Result: SPAIN’S ALEJANDRO VALVERDE of Movistar won the eighth stage of the Tour of Spain, adding this 174.7km ride from Lleida to Collada de la Gallina in Andorra to his win in the third stage in Alcaniz.
Race leader Joaquim Rodriguez and Saxo-Bank’s Alberto Contador finished second and third while Team Sky’s Christopher Froome crossed the line in fourth, 15 seconds behind the trio.
Here’s how it happened: The day started with a six-man breakaway comprising Amael Moinard (BMC) and Michael Buffaz (Cofidis), Australia’s Cameron Meyer (Orica-Greenedge), Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural), Javier Ramirez Abeja (Andalucia) and Matijn Keizer.
It looked as if the six had enough to hold on until the race came into the wild final 2.5 km when Froome and Contador caught the breakaway riders.
At this stage, most observers thought Contador would take the stage win but both Valverde and Rodriguez were able to power past him in the last few hundred metres .
It was a poor result for Chris Froome who looked as if he cracked in the last 500m and just could not keep up.
Who’s wearing what colour?
- Red (general classification): Joaquim Rodriguez
- Green (points): John Degenkolb
- Blue dots (mountains): Alejandro Valverde
- White (all-round): Joaquim Rodriguez
How did Nico do? It was a tougher day for Roche but he still managed a 12th place finish on the stage. Coming in just over one minute behind Valverde, Roche stands seventh overall, two minutes and 14 seconds off the Red Jersey.
What happens tomorrow then? Tomorrow sees the riders face two third category climbs as the make their way from Andorra to Barcelona. It’ll be the first time the Vuelta has visited the Catalan city since 1999.