International Sport > Cycling > VALVERDE CUTS MOLARD'S VUELTA LEAD AS PSG BEAT NIMES

VALVERDE CUTS MOLARD'S VUELTA LEAD AS PSG BEAT NIMES

Alejandro Valverde put himself firmly in contention for the Vuelta a Espana title with a well-paced final kilometre that saw him edge out Peter Sagan on stage eight.

Valverde claimed his second stage of the 2018 Vuelta with a sprint finish in Almaden, the Spaniard using Sagan's wheel before making his dash for the line.

Sagan looked to have done enough after excellent work from his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates on the 195km route from Linares, but the world champion was pipped in the closing seconds.

Valverde came around the Slovakian – who overcame an earlier mechanical - to take the win, while also reducing his deficit to general classification leader Rudy Molard thanks to the 10 bonus seconds that come with the victory.

It was another day where the peloton sat and watched a small breakaway do most of the work, Tiago Machado, Jorge Cubero and Hector Saez enjoying a 12-minute advantage at the top of the stage's only categorised climb.

However, the trio were reeled in with 14km to go and the jostling for position began with Bora-Hansgrohe and Movistar at the forefront for Sagan and Valverde.

And their work paid off as Valverde – wearing the green sprinter's jersey – found an opening to deny Sagan and Danny Van Poppel.

BENOOT BATTLES ON

Tiesj Benoot caught the eye with a gruesome Twitter post on Friday after a horrible crash on stage seven, and amazingly the Lotto-Soudal rider was back in action on stage eight.

Benoot somehow managed to navigate the entire route and will hope he can get through one more day before the rest day on Monday.

"Actually, I had a good night, so we will see on the bike how it will go," he said.

"You have to check every day how the wound is evolving because, on the bike, there's a lot of movement in the knee.

"I hope I can heal so I can finish La Vuelta. I just hope I don’t suffer too much."

STAGE RESULT

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 4:35.54
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
3. Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo)
4. Jon Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida)
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)

CLASSIFICATIONS

General Classification

1. Rudy Molard (FDJ) 31:20.34
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0.37s
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0.48s

Points Classification

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 76 points
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 63 points
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 50 points

King of the Mountains

1. Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) 42 points
2. Pierre Rolland (EF Education First – Drapac) 20 points
3. Benjamin King (Dimension Data) 12 points

UP NEXT

Another lengthy day awaits on Sunday as the race heads back to the mountains and a return to La Covatilla – where Dan Martin claimed a stage win in 2011.

Stage nine is the last before a rest day and the organisers have packed the 200km with four climbs, including a summit finish, that could see the general classification contenders come to the fore.

Copyright: www.scoresway.com
 
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