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Vuelta a España 2015: Stage 8


Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 8 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.


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Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 8 of the Vuelta to Murcia.  You join us with 30km of race covered. There have been a few attacks but the moment the peloton are as one.

After yesterday's mountain-top finish - the first serious test for the GC men - it's all gently downhill for most of today's stage until we have two third category climbs in the final 40km of the stage.

Heading into the stage, here's where we stand on GC:


1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 27:06:13
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:10
3 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:33
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:36
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:49
6 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:56
7 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:57
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
9 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:18
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:19

Chris Froome and Tejay van Garderen both lost time yesterday and sit outside of the top ten after seven stages:


12 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:22
13 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:29
14 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:01:39
15 Songezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:01:51
16 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:05

146km remaining from 182km

 We've covered 36km already but still no successful break from the peloton. Today really suits a break or a sprint - perhaps for Caleb Ewan if he can get over the climbs, or Peter Sagan - both riders have already won stages in this year's race. 


The peloton are averaging 50km/h at the moment, so little respite for a break to go clear. Surely they can't hold this pace for the remainder of the stage. At the front Orica GreenEdge are keep their young race leader, Chaves out of trouble. 


Chris Froome is also near the front but the complexion of his race looks a little different after the Tour de France winner was dropped on the climb yesterday. Fabio Aru had the measure of all his GC rivals and Froome was found wanting. Still, there's a long, long way to go in this year's Vuelta a Espana.


We have a break. 38km covered and Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick Step), Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar), Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin), Tom Van Asbroeck (LottoNL-Jumbo), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida) and Ángel Madrazo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) have moved clear, already creating a gap of just over two minutes. That looks like the break of the day then.


The gap moves out to three minutes as Orica look content to let this one go after a frantic start to the stage. We've covered 46km so far.


No real GC threat in the break, with Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida) the best placed rider 36:12 down on Chaves. 


132km remaining from 182km

50km of the stage is covered and the gap has moved out to 4'47.


Tinkoff Saxo for Sagan and Giant for Degenkolb have now moved up to the front of the peloton and started to set the pace. They obviously don't want to give the break too much room, even with such a long way to still to go.


Barry Ryan has spoken to Chris Froome at the start this morning and this is what the Tour de France champion had to say:

“I suffered a lot yesterday, I just felt pretty empty,” Froome said simply.

The temperatures have soared over the past few days in southern Spain, with Friday’s stage played out beneath baking sunshine, but Froome dismissed the idea that the heat had affected his performance. Instead, scarcely five weeks on from the Tour de France, he hinted that he was still feeling the effects of his winning effort.

“No, I’m pretty good with the heat, it’s not really an issue for me. It’s just the legs,” Froome said. “I think especially after the Tour, it’s tough at this stage, but I’m just going to keep pushing on and hope that in the second and third week I start feeling a bit better.”


You can read the full story, right here.


Back to the action in the stage and after 64km of racing the break have 4:30 over the peloton.


The break survived on stage 7 and today the peloton aren't being so lenient in the amount of time they're willing to play with. The gap slips to 3:40 now with Tinkoff Saxo and Giant Alpecin both on the front and setting the pace for their sprinters. 


 Just over 100km to and the gap has dropped by another 10 seconds, down to 3:30.

Into roughly the last two hours of racing  - 90km to  - and Giant and Tinkoff have the break pegged at 3'30.


Tinkoff in the news already this morning with the team confirming that they are still on the market for more riders in 2016. They've already signed a few riders, including Adam Blythe but they're also after a couple of climbers. You can read the news about the team, right here.


While we've just been informed that Team LottoNL-Jumbo will continue with Bianchi bikes for 2016 and 2017. 


Meanwhile, away from the top pro ranks, the Tour de l'Avenir concludes today. Pierre Carrey is there for CN and has written some wonderful profiles on some of the young up-and-coming riders who have hit the headlines. Impress your friends with your expert knowledge on the riders to watch in the future, by reading this.


In case you missed the news from yesterday Dan Martin has signed for Etixx-QuickStep for the next two seasons. You can read what he and Patrick Lefevere had to say about the move, right here.


