Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 8 in Vuelta a España, Chris Froome keeps Red
Aug 26 2017 05:40 pm CET

Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 8 in Vuelta a España, Chris Froome keeps Red
Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 8 in Vuelta a España, Chris Froome keeps Red
Photo of Julian Alaphilippe by Jonathan Roorda / CyclingPub.com

Julian Alaphilippe of Quick-Step Floors has won the eighth stage of the Vuelta a España. The Frenchman beat Jan Polanc of UAE and Bora-hansgrohe's Rafal Majka for the win.

The eighth stage of the Spanish race was 199.5 kilometers long, starting in Hellin in the province of Albacete and finishing at Xorret de Cati in Alicante.

The course featured two climbs of the third category and the first-category Xorret de Cati, which was followed by three downhill kilometers to the finish line.

A breakaway of 21 riders was formed early on the day. The group included riders like Julian Alaphilippe, Rafal Majka and Emanuel Buchmann, with Nelson Oliveira of Movistar forming the main threat to the general classification at just over three minutes from Froome.

Katusha-Alpecin's Ilnur Zakarin appeared to be strugglin on the second climb of the day, the Puerto de Onil, but his group managed to find its way back to the peloton shortly after.

With 30 kilometers to go, the advantage of the leaders was just below five minutes as the peloton tried to control the situation while still saving energy for the difficult final climb.

Things quickly exploded on the climb of Xorret de Cati. Buchman set a high pace for his leader Majka and only Alaphilippe managed to stay in the wheel of the two Bora-hansgrohe riders. UAE rider Jan Polanc later joined as well.

Majka launched another attack with five kilometers to go but the Polish rider couldn't drop his rivals. On the last stretch of the descent, Alaphilippe got a bit of distance on the others to take the stage victory ahead of Polanc and Majka.

In the battle for the general classification, Froome drew first blood and only Trek-Segafredo's Alberto Contador was able to follow. The two arrived together but the damage for the others was limited as most of the key rivals finished less than half a minute behind.

In the overall classification, Froome now leads Orica-Scott's Esteban Chaves by 28 seconds and BMC's Nicolas Roche follows at 41.




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