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Vuelta a Espana stage 8 Live - A new summit finish

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 8 of the Vuelta a España.

Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) took an emotional win from the breakaway yesterday, ahead of Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan) and Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious). To catch up before the action starts today, you can read all about here.

The riders are signing on in the town of La Pola Llaviana, small town in the Asturias. Last time it hosted a start in 2020, the peloton finished atop the Angliru but today the race heads for the Colláu Fancuaya - a 10.3km mountain with gradients as steep as 16.2% that has never been raced before.

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To reach the Colláu Fancuaya, the race travels 153.4km today from La Pola Llaviana  over the jagged mountains so typical of the Vuelta. Immediately after the start, the peloton will start climbing up the category 2 Alto de la Colladona, before making their way over another four categorised climbs to the foot of the final climb.

Three riders will not take to the start line, however, due to COVID-19 positive tests. Team DSM announced that roommates Nikias Arndt and Mark Donovan have both tested positive while Arkéa-Samsic confirmed that Anthony Delaplace had also tested positive. Seven riders have now left the race due to the virus. You can read the full story here.

Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) has also abandoned the race.

-153km

And we're off! The dignitaries have cut the ribbon and the riders are rolling out into the short neutralised zone.

Today is likely to be an important day for the GC contenders, as the general classification has begun to take its shape over the opening week. 

Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) is in the red jersey and takes a 21 second lead over Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) into the stage with the gaps in the general classification behind them already opening up. An impressive opening week from Mas has kept him in third while Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) sits in fourth, a minute back. 

The white jersey Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) is eleven seconds behind Roglič and a trio of Ineos-Grenadiers riders – Pavel Sivakov, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Carlos Rodriguez – are just behind the 19-year-old.

Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco), João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), Jai Hindley  and Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) are almost two minutes in arrears while Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers) has lost almost three minutes.

The riders look tense as they ride through the town towards the end of the neutral zone, anticipating a difficult stage which is likely to have an explosive start on the first climb of the day.

-153km

As the race hits the salida real, the peloton lines out across the road as teams prepare to attack or to mark attacks. 

-152km

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qasaqstan) launches the first attack and the race kicks off behind immediately.

Lots of teams are represented at the front. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) makes a move now along with a rider from Alpecin-Deceuninck and Cofidis. 

-148km

A strong group is beginning to form at the front of the race containing McNulty, Lutsenko, Mark Padun (EF Education-Easy Post), Jay Vine, Rob Stannard (both Alpecin-Deceuninck), Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic), Davide Villella (Cofidis), Óscar Cabedo (Burgos-BH), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert).

That group has a small gap but is not quite clear yet as several riders continue attempting to bridge across.

-147km

As the race refuses to settle down, the peloton has cracked into smaller groups on the climb under the stress. There is still 3km until the summit.

-146km

The front group has swelled from ten to 17 riders. Among those who have bridged across are Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers), now the best placed in the breakawy at 2:55, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and two of Pinot's teammates - Sébastien Reichenbach and Bruno Armirail.

-145km

That large group has just a nine second advantage over the peloton as QuickStep-AlphaVinyl frantically chase to pull such a dangerous move back. The peloton is a kilometre away from the top of the climb now.

Carapaz has dropped back to the peloton as the breakaway crests the climb with a small advantage and races down the descent led by Vine and Soler.

-141km

Vine took the maximum five mountain points available at the top of that second category climb and moves into the lead of the King of the Mountains classification.

Vine and Soler are flying down the descent and have a small gap over the rest of the breakaway.

After the descent there is a flat section before the road kicks up again for the second category Alto de la Mozqueta.

-134km

It is just that leading duo out front as the rest of the breakaway has been swallowed up by the QuickStep-AlphaVinyl led peloton on the descent.

Vine and Soler have a 21 second gap over the peloton.

-129km

Behind Vine and Soler, another breakaway group is forming that contains Lutsenko, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious),  Armirail, Taaramae, Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo).

The leading duo have almost a minute on the peloton and the group in between are 50 seconds behind them.