Stephen Roche weighs in on the Nibali DQ what do you think? Discuss:

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 29th Aug 2015 13:33:59

The six leaders continue to share the pace but the peloton have them at 3'20 with 70km to go. The only intermediate sprint in today's stage is coming up, but after that we have two third categorised climbs. 


Ryder Hesjedal's tank is empty after Giro-Tour double

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 29th Aug 2015 13:43:41

Fabio Aru showed his cards on stage 7 of the Vuelta #LV2015

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 29th Aug 2015 13:42:38

Majka put in a strong ride yesterday. Here's what he had to say: 


“It was a positive day and I think we did a good job. The team worked very hard to position me perfectly at the bottom of the last climb. Movistar pulled hard at the front of the peloton on the climb and then Jesper Hansen also worked hard at the front of the GC group to set the pace. It was too late to bridge the gap with the breakaway but I finished with the main GC group.”



Majka is a master of energy management. At a training camp last year he was too tired to be interviewed by CN. It was understandable, he had just played two hours of table tennis. 


65km remaining from 182km

65km to go and the gap to the break is down to under three minutes, it's at 2;50 now. Still Giant and Tinkoff Saxo on the front.


The break are around 25km from the foot of the Cresta del Gallo climb. They'll crest it twice before heading to the finish.


Can Bouhanni feature today? That's one of the biggest questions considering that the Frenchman has struggled in the race so far. Here's what his DS Jean-Luc Jonrond told LeTour this morning: 


"The strategy is obvious, we"re going to ride for our sprinter. Nacer is still hurt by his crashes. He recovers but he would clearly need a rest day. In the finale, it should be OK for him."


We've not seen much from Cofidis so far in the stage and their leadout has faltered in the sprints so far in the race. Can they get it right today and help Bouhanni net his first Grand Tour stage of the 2015 season?


About to hit the intermediate sprint with the bunch at 1'41 back on the break.

And it's Tinkoff Saxo who are setting the pace. They want to get rid of as many sprinters as possible on the two ascents before the line. The climb is around 4.2km long and they need to complete it twice. Can they get rid of Bouhanni, Ewan and Degenkolb?


There's a crash in the Vuelta. It looks like van Garderen is down in this one. 


#LV2015 @krisboeckmans involved in a big crash.

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 29th Aug 2015 14:10:48

It really doesnt look good for van Garderen. He's holding his collarbone. 


Boeckmans is still on the ground, van Garderen too. That was a huge crash and Bouhanni has been involved in the fall too.


48km remaining from 182km

48km to go when the crash happened and Chaves was also involved. He's up and riding and being paced back to the peloton by his Orica GreenEdge teammates.


Tinkoff Saxo are still on the front and setting the pace, they're not going to sit up at this point.


And that's Dan Martin also down from the crash we see. This fall has taken down a number of big names in the peloton.


We've no confirmation on the Dan Martin situation, other than he was in that fall. Van Garderen, it looks like, he's out of the Vuelta a Espana. A huge blow for the American rider.


There are riders still all over the road as they try and chase back to the main field. The six riders up front have just 47 seconds with 44km to go. 


Showing a split after this crash. 30” between groups. Chaves, race leader, in the second group. #LV2015

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 29th Aug 2015 14:17:22

#LV2015: We managed to avoid a crash in the peloton but were caught behind. Team trying to help @estecharu back onto the main peloton.

@ORICA_GreenEDGE Sat, 29th Aug 2015 14:16:59

Chaves catches the peloton (as does Tom Dumoulin) thanks to great riding from his team to get him back in after the crash #Vuelta

@VeloVoices Sat, 29th Aug 2015 14:23:45

Onto the first ascent of the Cresta del Gallo. Jimmy Engoulvent (Europcar) and Iljo Keisse (Etixx - Quick Step) both lose contact.


It's a really rough surface on the climb as Howes pushes on for Cannondale Garmin. Chaves is back with the peloton now. 


Howes is going to crest the the top of the climb in the lead as Tinkoff and Movistar set the pace at the front of the peloton.


40km remaining from 182km

Howes continues to lead the race as he pushes on towards the summit of the climb. The last time check was at around 40 seconds with 40km to go.


What's going on. Howes has now crashed on the descent. He's back on his bike and riding again.


Madrazo is now the lone leader on the stage with 34km to go.


Confirmation that Tejay van Garderen is out of the race. 


29km remaining from 182km

It's all back together in the race though, with the break caught with 29km to go. Tinkoff Saxo on the front.


They're racing towards the foot of the final climb once more. The road tightens dramatically on the ascent to positioning is going to be key.

Team Sky have moved up for the first time in the stage as they look to protect Roche and Froome before the final climb. 21km to go.


Thomas peels off having worked for Froome. 


Terptra is trying to force his way clear on the lower slopes of the climb. One of his teammates goes now too. That's Brambilla who leads the race but a ride from Jumbo is coming over.


Team Sky are leading the peloton, the two leaders, Roosen and Brambilla have a few seconds on the peloton as they climb towards the summit.

And now there's an attack from Canndonale and it's marked by Terpstra.


And a Caja Rural rider goes clear too. We have five riders up the road and now a rider from FDJ is making a move. Lampre too.


Rojas is on the move too. 

Confirmation that Dan Martin, who started the day in third overall, is also out of the race after that earlier crash.


Dumoulin has now moved to the front and he's upped the pace. Chaves is trying to match him on the climb but the Dutchman has the bunch lined out.


Race radio confirms that Bouhanni has also withdrawn after that crash. 


It's still Tom Dumoulin who leads the peloton but there are a number riders still clear of the peloton. We're still on the climb as Terpstra goes once more. 16km to go. 


The riders on the attack and in the lead are:




It's a hugely technical descent as we saw on the first pass. Valverde has now attacked, Rodrgiuez and Chaves. Terpstra has been caught on the descent already.


Another crash and Rojas goes over the barriers. He's quickly on his feet, thankfully. 


13km remaining from 182km

Froome, Aru and the rest of the GC riders appear to be back together again now but there are groups all over the road with 13km to go. There are many 30 riders in the lead now.


10km remaining from 182km

10km to go and we have two leaders in Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) and Alberto Losada (Katusha). They have 24 seconds. Sagan is in the main field with Majka.


Sagan has tried to go clear now with a small group but there's still a long way to go.


Sagan has been brought back by the main field with 8.6km go to. 


The three leaders now are 10 kilometres José Gonçalves. Elissonde and Losada.


Sagan has crashed. He's down on the ground.


His stage is over and he's fuming. He's not taking any help from the medical car, it looks like he might have collided with a car or moto. 


The three leaders have 15 seconds with 7km to go.


19 seconds now for the leading trio. They have a strong chance of making it to the finish with 5km to go.


The peloton or what's left of it are still trying to close the move down but the gap is still over 10 seconds with 4km to go. It's going to be so close. 


3km remaining from 182km

3.5km to go and the bunch are back together. Has Sagan made it back? I can't see him. Bouhanni, Ewan arent here. What about Degenkolb? Rojas are here but it's Trek on the front.


1km to go and Hansen has attacked for Lotto. 


1.4km to go, apologies. The Australian has a decent gap though but he's about to be caught. 


Hansen has been caught. 


Here comes the sprint and Jasper Stuyven is coming through. 


The Trek rider takes a huge win at the Vuelta. A messy sprint but he's takes it well.


 1 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
2 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3 Kévin Reza (Fra)
4 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
5 Youcef Reguigui (Alg) MTN - Qhubeka
6 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky


classification after stage 8

1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 31:12:18
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:10
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:36
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:49
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:56
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:57
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:57
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:18
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:19
10 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:21


A hugely dramatic day at the Vuelta then with attacks, crashes (always too many), controversy and a fine sprint win for Trek Factory Racing. 


Chaves has just been interviewed post-stage. The young Orica GreenEdge rider now leads every jersey competition in the race and continues his fine form. He was on the back foot after that major crash but he and Orica didn't panic and they survive for another day.


A reminder of the new GC in the race: 


1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 31:12:18
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:10
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:36
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:49
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:56
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:57
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:18
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:19
10 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:21


Thanks for joining us today. You can find our race report, full results and photos, right here.


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