No changes in the GC ahead of the race's second summit finish.
Almaden, a former Roman settlement, now a small town whose mercury deposits of account for the largest quantity of liquid mercury metal produced in the world, was where the Vuelta a España peloton fought for victory on stage 8 of the race, which rolled out from Linares, the returned to the race after 25 years.
Italian Champion Elia Viviani – protected by his Quick-Step Floors teammates throughout the day – survived the listering heat and rolling terrain to Almaden and tried to get in the mix, but the 6% gradients featuring in the final kilometers proved too hard for him and other sprinters, instead bringing the puncheurs into contention, whose teams thinned out the peloton before they launched a stinging acceleration 200 meters from the line, where Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) came out on top.
Enric Mas was once again Quick-Step Floors' highest-ranked rider, coming in the same time as the winner and keeping the red bibs rewarding the best young rider of the race, which he will wear on Sunday, when the bunch will take on four classified climbs Puerto del Pico (15.3km, 5.5%), Alto de Gredos (10.1km, 3.7%), Puerto de Peña Negra (13km, 4.5%) and Alto de la Covatilla (9.8km, 7.1%), the latter making its first Vuelta a España appearance in seven years.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images