-127km

The chasing group have caught Vine and Soler to form an eight-man group. QuickStep-AlphaVinyl seem content with this situation and have allowed the gap to reach a minute. Pinot and Groupama-FDJ, however, are not and continue to attack in the hope of bridging across.

-123km

Armirail has sat up from the breakaway to help Pinot bridge across. Along with Reichenbach, they are 50 seconds behind the front of the race and 40 seconds ahead of the peloton.

The gap between the breakaway and the peloton has ballooned to two minutes with the Pinot group 30 seconds behind the front of the race.

-116km

QuickStep have taken control of the race with all their riders lined out on the fronr of the peloton behind Rémi Cavagna. 

-115km

Pinot and Groupama-FDJ are still marooned in between the two groups. Though they had closed the gap to about 30 seconds, it has now increased to 45 seconds.

The Groupama-FDJ trio have bridged across to the breakaway after a long chase to make it ten riders out front.

-110km

As the riders approach the foot of the day's second climb, the gap between the peloton and breakaway is 2:45. After a frantic start, the race seems to have found more of a settled rhythm now.

-107km

Landa and Pinot lead the breakaway up the climb and the gap ticks over 3 minutes. It is a 6.8km long climb with an average gradient of 6.6%, better suited to the climbers in the breakaway than the more powerful Cavagna behind.

The gap has increased on the climb to 3:41 as Cavagna continues to set the pace in the peloton.

-102km

Vine took maximum points once again at the summit and increases his lead in that competition. The previous holder of the mountains jersey Victor Langellotti (Burgos-BH) crashed on the descent and has had to abandon the race.

-96km

Once the riders have completed this descent, they almost immediately begin the next climb - the 5.3km Alto de Santo Emiliano at 5.3%.

-91.7km

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl are still on the front of the peloton and have brought the gap to just under four minutes.

COLLU FANCUAYA SPAIN AUGUST 27 Dries Devenyns of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl competes during the 77th Tour of Spain 2022 Stage 8 a 1534km stage from Pola de Laviana to Collu Fancuaya 1084m LaVuelta22 WorldTour on August 27 2022 in Collu Fancuaya Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl are defending Remco Evenepoel's red jersey. (Image credit: Getty Images)

As the riders take on the third climb of the day, it looks as if the clouds are gathering at the finish like they were on Thursday when Jay Vine won the stage...

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-86km

Vine once again takes the maximum three points available on the summit of this third category climb. The gap back to the peloton, meanwhile, has crept above four minutes on the climb again to reach 4:19.

-79km

The race is now on the longest section of flat road today, though on this up-and-down stage even this section is less than 20km long. Groupama-FDJ are setting the pace in the breakaway.

-74km

Sepp Kuss suffers a puncture just after the feed zone but his bike has been fixed and he is chasing back to the peloton.

COLLU FANCUAYA SPAIN AUGUST 27 A general view of the peloton passing through a landscape during the 77th Tour of Spain 2022 Stage 8 a 1534km stage from Pola de Laviana to Collu Fancuaya 1084m LaVuelta22 WorldTour on August 27 2022 in Collu Fancuaya Spain Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

The peloton is tackling six categorised climbs today. (Image credit: Getty Images)

-69km

Itamar Einhorn (Israel Premier Tech) has also abandoned the race.

-64km

The gap has stabilised now and the race settled into a calmer rhythm. Cavagna, remarkably, is still riding on the front and keeping the breakaway 4:12 ahead of the peloton.

-60km

The breakaway are almost at the foot of the Puerto de Tenebreo, a third category climb and one that signals the final part of the race. After this, there is another third category climb followed by the finale - the category 1 Colláu Fancuaya.

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-59km

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl have accelerated a little onto the final climb as Cavagna finally finishes his turn. The gap still hovers and around four minutes.

-57km

Pieter Serry takes up the pace-setting duties for QuickStep-AlphaVinyl on this climb.

-55km

The breakaway continue to press on as they reach the top of this climb. Vine once again took maximum points at the summit, further extending his lead.

-51km

The breakaway's gap is remaining stable at around four minutes.