.

    “It makes for about ten or 12 minutes of climbing, and being well positioned at the foot is really important, just like it was in the Santa Lucia ascent on Wednesday. It’s constantly hard, there’s a bit of a false flat going up for a couple of kilometres, but then after that it suddenly ramps up and there’s no respite.””

    “There’s a lot of loose chippings on the climb’s road surface. And if it’s anything like seven years ago, the crowds really cram themselves in, it’s very hard to maneuver, because it’s narrow. But once you’ve got a position in the line, then you’re ok.”

    “But your teammates can’t really help you there, it’s so steep and you find your own pace. Basically it’s an uphill time trial. I suffered a lot on the ascent, but I could just hang on.”

    “If you’ve got ten seconds at the top then you should be able to stay away. It’s not that complicated a descent, two bends where you have to brake, but not too fast at first then maybe a kilometre dropping down quickly before it eases out again for the last part.”

     

    You can find our complete stage preview, right here.

     

  32. 102km remaining from 199.5km

    14:33:40 CEST

    The temperature has risen dramatically and the riders are currently competing in 37C degrees. We've a shade over 100km remaining in the stage. 

     

  33. 14:42:19 CEST

    • Orica GreenEdge jersey 2016

    5'10 for the break with 100km to go. Interesting that Orica have kept their riders in the bunch. Was that the plan or did things change after that early crash? They have the Yates climbing well and in support of Chaves who sits second on GC, 11 seconds off Froome's lead. 

     

  34. 14:44:30 CEST

    Although Contador can't be talked about as a GC contender, given the time he lost on the first mountain stage, he's still a factor in this race. He has Hernandez up the road and Stetina and Pantano with him should he try and make a move on the final climb. The ascent certainly suits the Spaniard and it's up to him to attack. 

     

  35. 14:45:51 CEST

    If you're just joining us today the big news is that Warren Barguil has been sent home from the Vuelta by his team after disagreements over race tactics and rider roles. The full story, with quotes from both sides, is right here.

     

  36. 14:55:40 CEST

    Onto the first climb of the day for the break. It's 'just' a third cat climb called the  puerto de Biar but in this heat it will be torture for the riders struggling after a week of racing. And news just in, Cesare Benedetti has abandoned the race. 

     

  37. 15:02:38 CEST

    A reminder of how things stand on GC coming into the stage:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 27:46:51
    2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:11
    3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:13
    4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:30
    5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:36
    6 David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:40
    7 Jetse Bol (Ned) Manzana Postobon 0:00:46
    8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:49
    9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:50
    10 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:13

     

  38. 15:05:36 CEST

    Team Sky have reduced the lead to 4'34 with 80km remaining but the cooperation in the break is still holding firm. There are a few passengers in there but we should see a bit of a shake up on the next climb. 

     

  39. 15:07:30 CEST

    Crash and Rubén Fernandez is down! The Movistar rider has torn his jersey to shreds as he stands waiting for a new bike. It looks like he was involved in a fall with a Bahrain rider but the Movistar man is in serious pain. He's on his feet but this doesn't look good at all. 

     

  40. 15:08:16 CEST

    At the front of the bunch it's Stannard, of course, doing all the work for Team Sky. He has the bunch lined out but the pace remains steady rather than frantic, with 78km remaining. 

     

  41. 15:14:12 CEST

    Chaves, wearing white, is lined up behind his Orica teammates. The Colombian is really Froome's main challenger on GC at the moment as the break start the second climb of the day the third category Puerto de Onil. 3.4km in length. 

     

  42. 74km remaining from 199.5km

    15:17:28 CEST

    Five minutes for the leaders, with the break responding to the work from Team Sky. 74km to go and the race is on. 

     

  43. 61km remaining from 199.5km

    15:33:15 CEST

    Zakarin is off the back by around 30 seconds from the Froome peloton. Katusha are pacing him back but it seems like the Russian was dropped on that third category climb. Meanwhile the break have 4'30 on the peloton with 61km to go.

     

  44. 15:34:14 CEST

    Zakarin should make it back, the gap down to around 100m but this isn't a good sign for the Katusha leader. At least he has his entire team around him.

