Seventh for Yates on a short sharp finish to stage eight at La Vuelta

Sat 1 Sep 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT leader Simon Yates sprinted to seventh position on the short, sharp uphill finish to stage eight of the Vuelta a Espana today.

After a controlled but long and hot day on the road, Yates was well-positioned into the final before the punchy riders launched in the final metres, with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) taking his second stage victory of this year’s Tour. 

Time for a big gap:
With 195km to travel and estimated temperatures of 38degrees, a breakaway of three were granted a long leash for the day. 

Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Jorge Cubero (Burgos-BH) and Hector Saez (Euskadi-Murias) rode out to 11minute’s advantage after 50km to racing and extended it to 12-minutes before Quickstep Floors and Cofidis joined Trek Segafredo and Bora-Hansgrohe the front of the bunch to steady the ship.

When the chase began in earnest, the advantage tumbled quickly. With 40km to go it was down to four minutes and by six kilometres to go the race was all back together. 

Fast run and uphill sprint:
After the regrouping, Lotto Soudal pushed the pace into the final five kilometres before Mitchelton-SCOTT, courtesy of Alex Edmondson and Luka Mezgec, and then LottoNL-Jumbo took over at the front.

A reduced bunch navigated a tight U-turn corner with 700m to go before a leg burning sprint up to the finish was won by Valverde ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Simon Yates:
The breakaway went straight away so besides the heat it was a pretty easy day really. It was really just the last 15km that we had to watch out for, we had to be careful and ready for anything in a tricky final. 

I actually ended up a bit too far to the front, I was just trying to stay safe but I arrived at the roundabout (with 700m to go) really close to the front. It didn’t really matter anyway because I was never going to beat those really fast guys in the finish.

“Tomorrow is going to be the first ‘real’ day I think. It’s going to be another hot one, but we will see how it goes and I am looking forward to getting stuck in.” 

La Vuelta Stage 8 Results:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 4:35:54
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Danny Van Poppel (Trek Segafredo) ST
7. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

La Vuelta General Classification after Stage 8:
1. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) 31:20:34
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +0:37
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +48
4. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:51 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.