Stage eight delivered an exciting day of racing with UAE Team Emirates’ Jan Polanc launching an attack, supported by his teammate Przemyslaw Niemiec, to lead the breakaway of the day for 35 km of the stage alongside 19 other riders.
The breakaway group managed to stay away from the peloton and on the final climb Polanc succeeded in limiting the gap between him and the counter-attackers Alaphilippe and Majka, joining them in the short descent to the arrival.
In the restricted sprint, the Slovenian rider from UAE Team Emirates obtained second and as a result moved up in the GC standings by 14 places to 13th.
The stage victory went to Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) while Chris Froome (Team Sky) retained the overall leader’s Red Jersey and UAE Team Emirates’ Niemic was awarded most aggressive rider.
Saturday’s efforts mark the fourth day in a row for UAE Team Emirates’ in or leading the main breakaway and the second consecutive day a Slovenian rider from the team has made it to the podium.
Commenting on his podium finish, Polanc said: “It was a very hard and warm stage. Today we had some headwind but there was a good group in front and we all worked together to maintain our positon. The last climb was hard and steep so when we reached the bottom I had to do it at my own pace keeping a distance to the guys in front of me but chasing as best I could and coming in second. Towards the end it was impossible to beat Alaphilippe as he is a great sprinter but I am very pleased with second place.”
The 176.3 km route of stage nine is identical to the route of the seventh stage in the 2015 edition of the race. Sunday’s stage, the last before the first rest day, is another summit finish with a much flatter preface than today. Starting in Orihuela the peloton will travel on flat roads from Torrevieja to the finish line in Cumbre del Sol.
Stage eight results
1- Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) – 04:37:55
2- Jan Polanc – UAE Team Emirates – 00:00:02
3- Rafal Majka – Bora-Hansgrohe – “”
1- Chris Froome – Team Sky – 32:26:13
2- Johan Esteban Chaves – ORICA-Scott – 00:00:28
3- Nicolas Roche – BMC Racing Team – 00:00:41
13- Jan Polanc – UAE Team Emirates – 00:02:29
— Matej Mohoric (@matmohoric) August 26, 2017
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