Photo credits: Unipublic / Photogomez Sport

Three days after he lost La Roja to Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) showed on Wednesday he definitely has the legs to fight for the overall victory in La Vuelta 2020. The defending champion made the most of the steep slopes up the Alto de Moncalvillo to claim a spectacular solo victory on stage 8. Richard Carapaz finished second (+13’’). He still leads the overall classification… But Roglic only trails by 13’’ after his demonstration of power.

The peloton roll out of Logroño without Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) and Michal Golas (Ineos Grenadiers) but with many motivated attackers. Callum Scotson (Mitchelton Scott) and Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) are the first riders to open a gap but the peloton gets back to them at km 9.

Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott), Stan Dewulf (Lotto Soudal), Benjamin Dyball (NTT Pro Cycling), Julien Simon (Total Direct Energie) and Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) eventually manage to get away after 20km of hard battle. At km 27, the gap is up to 3’20’’ and Ineos Grenadiers get to the front of the bunch to control the race for Richard Carapaz.

Movistar put the hammer down
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA’s Jhojan Garcia and Hector Saez attack from the bunch inside the last 70km, to try and bridge the gap to the leaders while the peloton trail by 5’. Movistar up the ante on the first climb of the day, Puerto de la Rasa (9.8km at 5.3%), and the chasers are quickly caught. Rémi Cavagna leads the way to the summit but the gap gets down to 2’30’’ (50km to go).

Movistar maintain pressure on the downhill and the peloton split in three groups 38km away from the finish. The gap to the front group is down to 40’’ when Angel Madrazo is dropped by his companions, with 27km to go. Stan Dewulf and Benjamin Dyball are the last attackers to be caught on the first slopes up the Alto de Moncalvillo (8.3km with an average gradient of 9.2%).

Carapaz tries, Roglic dominates
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) shakes the group with 6km to go. Then stage 7’s winner Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) sets the stage for an attack from Hugh Carthy with 3.5km to go. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) follows and Richard Carapaz responds with a strong move on the steepest ramps, with 2.5km to go.

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is the quickest rider to react. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) also bridge the gap. The Russian even tries to counter-attack but nobody can contain Primoz Roglic’s powerful attack under the flamme rouge.