     

  45. 15:34:52 CEST

    No let up from Team Sky though, as they continue to push the pace on the front of the main field with Ian Stannard doing most of the work. He's shaved another 10 seconds off the break's advantage. 

     

  46. 15:41:15 CEST

    Zakarin has made it back to the peloton and just in time as well because the pace rises once more. 56km to go and the road starts to climb once more. These rolling roads are relentless . 

     

  47. 15:43:16 CEST

    The break are still holding their own though, with the gap at 4'28. Contador is a few bike lengths off the front as we see him rise out of the saddle in his own style. He's going to attack today, surely, but does he have the legs to really blow the race apart. The terrain really lends itself to an attacking approach. 

     

  48. 15:45:09 CEST

    David Lopez takes over on the front of the bunch from Ian Stannard - allowing the British rider a short rest as we see Jungels drop back and pick up some bottles for his teammates. BMC send a rider back to fulfil the same task for van Garderen and Roche, who both sit inside the top ten on GC. 

     

  49. 15:46:03 CEST

    No messing about from Katusha after that earlier split, as they post Zakarin right behind Froome's last teammate. The break still have 4'27 with 52km to go.

     

  50. 15:49:37 CEST

    Lopez lines out the field and it will be interesting to see how long Stannard can last. That said Froome has the rest of the team around him and looking relatively comfortable considering the the heat out there. We're climbing again with the gap at 4'22, and 51km to go.

     

  51. 15:53:25 CEST

    We're yet to really see a shake up from within the break but that will almost certainly come on the lower slopes of the final climb. The 21 leaders still have 4'18 with 49km to go. Team Sky still doing all the chasing, with no help from Orica 

     

  52. 15:58:40 CEST

    Again Team Sky line the peloton out but the pace isn't enough to trouble the break - they hold 4'27 with 46km to go.

     

  53. 16:01:23 CEST

    The riders up the road have a number of ambitions here. Some fancy their chances for the stage win, others are waiting for leaders and are simply working in order to put Team Sky under further pressure as they lead the chase. 

     

  54. 40km remaining from 199.5km

    16:06:54 CEST

    Inside the final 40km now and the break are actually extending their advantage. It's out to 4'41. Oliveira is still the virtual race leader on the road, so something to cheer for Movistar in what has been a difficult summer. 

     

  55. 36km remaining from 199.5km

    16:09:04 CEST

    Majka sits at the back of the break but he has two men helping with the pace setting. He has to be real favourite for the stage win now as we head towards the final climb. 

     

  56. 16:11:31 CEST

    Nearly ever rider is committing to the break with 35km to go. They know that the stage win is on the cards if they can keep this up. They'll need around 2'30 at the foot of the final climb and they're on track for that as we see a Bahrain rider pick up drinks from the team car. 

     

  57. 30km remaining from 199.5km

    16:17:19 CEST

    Inside the final 30km of racing and the break are still holding their own. A reminder of the riders in the break:

     

    Jesus Hernandez (Trek-Segafredo), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), Loic Vliegen (BMC), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Rafal Majka, Emanuel Buchmann, Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe), Clément Chevrier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac), Alberto Losada (Katusha-Alpecin), Daan Olivier (Team Sunweb), Przemyslaw Niemiec, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Sergei Chernetski, Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Bart De Clercq, Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Guillaume Bonnafond (Cofidis) and Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport)

     

  58. 16:21:39 CEST

    It's all on Team Sky still, who continue to lead the peloton. The break are starting to string out though and it looks like Bonnafond is trying to break things up. He creates a small gap but is then brought back by the rest of the break.

     

  59. 16:29:04 CEST

    The pace is too much for a few of the riders towards the rear of the peloton and we've a number of dropped riders already, and we've not even hit the final climb yet. 22km to go. 

     

  60. 16:30:50 CEST

    Knees is dropped from the bunch and the gap is down to 4'15. Up ahead and riders are attacking. Majka and one other Bora rider have gone clear. 

     

  61. 16:31:46 CEST

    That move has been brought back. It's a little too early for a move like that but we're into the final 20km of the stage. 

