Nikias Arndt Sprints to Victory in the Torrential Rain on Stage 8
Also in the breakaway was Nicolas Edet from Cofidis who took over the race lead
Team Sunweb's Nikias Arndt sprinted to victory on the eighth stage of the Vuelta a España from the breakaway that built up a huge lead. Cofidis' Nicolas Edet took the leader's Red Jersey, after finishing in the breakaway and commands a lead of over 2 minutes. The eighth stage of the race took the riders through a 166.9-kilometre course between the Spanish cities of Valls and Igualada.
The stage was ripe for a breakaway and a large group of 21 riders got away including; Jorge Arcas (Movistar Team), Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Luis León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Jonas Koch (CCC Team), Zdenek Štybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Carl Fredrik Hagen and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Nic Dlamini (Dimension Data), David de la Cruz (Team Ineos), Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha Alpecin), Nikias Arndt and Martijn Tusveld (Team Sunweb), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Alex Aranburu and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jesús Herrada and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Fernando Barceló (Euskadi-Murias).
Luis León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) and Zdenek Štybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step) were notable favorites in the break as it built up a lead of nearly six minutes. With around 40 kms to go, the breakaway reached the final climb of the The Puerto de Monserrat, just as heavy rain fell, which made things much more dangerous. On the the climb, Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) made a move and was followed by Fernando Barceló (Euskadi Murias), but Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) managed to bring the chasers back.
On the descent, Ruben Guerreiro, Tusveld and Barcelo launched a new attack and were later joined by Aranburu. With around three kilometres to go and as the rest of the breakaway caught up, Tusveld crashed on a roundabout which saw Stybar and then Ludvigsson attack. In the final sprint,Nikias Arndt was fastest ahead of Aranburu and van der Sande who took second and third place.
Edet crossed the finish line in the eleventh position in the breakaway, which was enough for him to take over the race lead with 2m 21s lead ahead of Dylan Teuns and Miguel Angel Lopez .
Tomorrow's Stage 9 is one not to miss as the race enters Andorra, for a short but steep stage with around 3,500 metres of climbing! It features the climb up the Coll de Ordino and the Coll de la Gallina, with a new 4 km flat gravel track to the final climb to Cortals d’Encamp. It will be one of the crucial stages for deciding the overall GC.
VIDEO: 2019 La Vuelta Stage 8 Highlights
2019 La Vuelta Stage 8 Top 10
1 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 3:50:48
2 Alexander Aranburu (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3 Tosh van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team
6 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
7 Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
9 Fernando Barcelo (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
10 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) UAE Team Emirates
2019 La Vuelta GC after Stage 8
1 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis 8:16:24
2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:21
3 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:03:01
4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:03:07
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 0:03:17
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 0:03:28
7 Carl Frederik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal 0:03:45
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:04:59
9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:37
10 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 0:05:53