Stage 8 is underway and attacks are flying from the start as riders fight for the break.
Today's stage started in Valls, the hometown of ex-Movistar rider Xavi Tondo. The Spaniard passed away in 2011 after a training accident.
158km remaining from 167km
The peloton is still together during this fast start to the stage. Riders are still trying to get away.
Seven riders have jumped away from the peloton with a small gap.
The seven men were quickly caught, however, and the riders are all back together now.
149km remaining from 167km
Today's stage features a single climb, the second-category Puerto de Montserrat 26km from the finish.
Now 21 riders are up the road with a small advantage. A lot of teams want to get away today.
David de la Cruz (Team Ineos), Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) are among the attacking group of 21 riders. They're 30 seconds up on the peloton.
We'll get a full list of names in this break should it turn out to be the main breakaway of the day.
Spaniards Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Fernando Barceló (Euskadi-Murias) are also up there.
141km remaining from 167km
40 seconds between break and peloton.
The gap is two minutes now. The breakaway is established.
Here's the makeup of the breakaway: Jorge Arcas (Movistar Team), Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Luis León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Jonas Koch (CCC Team), Zdeněk Štybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Carl Fredrik Hagen and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Nic Dlamini (Dimension Data), David de la Cruz (Team Ineos), Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha Alpecin), Nikias Arndt and Martijn Tusveld (Team Sunweb), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Alex Aranburu and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jesús Herrada and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Fernando Barceló (Euskadi-Murias)
Of course, Teuns and Herrada were out in the break on stage 6, with Herrada taking the stage win and Teuns taking the red jersey for a day.
135km remaining from 167km
The break is now four minutes up the road.
With the break established and little to fight for until the intermediate sprint 53.5km from the finish, the race will settle down for a while now.
Edet is the best-placed rider on the GC from the break. He's 16th overall, 6:24 down on race leader López. Teuns is the next best, at 8:44.
The first hour has been a fast one, with 44km covered so far.
Today's stage sees the riders race through Catalunya from Valls to Igualada. It's David de la Cruz's home region and the Ineos man is in the break today.
"We are going to play it hard today," he said this morning. "I hope to find the legs I haven’t enjoyed these past days and to make a splash on home soil. I’ll give it all."
The Movistar duo of Marc Soler and Antonio Pedrero also hail from Catalunya.
Astana are controlling the peloton.
106km remaining from 167km
4:20 between the break and peloton.
The gap is stable now. The peloton are holding it at just over four minutes.
Ineos rider completed laps of a local velodrome on first road bike outing since Critérium du Dauphiné crash
85km remaining from 167km
It's a quiet part of the stage as the riders traverse rolling terrain midway through. The gap remains stable.
Here's what red jersey Miguel Ángel López had to say about today's stage.
"It’s quite a demanding stage. We hope to save some energy and to recover, because Sunday’s stage is going to be even harder. There are chances of mass sprint, but also of a breakaway making it to the finish, but you never know. The road will have its say."
44.7kph is the average speed for the first two hours of the stage.
The break have crested an uncategorised hill and are heading downhill to the intermediate sprint at Sant Joan de Vilatorrada now.
Rain is falling on the break.
The gap is five minutes with 60km to race.
Deceuninck-QuickStep have added to their 2020 roster with the signing of U23 star Mauri Vansevenant, winner of this year's Giro della Valle d'Aosta.
We are happy to announce that we have signed Giro della Valle d'Aosta winner Mauri Vansevenant, who will join the team next summer: https://t.co/A7zUxZR6tG pic.twitter.com/ko6uYiSlPpAugust 31, 2019
The break's advantage has gone up to almost six minutes now.
Edet is up to virtual fourth overall.
52km remaining from 167km
The breakaway riders working well together. Astana and Jumbo lead the peloton.
Stage 3 winner Sam Bennett wasn't hopeful about a sprint finish today.
"I think it’s only a 20-30% chance of a sprint. It will be a small bunch and I don’t know how many of us sprinters will be there. The only ones might be Mezgec and Boasson Hagen. It will be hard to climb like them."
Stybar led Arndt and Edet over the intermediate sprint. 22km to go until they reach the only climb of the day.
42km to race and the gap is still almost six minutes.
It looks like the break will make it today. The gap isn't coming down much at all.
36km remaining from 167km
The break are about to start the second-cat climb of the Puerto de Montserrat.
The climb is 7.4km long at an average of 6.6 per cent.
The pace ups in the break as they make their way up the climb.
...And the break is fracturing.
Stetina has gone clear, 4km from the top.
Stetina has quickly built a 25-second lead over the rest of the break.
Barceló has dislodged himself from the chase group.
Barceló is eating into Stetina's advantage. He's 15 seconds down. 2km to the top.
28km remaining from 167km
Barceló has caught Stetina now. Meanwhile, Herrada and Teuns attack from the chase group.
The peloton is six minutes back.
Herrada makes it three out front.
Stetina took the five points over the top, followed by Barceló and Herrada.
It's a miserable time for the peloton on the climb, riding through the heavy rain six minutes back.
The break is reportedly back together now.
20km remaining from 167km
Here's hoping the break make it safely down this wet descent.
This is brutal weather.
Guerreiro, Tusveld and Barceló are reportedly up the road now. Hard to tell in this torrential rain though.
Yep, the reports were correct. 13km to race and that trio are up the road.
12km remaining from 167km
20 seconds from the leaders back to the rest of the break. The peloton is over seven minutes down.
Edet is in the virtual lead by 29 seconds right now.
The break has split up even more on this descent. They move onto the highway now.
9km remaining from 168km
Aranburu is up with the leaders no. The rest of the chasers aren't far back, however.
6km remaining from 168km
7:35 between leaders and peloton now. Edet should be in red here.
The chasers are closing in on the leaders.
Now the lead groups are together. 7:50 back to the peloton.
3.5km remaining from 178km
Tusveld hit the deck going around a roundabout. The rest of the break is back together.
Ludvigsson pushes on now.
There are quite a few roundabouts in this finale. The lead camera moto just slid out! Yikes
Stybar blasts past Edet!
He's really going for it.
Stybar is caught and Barceló pushes on now.
Aranburu now! There are maybe 10-15 riders in this lead group.
Guerreiro leads it out on the home straight!
Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) takes it! He wins stage 8 in the rain!
Now we wait for the peloton. Will Edet be in red?
Aranburu and van der Sande took second and third behind Arndt.
That's the second Grand Tour win of Arndt's career, after a win at the Giro d'Italia.
Stage 8 result
1 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 3:50:48
2 Alexander Aranburu (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3 Tosh van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team
6 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
7 Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
9 Fernando Barcelo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
10 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates
The peloton are rolling in now 9:24 down. Edet is in red!
Here's the new top ten on GC
1 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis 8:16:24
2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:21
3 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:01
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:03:07
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 0:03:17
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 0:03:28
7 Carl Frederik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal 0:03:45
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:04:59
9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:37
10 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 0:05:53
We'll have reaction from stage winner Nikias Arndt, new race leader Nicolas Edet and GC contender Nairo Quintana coming up, as well as a preview of Sunday's stage in Andorra.
That's all for our live coverage of stage 8 of the Vuelta a España. Keep checking back for more news from the race, and tomorrow for live coverage of stage 9.
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