Today's winner Sergey Lagutin really couldn't believe it when he won today - just look...
Villalpando - La Camperona
Vuelta a España - 27 August 2016
Vuelta a España – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 12:08 on 27 August 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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The new top 10 has Quintana in the red jersey by 19 seconds over team-mate Valverde, with Froome in third at 27 seconds.
Katusha really played their cards right there with the old one-two, Restrapo setting up Lagutin for the win.
The remainder of the field arrive in dribs and drabs, with Atapuma well over a minute down. He'll lose the red jersey to his compatriot Quintana today.
Contador has found his legs! As Quintana crosses the line, Contador powers past Froome to steal back some seconds. Froome comes home with Pardilla and Valverde a bit further back, then Chaves a bit later. They all look completely cream crackered.
The gaps won't be huge but they will be telling. Quintana will certainly take over the race lead today. Or will he? Froome is digging deep...
Quintana could be riding into the red jersey today. He's just got the final ramp to the line now and he only has Froome in pursuit. Further back it's Chaves, Contador and Valverde, who have joined forces.
Quintana now rides clear and under the one-to-go banner. Froome follows but from afar, while Contador is now pedalling squares after his crash yesterday.
Back with the favourites it's Froome who attacks and takes Quintana and Contador with him. Valverde has no answer.
Frenchmen Domont and Quemeneur are forced to settle for second and third...
Victory for Sergei Lagutin (Katusha) who shakes his head in disbelief as he crosses the line!
Cattaneo is now fighting back for Lampre. He's passed Serry and has the leaders in his sights as Lagutin dances clear...
Back with the favourites and Valverde and Contador are on the front, with Froome slowly edging his way up. Chaves is still there, as is Quintana.
Serry has run out of gas as Domont and Lagutin join Quemeneur.
Domont, Serry and Lagutin have been caught by Quemeneur. This gradient is comedic. And Quemeneur attacks!
Under the flamme rouge for the three leaders... but back with the main favourites Atapuma has been dropped.
Restrepo has popped and it's now his team-mate Lagutin with Domont and Serry leading the stage.
The pack has been blown apart now on the steep gradient. Valverde is piling on the pressure for Movidtar.
The main pack is on that transitional flat bit ahead of the final ramp. Restrepo has been caught by some of the others...
Restrepo is about to be caught by some of the escapees, who have reeled in Quemeneur. Domont is the man leading the chase for now.
It's Rojas setting the pace for Movistar. Meanwhile, Restrepo has a police escort on this steep segment - making sure the fans keep back. He's walking. That's how slow the Colombian is going.
Now Restrepo hits the steep stuff and comes to a virtual standstill! Meanwhile, seven minutes and 2km behind, the pack is now being led by Movistar - paving the way for Quintana and Valverde. Team Sky have edged forward too for Froome.
Quemeneur has attacked from the break in pursuit of Restrepo. Can he get France's third and his Direct Energie team's second win of the race?
Restrepo is pulling out a nice advantage over his fellow escapees but the gradient is about to hit double figures now... This is what he has in store...
The break has reassembled save for Restrepo, who continues his slog alone but looks to be out of puff. He's another Colombian looking to shine on this Vuelta - and he's about to find out what a huge test this climb really is...
Here's a profile of the climb, which shows just how badly it ramps up towards the finish. The gap back to the peloton is 8:20 now as BMC and Tinkoff up the tempo on the front.
Restrepo and Smukulis have caught Zaeytens - and then Restrepo carries on his momentum and rides clear of the others. A statement of intent - although this climb has yet to really ramp up. These gentle slopes are a mere amuse bouche to what's to come.
Two riders have jumped clear in pursuit from the break. They're onto the final climb of La Camperona (8.5km at 7.4%). It's Smukulis and one of the Katusha riders - Restrepo.
With the final climb looming, Giant-Alpecin's Zico Waeytens is the first of the escapees to try his luck and zips clear of his colleagues. A bold move, given what's coming...
There's been A LOT of nothing today but hopefully it will get spicy soon. It's the familiar sight of BMC leading the peloton with Movistar tucked in behind. Then there's Sky, followed by the rest. The gap is down to 9:40 and the climb is 10km away. So now's the time to make that cup of tea or do an Atapuma and answer a call of nature.
A reminder of the 11 leaders: Gatis Smukulis (Astana), Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin), Axel Domont (Ag2R-La Mondial), Sergey Lagutin and Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha), Pieter Serry (Etixx-QuickStep), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Loïc Chetout (Cofidis), Scott Thwaites (Bora-Argon18) and Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie).
The pace was high in the third hour today: 45.6 km/h. Many riders are really going to feel it on that final climb, which is imminent. The break is still hovering over the 10-minute mark. The calm before the storm.
A quick sneak preview of today's final climb in all its narrow, twisting and steep glory. Not long to go now...
BMC still lead the pack despite their leader riding in a small group off the pack of the peloton following his nature break. The gap for the 11 leaders is 11:30. Of the leaders perhaps Pieter Serry and Axel Domont are the best climbers, but don't rule out Lagutin, Quemeneur or Smukulis.
