Saturday August 26th, 2017

Stage 8Hellín / Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior

Start 12h34 (Local time)

Alaphilippe back on top, Froome opens gaps

Stage summary26.08.2017Stage 8- Hellín / Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior

After spending most of the season on the sideline, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) bounced back with a prestigious stage victory on stage 8 of La Vuelta 2017. The French promise made the most of a demanding finish on the way to Xorret de Cati, dominating his breakaway companions Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) et Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) to claim his first Grand Tour victory and bring his team a third win already at La Vuelta 2017. Chris Froome (Team Sky) tightened his grip on the red jersey as Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was the only one able to follow him in the final.

Warren Barguil's exclusion from the Team Sunweb and Sven Erik Bystrom's (Katusha-Alpecin) abandon after a hard crash on Friday brought down to 183 the number of riders taking the start from Hellin. A prestigious finish at Xorret de Cati led to an intense battle to make it into the breakaway. A group of 21 riders covered 49.8km in the first hour to eventually get away. Among them, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) was accompanied by two teammates, Emanuel Buchmann and Christoph Pfingsten. With a delay of 3'02” over Chris Froome (Team Sky), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) was the main GC threat on the group.

A hard pace was maintained all day long, as Froome's teammates were not willing to let the gap increase above 5 minutes. A good collaboration at the front of the race still granted the early attackers a 4 minutes lead as the race entered in the last 20km. That was enough to make sure they'd battle it out for stage victory on the alto Xorret de Cati.

After his teammates set a hard pace for him, Rafal Majka tried to get rid of his breakaway companions with many accelerations on a very steep climb (slopes up to 19%). But Julian Alaphilippe matched every attack from the Polish climber. And Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) enjoyed the short downhill to the finish to make it back to the front. Alaphilippe then dominated the sprint.

After a first move from Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Chris Froome (Team Sky) accelerated on three occasions in the climb. None of his rivals could match his pace and Contador was the only one to eventually get back to him. The others crossed the finish line with a delay of 17 seconds.

  • Alaphilippe back on top, Froome opens gaps

    After spending most of the season on the sideline, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) bounced back with a prestigious stage victory on stage 8 of La Vuelta 2017. The French promise made the most of a demanding finish on the way to Xorret de Cati, dominating his breakaway companions Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) et Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) to claim his first Grand Tour victory and bring his team a third win already at La Vuelta 2017. Chris Froome (Team Sky) tightened his grip on the...

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Stage 8 Hellín / Xorret de Catí. Costa Blanca Interior

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