photo credits @ La Vuelta/Twitter
Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing) survived a day of crashes and chaos, to claim stage 8 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana, in a sprint finish in Murcia today.
Meanwhile, despite being caught up in one of the day’s crashes, Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) managed to finish safely in the main field to retain his grip on the overall race lead.
“It was truly difficult today,” Chaves said. “You’d think it was a transition stage, but it was very hard, fast, with a lot of crashes. I was caught up in the big crash, but it was a few cuts and scrapes, nothing serious, but I was able to chase back. The team carried me to the first climb, and then I was able to follow the rivals. I had some support on the first climb, on the second climb, I was trying to stay calm, and just follow the moves. The important thing was to maintain the lead.”
The first crash of the day involved both Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin) and Movistar’s José Joaquim Rojas, who both hit the deck during a descent – not long into today’s stage.
Next, came Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), who were among the many causalities claimed in a major pile up during the last 50 kilometers.
As a result, al three riders were forced to abandoned the race, van Garderen with a suspected broken clavicle.
Then came Peter Sagan’s catastrophe, wherein the Tinkoff-Saxo rider was struck by a race vehicle during the closing 10 kilometers.
After a number of late attacks were reeled in, Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) launched one final move inside the final 3km, but a charging pack closed down the attempt to set up a sprint from a reduced field. Stuyven proved fastest in the sprint, with Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural) taking second and Kevin Reza (FDJ) finishing in third.
“It was a hard stage, and I was also in the big crash, I hit my wrist, but I was back on the bike,” Stuyven said after the win. “I survived the first time on the climb, and I kept fighting. I was at the top with the group. [Haimar] Zubeldia pulled to bring the guys back. With 300m, I just went for it, and I could win. I am really happy to win this stage. Already all week, it’s been nervous, with crashes. Our leader Frank [Schleck] was in that crash.”
Stage 8 Results
BEL 1 STUYVEN, Jasper (TREK FACTORY RACING) 4:06:05
ESP 2 BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, Pello (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
FRA 3 REZA, Kévin (FDJ)
ITA 4 VISCONTI, Giovanni (MOVISTAR)
ITA 5 SBARAGLI, Kristian (MTN – QHUBEKA)
BEL 6 VAN DER SANDE, Tosh (LOTTO SOUDAL)
FRA 7 SIMON, Julien (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
BEL 8 SERRY, Pieter (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ESP 9 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
IRL 10 ROCHE, Nicolas (SKY)
ESP 11 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR)
COL 12 CHAVES RUBIO, Johan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE)
POR 13 GONÇALVES, José (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
RUS 14 VORGANOV, Eduard (KATUSHA)
ITA 15 BRAMBILLA, Gianluca (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
POR 16 CARDOSO, Andre Fernando S. Martins (CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
CRO 17 DURASEK, Kristijan (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
COL 18 RUBIANO CHAVEZ, Miguel Angel (COLOMBIA)
ESP 19 SANCHEZ GIL, Luis Leon (ASTANA)
RSA 20 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA)
COL 21 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR)
ESP 22 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING)
NED 23 DUMOULIN, Tom (TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN)
FRA 24 SICARD, Romain (EUROPCAR)
FRA 25 MOINARD, Amaël (BMC RACING)
GBR 26 FROOME, Christopher (SKY)
ESP 27 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)
COL 28 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY)
FRA 29 ROSSETTO, Stéphane (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
ESP 30 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA)
General Classification after Stage 8
COL 1 CHAVES RUBIO, Johan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) 31:12:18
NED 2 DUMOULIN, Tom (TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN) + 10
IRL 3 ROCHE, Nicolas (SKY) + 36
ESP 4 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 49
ESP 5 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA) + 56
COL 6 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 57
ITA 7 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA)
ESP 8 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA) + 1:18
ITA 9 POZZOVIVO, Domenico (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:19
ESP 10 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 1:21
GBR 11 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 1:22
POL 12 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 1:29
ESP 13 LANDA MEANA, Mikel (ASTANA) + 1:39
RSA 14 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 1:51
COL 15 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 2:24
ITA 16 BRAMBILLA, Gianluca (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 2:25
ESP 17 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING) + 2:50
POR 18 CARDOSO, Andre Fernando S. Martins (CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 2:51
FRA 19 SICARD, Romain (EUROPCAR) + 2:55
ESP 20 NAVARRO GARCIA, Daniel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 3:01
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