The gap has broken the 10-minute mark for the first time as Darwin Atapuma drops off the back for a call of nature, lightening the load before the final climb so to speak.
The best placed rider in the break is Axel Domont of Ag2R-La Mondiale, who is a huge 23:28 down on Atapuma - which could explain the lack of urgency on behalf of the Colombian and his BMC team-mates. None of these 11 escapees have won a Grand Tour stage win before so perhaps that's a stat that will change today...
BMC are back on the front after taking some time out during the post-lunch stupor, which saw the break's lead balloon to 9:40. At this rate we'll have two races - one for the stage and one for GC - but there's still a fair bit to go and the pace will no doubt increase as the main teams jostle for position ahead of the climb.
Talking about Chaves, the Colombian has certain fared well so far since finishing runner-up in the Giro earlier in May. Sure, he hasn't repeated his performances from last year's Vuelta, where he won two stages in the opening week, but he's been solid and consistent - and should come into his own in the mountains. "It's always difficult to say because it's a different race, a different country but I think that normally I'm in a better shape than I was in the Giro. My style is not the same as Froome's or Contador's. I'm going to try to stay with the best every day in the three important days to come but I think the Vuelta will probably be decided in the longer, harder climbs in the Pyrenees."
There are three Colombians in the top five with both Nairo Quintana and Esteban Chaves 38 seconds down in fourth and fifth place. Chris Froome, who is third behind Atapuma and Valverde, is most impressed with the Orica-BikeExchange rider: "Today I'm going to ride the last climb the way I always do, holding back a little bit at first before trying to accelerate in the finale," he said this morning, adding: "The most impressive rider in the Vuelta so far for me is probably Esteban Chaves."
One rider who did not take to the start today was Rein Taaramae of Katusha, who withdrew from the race yesterday after a collision with the Cofidis team car. The Estonian was off the back of the peloton and trying to fight back on when the incident occurred - and while he was largely ok, albeit rather shook up, his bike was a complete write-off...
The riders roll through the feed zone with the 11 leaders holding an advantage of 8:12 over the pack, which is being controlled by two BMC team-mates of race leader Darwin Atapuma of Colombia.
Contador this morning: "The day after a crash, you never know and I'm going to have to wait a few kilometres to know. The wind is supposed to be tailwind and crosswind and I must be careful, that's why I trained on the rolls before the start. Since 80% of crashes take place in the last 3km it would be good for the UCI to think about neutralizing the times in the last 3km."
Stage 14 of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana finished on the same climb of La Camperona and the stage was won by Canada's Ryder Hesjedal, who won from a break to come home 10 seconds clear of Oliver Zaugg of Switzerland. Movistar's Imanol Erviti, who is racing this year, was third, while Louis Meintjes was fifth - so watch out the them today. The best of the GC riders that day was Chris Froome, who finished 10th, while Alberto Contador finished safely to extend his lead in the overall standings over Alejandro Valverde.
Alberto Contador was in the wars yesterday crashing in the finale after the domino effect of one rider hitting another and then another coming out of a tight left-hand bend in the final kilometre. The Spaniard took to social media to voice his anger and stress his support of the notion that times should be taken at 3km to encourage the GC riders to drop back and let the sprinters do their stuff in peace. It's a controversial idea with many pitfalls and flaws - most notably encapsulated in the fact that Alejandro Valverde, a GC rider who can also win sprints, finished third yesterday and took bonus seconds... Contador nevertheless took to the start today, heavily bandaged, but it remains to be seen how he copes today.
While sunny and hot, it's quite windy out there today which could be a factor in the long run into the decisive climb. The average speed for the first hour today was 45.8kmph. These 11 riders managed to break clear of the pack after 9km of racing today after an active start by Astana - mirroring their tactics yesterday.
The 11 leaders are Gatis Smukulis (Astana), Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin), Axel Domont (Ag2R-La Mondial), Sergey Lagutin and Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha), Pieter Serry (Etixx-QuickStep), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Loïc Chetout (Cofidis), Scott Thwaites (Bora-Argon18) and Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie).
We join today's key stage with 100km remaining and there's a group of 11 riders some seven minutes up the road...
Yesterday, Alejandro Valverde stole a few seconds on his GC rivals as Belgium's Jonas Van Genechten avoided sprawling Spaniard Alberto Contador in a chaotic final kilometre to win stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana ahead of veterans Daniele Bennati and Valverde. Tinkoff team leader Contador – one of the pre-race favourites – touched wheels with another rider on a tight bend near the finish to fall heavily on his left shoulder and cause a mini pile-up behind...
Hola and welcome to live coverage of stage 8 of the Vuelta a Espana - and a first major summit finish. It's a largely flat 181.5km stage from Villalpando which springs into life with the Cat.1 climb of La Camperona at the finish, a savage climb which peaks out at 28.3% and should rip through the pack like a warm knife through butter.