     

  62. 16:33:15 CEST

    Bora are taking control of the break but the gap is down to 4'00.

     

  63. 16:36:56 CEST

    A few more teams are moving up and taking the pace duties off Team Sky. We can see BMC, Cannondale, Astana and Bahrain all in the mix.

     

  64. 16:38:16 CEST

    Just 15km to and the break have the stage in their hands - the gap holding at 4'07. 

     

  65. 16:41:21 CEST

    Buchmann is doing a huge turn on the front for the break and Majka and he's holding the peloton at bay as we start to climb. Pauwels is trying to move up but there are a lot of tired legs out there. 13km to go. Alaphilippe is also in the mix and the climb does suit him when he's on his best form. 

     

  66. 16:43:33 CEST

    There's a real race on at the front of the peloton as they all fight for position. Cannondale are well placed for Woods but so too are Contador, Aru, Nibali, Chaves and Froome. 

     

  67. 16:44:56 CEST

    And here come BMC, virtually sprinting up this false flat section. A lot of pressure on van Garderen today as we look to see how his body responds after crashing twice on stage 6. de Vreese has now attacked from the break with 11km go go. Bora are chasing him down. Early moves from the leaders. 

     

  68. 16:46:24 CEST

    Buchmann is up the up the road with the Astana rider but he's not going to take a turn on the front with Majka behind him. He's just going to mark this move and wait for his leader. 

     

  69. 16:47:04 CEST

    The two leaders have 10 seconds on the chase, and the bunch at 3'36. 

     

  70. 8km remaining from 199.5km

    16:48:44 CEST

    8km to go and Trek take it up on the front of the bunch as see the break come back together. 

     

  71. 16:49:37 CEST

    We're on the climb but no where near the really steep slopes as Bora push the pace once more. 7km to go.

     

  72. 16:51:21 CEST

    And Polanc and Majka move to the front on the climb as the peloton race towards the foot of the real climb. And the break is splitting up immediately. 

     

  73. 16:51:53 CEST

    Buchmann, Alaphilippe, Majka and Pauwels but he's been dropped so we're down to three riders in the lead.

     

  74. 16:52:39 CEST

    Alaphilippe is just sitting on Majka's wheel as Sunweb take over at the front of the peloton. They need a result after sending Barguil home.

     

  75. 16:53:35 CEST

    5.8km to go and Majka has just Alaphilippe for company. They are starting to work together with the bunch at 2'46. The winner will come from the break today. 

     

  76. 16:53:50 CEST

    And Polanc attacks from behind and his chasing the two leaders. 

     

  77. 16:54:21 CEST

    And Bahrain and Team Sky set the pace for the peloton as Pauwels come back. And then Majka attacks. 

     

  78. 16:54:41 CEST

    He can't drop Alaphilippe and the pair go clear once more. 

     

  79. 16:55:28 CEST

    The Frenchman just follows with 5.2km to go. They slow down once more and they're not willing to share the workload as Majka goes again.

     

  80. 16:56:12 CEST

    Down the climb it's Froome's team that set the pace. and Orica lead an attack from the leader's jersey group. It's Simon Yates?

     

  81. 16:56:59 CEST

    No move from Contador, Chaves or Froome just yet. 4.8km to go for the two leaders as Majka attacks again. 

     

  82. 16:57:34 CEST

    And Yates goes again for Orica further down the climb. He's dropped a couple of riders who tried to go with him, including de la Cruz. 

     

  83. 16:58:09 CEST

    Majka and Alaphilippe are side by side as they grind up the climb. And it looks like Contador has made a move.

     

  84. 16:58:50 CEST

    Contador, Simon Yates, Woods and one other rider have a very small gap on Froome and Contador goes once more.

     

  85. 16:59:13 CEST

    He's putting the rest of the rivals on the limit but he's not able to break free just yet. Where is Froome?

     

  86. 17:00:18 CEST

    Woods and Contador have pushed clear and dropped Yates. They are starting to pull out a slight gap on Sky.

     

  87. 17:00:57 CEST

    And Polanc has made it back again. So we have three riders leading the race once more. 

     

  88. 17:01:38 CEST

    1km of climbing left for the trio up front with Majka going again. Polanc is dropped instantly. 

