The Australian Jay Vine won his second Vuelta stage in three days on a gruelling final climb to Colláu Fancuaya, beating Marc Soler, Rein Taaramäe and Thibaut Pinot by more than 40 seconds in a foggy eighth stage in northern Spain.
On Thursday Vine had overcome a flat tyre to take his first win at a Grand Tour race. “It’s incredible,” the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider said. “I’ve just got so much more confidence after that first one. I got that monkey off my back. I just enjoyed today. It was such a fun day.”
The Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who was second to Vine in the sixth stage on Thursday, kept the leader’s red jersey by crossing the line in fifth place. The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider was 1min 20sec behind Vine but came in along with his main challengers in the overall classification – Enric Mas of Movistar and Jumbo-Visma’s three‑time defending champion, Primoz Roglic.
Overall, Evenepoel is 28sec in front of Mas and 61 ahead of Roglic. Rudy Molard started the tough mountain stage 21sec off the lead in second place, but dropped nearly 10 minutes behind. “I took time on a lot of guys except for the two most important ones, Primoz and Enric,” said Evenepoel. “But it was good to see Primoz being really strong today, it’s nice to see him like this. It’s good for the race. I just did my best. My team was superb today, we controlled from the start, and it wasn’t easy.”
Roglic had his preparations affected by a fall at the Tour de France. Riders face another difficult mountain stage in Asturias on Sunday.
“I’m really happy with how I felt today,” Evenepoel said. “I hope I can recover really well because tomorrow I will need super fresh legs again.”