Colombian rider Nairo Quintana has climbed to the top of the leaderboard after a thrilling high-altitude day of racing at La Vuelta in Spain. Fellow Colombian Esteban Chaves of Orcia-Bike Exchange stepped up to 4th overall after crossing the line alongside teammate Simon Yates who is 10th on general classification.
With some sections of the climbs on the arduous 177km stage reaching 25%, Alberto Contador put in a stellar performance to claw back time lost earlier in the event. Heavily bandaged and taped due to yesterday’s crash, ‘El Pistolero’ proved he’s not giving up anytime soon and is now 7th overall.
“The aim was to get through the stage, yesterday I wasn’t even sure I could continue, I thought it could be all over,” Contador said after the steep final climb.
“When I got to the hotel I could barely walk.But when I started today I got a lot of support from a lot of people, sending me messages and cheering me on and that boosted me a bit. I have my saying, too, querer es poder – where there’s a will there’s a way – and today was definitely the day to apply it.”
La Vuelta Stage 8 Video Summary –
But Stage 8 of the Vuelta a Espana was one that offered heart and hope to the older guys with 35-year-old Russian rider, Sergey Lagutin of team Katusha, making a stunning move from the breakaway to take the win.
The first Grand Tour stage win of Lagutin’s career, he said it was an absolute dream come true.
“I was dreaming about this since I was little, about winning a stage in a Grand Tour like the Vuelta,” he said.
Now it has happened and I still can’t believe it has happened to me. I’m 35 years old and in some ways, I was thinking this was probably it, but I hope this makes things start all over for me.”
La Vuelta Stage 8 onboard camera action –
La Vuelta continues tonight with the 164.5km Stage 9 that includes four climbs – three 3rd category and one 2nd category.