Vuelta a Espana: Valverde wins stage 8 in Almaden

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) claimed his second victory of the 2018 Vuelta a España on Saturday, pipping Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) to the line in a dramatic uphill sprint in Almadén at the end of stage 8.

Danny van Poppel, whose LottoNL-Jumbo team had dominated the tricky final kilometre - which also included a near-180-degree switchback on a roundabout - finished a more distant third.

Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) finished safely in the main group to retain his overall lead, though the 10 bonus seconds for stage victory moved second-placed Valverde to within 37 seconds.

“They said it was a hard finish and people could even lose time. My DS told me to get on Sagan’s wheel but I told him, ‘I’m not going to go for the stage today - I’m going to focus on not losing time’,” Valverde revealed.

“But in the end 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.”

The 195km stage from Linares to Almadén was one of the flattest of the whole Vuelta, with just one categorized climb in the form of the Cat-3 Alto de Españares. However, the heat - nearing 40 degrees - combined with the distance to make it another tough day in the saddle, made all the more complicated by the finale, which included gradients of four per cent that started biting with two kilometres to go.

A breakaway formed after just a few kilometres, containing Thiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Jorge Cubero (Burgos-BH), and Hector Saez (Euskadi-Murias). With just three representatives, it never posed much of a threat to the peloton, and the gap was allowed to yawn out to more than 12 minutes.

On what was a largely uneventful afternoon, the peloton never looked like making a mistake as Bora, Quick-Step, Trek, and Cofidis exchanged turns on the front in order to steadily bring the gap down on the lightly undulating roads in the second half of the parcours.

Everyone was thinking about the complicated final few kilometres, and the racing really began when Machado - the last survivor from the break - was swallowed up with just under 6km to go. Plenty of teams showed an interest but none imposed themselves like Van Poppel’s LottoNL. They put four men on the front in the final two kilometres and made sure they were in pole position coming all the way round that roundabout inside the final kilometre. They were unable to hold it, however, as Bora took over for Sagan in the last several hundred metres.

On a finish such as this there’s always someone who tries to spring a surprise and here it was Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) who opened up his effort with still 300 metres to go. Sagan was the one who set off to close the gap, and while he had relatively little struggle in doing so, Valverde was better positioned for a late charge. He started his effort four wheels back and was able to come past Sagan at the last.

