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"Chaves is the strongest at the moment but tomorrow's stage will hopefully begin to make a difference and put things into place."

Photo: Sirotti

ALBERTO LOSADA

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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29.08.2015 @ 23:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Saturday’s stage 8 began the second week of racing in the final grand tour of the 2015 cycling season and Team Katusha’s Alberto Losada was eager to make the most of his good form on the way into Murcia. Part of an attack that began near the summit of the last climb of the day, Losada was attentive to the action on the road and eager to be in the right place at the right time - not just once, but time and time again on the 182,5 km stage that began in Puebla de Don Fadrique.

 

"I felt that I had to try something today and I was not the only one. Many riders tried today as Team Sky tried to control, but their pace was not extremely high so this gave us opportunities. I wanted to be in the front, also in case “Purito” would have attacked I would be in good position and would be there to help him. I had good legs and the finale of the stage suited me. When the group came back to us, “Purito” told me I could give it another try, so I did, but we never got much freedom, mostly because of the headwind. In general I’m happy – my legs have felt good all week," said team rider Alberto Losada.

 

Losada’s group was finally brought back once and for all at just under 4 km to go, setting up a sprint finish won by Trek Factory Racing’s Jasper Stuyven. Sprinting in for second and third were Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural) and Kevin Reza of FDJ.

 

Several crashes on course took out strong men for the general classification, including Cannondale-Garmin’s Dan Martin who left the race in third place.

 

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) retained the race lead by 10-seconds to Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Alpecin) and 36-seconds to Nicolas Roche of Team Sky. Team Katusha riders Joaquim Rodriguez and Daniel Moreno now hold fifth and 8th places respectively.

 

"Today's stage was made very hard," Rodriguez said. "Apart from the heat, the climb to the Cresta del Gallo was very fast, especially due to the nervousness. I had a good day. I'm happy because the strong men are almost all in the same time.

 

"Chaves is the strongest at the moment but tomorrow's stage will hopefully begin to make a difference and put things into place."

 

Stage 9 on Sunday begins in Torrevieja and ends Cumbre del Sol. Benitachell at 168,3 km. It’s an uphill finish on a category 1 climb, and a perfect day for GC contenders to make something happen.

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