JAY VINE IS more than ONE TO WATCH
Jay Vine (Alpecin-Deceuninck) once again put in a remarkable performance at the Vuelta a España to take another victory on a key mountain stage.
The Australian rider proved his climbing talent once again as he swept up maximum mountain points on all of the climbs on the parcours. Vine takes over the lead in the King of the Mountains competition and despite the fog on the Colláu Fancuaya, he finally got a victory salute image on top of the summit finish.
Vine had been in the 10-man breakaway for the entire day and looked completely fearless as the lead group hit the 17% gradients of the final climb. The Aussie climbed out of the saddle with ease to dispatch riders of the calibre of Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates).
With multiple summit finishes still to come at this Vuelta you would be foolish to bet against the Australian adding to his two stage victories in the coming days.
The COLLAU FANCUAYA IS BRUTAL
The final climb of the Colláu Fancuaya was appearing in the Vuelta for the first time this afternoon. It’s safe to say that it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Jay Vine completely destroyed the brutal slopes of the mountain in Asturias and in the fog behind him race leader Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) landed another blow on the morale of his rivals.
The iconic climb of the Angliru is the mountain that everyone talks about in Asturias and rightly so. Its mythical slopes are firmly embedded within cycling folklore. However the Vuelta race organisation will almost certainly look to include the Colláu Fancuaya in future races.
MARC SOLER IS RIDING INTO FORM
The UAE Team Emirates rider was with stage winner Vine in the breakaway for the entirety of the stage.
Soler showed throughout the day that he was one of the strongest riders in the group and whilst he’s not known as a pure climber, he flourished on the final climb.
Soler has looked remarkably impressive so far in this Vuelta and after taking a stage victory earlier in the race is continuing to impress.
With his teammate Juan Ayuso also looking strong and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) also taking a stage victory, Spanish cycling is continuing its Grand Tour resurgence during this race.
After a disappointing Tour de France earlier this summer Soler and his UAE Team Emirates management will be thrilled with his impressive turnaround.
REMCO IS FEARLESS
Race leader Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) is continuing to prove his credentials as the race leader in a Grand Tour.
Evenepoel’s Quick-Step teammates had the peloton firmly under control for the majority of the stage meaning that the Belgian could rest in the main field before reaching the Colláu Fancuaya.
The stage win had slipped from the peloton’s grasp earlier on in the day, although that didn’t stop the 22-year-old from pushing on once the gradients began to bite. Evenepoel looked completely calm as the climbing continued on the steep slopes. The Belgian was able to set his own pace for the majority of the mountain that only Enric Mas (Movistar) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) could match.
With another brutal day of climbing to come it surely must be only a matter of time before Evenepoel records a stage victory in the red jersey at the Spanish Grand Tour.
RICHARD CARAPAZ IS OUT OF CONTENTION
Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) was the biggest loser on stage eight and finished more than five minutes behind the stage winner Jay Vine.
Carapaz is riding his last Grand Tour for Ineos Grenadiers, the Ecuadorian is now well out of contention in the overall standings.
Carlos Rodriguez and Tao Geoghegan Hart are now the two best placed Ineos riders in the race with Rodriguez sitting 1-47 behind the overall lead of Evenepoel. With Evenepoel, Mas and Roglič proving they are the strongest three riders at the race it already looks like a tall order for an Ineos rider to make any indents at the 2022 edition of the Vuelta.
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