The big summit finish at La Covatilla on Sunday has loomed large over the first week of the Vuelta, and Valverde, who came into this Vuelta as a so-called ‘free agent’ but is clearly in great shape, may just have his eyes on the red jersey.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team4:35:54
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 1 - Cell 2
3Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 2 - Cell 2
4Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 3 - Cell 2
5Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 5 - Cell 2
7Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-ScottRow 6 - Cell 2
8Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 7 - Cell 2
9Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 9 - Cell 2
11Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 10 - Cell 2
12Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 12 - Cell 2
14Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 13 - Cell 2
15Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 14 - Cell 2
16George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-JumboRow 15 - Cell 2
17Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team SunwebRow 16 - Cell 2
18Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 17 - Cell 2
19Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 18 - Cell 2
20Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 19 - Cell 2
21Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step FloorsRow 20 - Cell 2
22Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 21 - Cell 2
23Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 22 - Cell 2
24Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 23 - Cell 2
25Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 24 - Cell 2
26Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 25 - Cell 2
27Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 27 - Cell 2
29Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 28 - Cell 2
30Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 29 - Cell 2
31David De La Cruz (Spa) Team SkyRow 30 - Cell 2
32Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Burgos BHRow 32 - Cell 2
34Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension DataRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 34 - Cell 2
36Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 35 - Cell 2
37Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension DataRow 39 - Cell 2
41Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BHRow 41 - Cell 2
43Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 42 - Cell 2
44Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension DataRow 43 - Cell 2
45Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 44 - Cell 2
46Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 45 - Cell 2
47Benjamin King (USA) Dimension DataRow 46 - Cell 2
48Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 48 - Cell 2
50Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-AlpecinRow 49 - Cell 2
51Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 50 - Cell 2
52Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-MeridaRow 51 - Cell 2
53Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:15
54Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 53 - Cell 2
55Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:19
56Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:00:26
57Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:32
58Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 57 - Cell 2
59Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BHRow 58 - Cell 2
60Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 59 - Cell 2
61Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 60 - Cell 2
62Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 61 - Cell 2
63Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-JumboRow 62 - Cell 2
64Jai Hindley (Aus) Team SunwebRow 63 - Cell 2
65Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team EmiratesRow 64 - Cell 2
66Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:39
67Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:42
68Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:51
69Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:00:52
70Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:57
71Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 70 - Cell 2
72Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:01:03
73Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 72 - Cell 2
74Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:20
75Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 74 - Cell 2
76Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 75 - Cell 2
77Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 76 - Cell 2
78Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos BHRow 77 - Cell 2
79Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 78 - Cell 2
80Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 79 - Cell 2
81Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 80 - Cell 2
82Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 81 - Cell 2
83Georg Preidler (Aut) Groupama-FDJRow 82 - Cell 2
84Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team0:01:26
87Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 86 - Cell 2
88Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky0:01:27
89Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 88 - Cell 2
90Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 89 - Cell 2
91Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:32
92Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 91 - Cell 2
93Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 92 - Cell 2
94Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:01:38
95Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 95 - Cell 2
97Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 96 - Cell 2
98José Mendes (Por) Burgos BHRow 97 - Cell 2
99Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 98 - Cell 2
100Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 99 - Cell 2
101Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:01:41
102Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:01:45
103Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:01:47
104Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:01:50
105Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team SkyRow 104 - Cell 2
106Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:01:52
107Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:53
108Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 107 - Cell 2
109Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 109 - Cell 2
111Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:02
112Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 111 - Cell 2
113Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:02:05
114Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky0:02:13
115Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 114 - Cell 2
116Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:02:26
117Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 116 - Cell 2
118Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 117 - Cell 2
119Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:28
120Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 119 - Cell 2
121Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:02:30
122Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
123Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:02:33
124Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb0:02:39
126Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
127Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 126 - Cell 2
128Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:02:41
129Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb0:02:48
130Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-ScottRow 129 - Cell 2
131Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 130 - Cell 2
132Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 131 - Cell 2
133Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-ScottRow 132 - Cell 2
134Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 133 - Cell 2
135Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
136Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:02:54
137Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 136 - Cell 2
138Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 137 - Cell 2
139Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:02
140Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 139 - Cell 2
141Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:03:14
142Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:15
143Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar TeamRow 142 - Cell 2
144Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-ScottRow 143 - Cell 2
145Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team SunwebRow 144 - Cell 2
146Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:31
147Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 146 - Cell 2
148Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:54
149Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky0:04:05
150Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:04:37
151Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos BHRow 150 - Cell 2
152Antonio Molina Canet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 151 - Cell 2
153Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos BHRow 152 - Cell 2
154Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 153 - Cell 2
155Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 154 - Cell 2
156Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 155 - Cell 2
157Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:23
158Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 157 - Cell 2
159Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data0:05:25
160Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team SkyRow 159 - Cell 2
161Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-MeridaRow 160 - Cell 2
162José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 161 - Cell 2
163Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:16
164Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates0:06:27
165Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ0:06:44
166Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 165 - Cell 2
167Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 166 - Cell 2
168Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 167 - Cell 2
169Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 168 - Cell 2
170Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-AlpecinRow 169 - Cell 2
171Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:07:01
172Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:07:53
173Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BHRow 172 - Cell 2
174Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:11:27
175Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 174 - Cell 2
DNSMaurits Lammertink (Ned) Team Katusha-AlpecinRow 175 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1 - Villanueva de Córdoba - 123.6 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH4pts
2Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Finish line points - Parque Minero de Almadén - 195.1 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team25pts
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida1Row 14 - Cell 3
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KOM 1 - Alto de Españares - 82 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias3pts
2Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Most Combative
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bahrain - Merida13:47:42
2Team Lotto Nl - JumboRow 1 - Cell 2
3Bora - HansgroheRow 2 - Cell 2
4Movistar TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Team SkyRow 4 - Cell 2
6Caja Rural - Seguros RgaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Team Dimension DataRow 6 - Cell 2
8Bmc Racing Team13:48:08
9Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale13:48:14
10Burgos BhRow 9 - Cell 2
11Astana Pro TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Ag2R La MondialeRow 11 - Cell 2
13Mitchelton - Scott13:48:24
14Uae Team Emirates13:48:29
15Quick - Step Floors13:48:45
16Euskadi Basque Country - Murias13:48:53
17Lotto Soudal13:49:02
18Trek - SegafredoRow 17 - Cell 2
19Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 18 - Cell 2
20Groupama - FdjRow 19 - Cell 2
21Team Sunweb13:49:05
22Team Katusha Alpecin13:49:59
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General Classification after stage 8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ31:20:34
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:37
3Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:48
4Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:51
5Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:59
6Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:01:06
7Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:01:11
8Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:01:14
9Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:18
10Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:01:23
11George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:26
12Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:01:27
13Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:01:28
14Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:01:29
15David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:01:34
16Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:01:46
17Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:02:50
18Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:03:08
19Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:25
20Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:56
21Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:28
22Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida0:04:45
23Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:50
24Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:05:07
25Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data0:05:35
26Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data0:06:34
27Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:39
28Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:07:54
29Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data0:07:59
30Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:08:02
31Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:09:00
32Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:09:57
33Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:06
34Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:10:46
35Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:11:46
36Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:12:06
37Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:12:10
38Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:12:44
39Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo