Primož Roglič dominates to take an incredible win on stage eight of the Vuelta a España 2020

The Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2020 winner shared blows with race leader, Richard Carapaz all the way to the line

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) showed that he is far from out of the Vuelta a España 2020 after taking stage eight victory in a commanding fashion ahead of Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).

The final climb was ridden at an electric pace with several team’s taking it up to try and take stage victory and time in the overall standings, but it all came down to the leaders in the final few kilometres.

Carapaz keeps his race lead by a reduced gap of 13 seconds over Roglič with Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) swapping places in third and fourth in the general classification.

How it happened

The riders started the day in Logroño before taking on the 164km route that took in two climbs in the shape of the Puerto de la Rasa and the final ascent to the finish, the Alto de Moncalvillo.

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Seven riders went up the road in the early break and they were Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Julien Simon (Total Direct Energie), Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott), Stan Dewulf (Lotto-Soudal), Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Ben Dyball (NTT Pro Cycling).

The largest gap the break got was 5-13 minutes before two riders from Caja-Rural attacked away from the peloton with 68km to go to bridge over. They were Héctor Sáez and Jhojan García.

Sáez was immediately dropped by his team mate as they hit the first climb of the day, the Puerto de la Rasa with García pushing on.

As soon as the peloton got onto the Rasa climb, the entire team of Movistar came to the front to start upping the pace for their leaders with Enric Mas, Marc Soler and Alejandro Valverde starting the day in the top 10 in the general classification.

García was wound back in with 50km to go as Movistar hacked the gap to the break to 2-28 as they continued to try and set up another stage win for their leaders.

But as the peloton went over the top of the first climb, Movistar disappeared with Astana, Ineos Grenadiers, Mitchelton-Scott and EF Pro Cycling taking over, then, about 5km later the Movistar riders went back to the front again with 40km to go.

The pace was continued on the valley bottom and most of the break was brought back with 9km to go just at the base of the final climb up to the finish.

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Only Dewulf and Dyball were left up the road as they hit the final ascent but were brought back with 7.5km to go by the Movistar led peloton.

Valverde was the first rider to go on the attack and it was Jumbo-Visma who took up the pacing to pull him back with 6km to go.

EF Pro Cycling was the next team to take it up with stage seven’s winner, Michael Woods, working for Hugh Carthy who was sat on his wheel with 4.5km to go.

Woods’ pace saw Soler, Valverde, Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) all lose contact, quickly followed by Clément Champoussin (Ag2r La Mondiale) and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma).

Carthy then hit out on the attack with Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) staying on the wheel with 3.4km to go.

Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) was the next man to have a dig to try and bridge with Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) as Esteban Cháves (Mitchelton-Scott) went out of the back.

Carapaz, Roglič and Mas were the only riders who were able to get back up to Martin and Vlasov as Wout Poels (Bahrain-McLaren) became the next man to get dropped.

Carapaz then dragged that group of five riders back to Carthy and Kuss, so the American went on the attack immediately.

But, Carapaz then went on the attack with Roglič the only one able to follow as Carthy tried to bridge across as Martin, Kuss, Vlasov and Mas all lost touch with 2km to go.

Carthy, Martin and Vlasov managed to drag themselves back to the leading duo of Carapaz and Roglič with 1.7km to go.

Vlasov then went over the top with 1.4km to go, he was over 6-34 down in 21st so he was not chased down.

But, Roglič tried again, he flew across to Vlasov, went straight past the Russian as they went under the flamme rouge.

Carapaz made it back to Roglič as everyone else was distanced. Carapaz tried to go over the top but Roglič hit straight back and the runner up in the 2020 Tour de France finally gapped the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner.

Roglič took the stage by 13 seconds over Carapaz and 19 seconds over Martin, moving the Slovenian back up to second overall, trailing Carapaz by, funnily enough, 13 seconds.

Stage nine will give the GC favourites a chance to relax as the sprinters get a chance to come out and play for the second time at the race.

Results

Vuelta a España 2020, stage eight: Logroño to Alto de Moncalvillo (164km)

1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, in 4-07-08
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 13 seconds
3. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 19s
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team, at 25s
5. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling, at 33s
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren, at 35s
7. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 54s
8. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma, at same time
9. Esteban Cháves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott, at 1-33
10. Clément Champoussin (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1-37.

General classification after stage eight

1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, in 32-31-06
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 13 seconds
3. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation, at 28s
4. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling, at 44s
5. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, 1-54
6. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 3-28
7. Esteban Cháves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott, at same time
8. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team, at 3-35
9. Marc Soler (Esp) Movistar Team, at 3-40
10. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain McLaren, at 3-47.