photo credits @ La Vuelta
Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) triumphed through terrible weather conditions to claim stage 8 of the Vuelta a España in Igualada today, after the German rider outsprinted Alexander Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal.)
Meanwhile, Miguel Angel Lopez lost the overall lead to Nicolas Edet, after finishing as far back as nine minutes in the peloton.
From the outset, the stage looked likely to go to the breakaway, with most of the sprinter’s teams declining to help in the chase. For the majority of the day, Lopez’ Astana Team took control, but when the skies opened at the top of the Puerto de Montserrat any hope of pegging back the escapees to preserve red were washed away in the deluge. Heavy rain, slippery surfaces and terrible visibility ruled out all but the most cautious of descending, so the 21 leaders were allowed their day of glory.
The chaotic finale was brought to life by an attack from American rider, Peter Stetina (Trek Segafredo), who launched clear of the break on the lower slopes of the Puerto de Montserrat. He was followed by Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Fernando Barcelo (Euskadi – Murias).
The general classification now has an usual composition, with Edet’s fellow escapees Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Merdia) and Carl Hagen (Lotto Soudal) also breaking into the top ten as a result.
With high mountains scheduled for tomorrow as the race enters Andorra, it’s unlikely that any of the trio will remain there into the race’s first rest day. There were no changes in the leadership of any of the other jerseys, with Nairo Quintana retaining green, Lopez keeping white and Angel Madrazo holding onto his polka dots.
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