     

  89. 17:02:01 CEST

    As we see Froome has pulled back Contador and Woods. Bardet is dropped though.

     

  90. 17:02:28 CEST

    Chaves, Contador, Froome, Woods, Van Gaderen are all there and Froome attacks.

     

  91. 17:03:09 CEST

    Nibali and Van Garderen are in trouble. So is Zakarin but Contador and Woods and Chaves can match the Sky rider. 

     

  92. 17:03:31 CEST

    Up ahead and Majka goes once more as they close in on the summit. 

     

  93. 17:03:46 CEST

    And Froome again. Chaves dropped and Woods. 

     

  94. 17:03:59 CEST

    Only Contador can match Froome. 

     

  95. 17:04:40 CEST

    Contador clings on as the Sky rider spins away. Everyone else has been dropped. This is going to cause real time gaps at the finish. 

     

  96. 17:05:13 CEST

    On the descent to the line now are Majka and Alaphilippe. The Quickstep rider should grab the sprint.

     

  97. 17:05:44 CEST

    And Froome has now dropped Contador. The race leader is well clear of everyone else now. 

     

  98. 17:06:32 CEST

    He goes over the top of the climb but Contador has made it back. They descend side by side. 

     

  99. 17:06:57 CEST

    And Polanc has made it back and he attacks with 600m to go. 

     

  100. 17:07:21 CEST

    Caught so we have three riders with Froome and Contador just a few seconds back. 

     

  101. 17:07:41 CEST

    Contador is fighting to stay with Froome as the leaders take the final corner.

     

  102. 17:08:39 CEST

    And Alaphilippe takes the stage. He leaves the other two riders for dust in the sprint. 

     

  103. 17:10:08 CEST

    Around 500m to go for Contador and Froome. Contador sprints and might have taken a second on Froome, if that. Nibali comes in with Aru and Chaves a few seconds later. Van Garderen comes over the line a few second after that. 

     

  104. 17:21:12 CEST

    It looked as though Julian Alaphilippe had lost his chance when Polanc came back on the descent but the Frenchman wasn't going to be denied. He kicked for the line and first and there was no contest. Polanc took second, Majka third. 

     

  105. 17:23:22 CEST

    1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 4:37:55
    2 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:02
    3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:02
    4 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data 0:00:26
    5 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:00:28
    6 Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport 0:00:32
    7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:34
    8 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:34
    9 Alberto Losada (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:37
    10 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:04



    General classification after stage 8

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 32:26:13
    2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:28
    3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:41
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:53
    5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:58
    6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:06
    7 David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:08
    8 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:01:18
    9 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:41
    10 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:57

     

  106. 17:25:03 CEST

    So a good day for QuickStep, who continue their fine run in this year's race. And Froome too. He waited and waited and made the most telling attack of the stage from the GC group. Only Contador could go with him in the end. 

     

    It means that Froome now leads Chaves - who had no response when Froome accelerated - by 28 seconds. Roche is in third at 41 seconds. 

     

  107. 17:35:40 CEST

    Lets hear from Froome:


    I certainly didn’t need to attack, but I wanted to take advantage while my legs are feeling good. It was most important to keep pushing, keep trying to open up the gaps and we’ll see what we get after the rest day. Massive thanks to my team again for being so strong. Thanks to them I’m still in the red jersey.

     

  108. 17:37:00 CEST

    You can find our brief report, results and photos from the stage, right here.

     

  109. 18:25:38 CEST

    We've extended our gallery from today's stage. You can catch the images, right here.

     

  110. 18:30:06 CEST

    Here's an extended look at the GC:

     

    1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 32:26:13
    2 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:28
    3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 0:00:41
    4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:53
    5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:58
    6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:06
    7 David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:08
    8 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:01:18
    9 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:41
    10 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:57
    11 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team 0:02:03
    12 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:13
    13 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:29
    14 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:02:34
    15 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:02:40
    16 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:42
    17 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:10

     

  111. 19:15:27 CEST

    Contador was the only rider to stay with Froome on the final climb. Here's what the Spaniard had to say after the finish

     

    Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) goes on the attack

     

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