Vuelta a España 2019 stage 8: Valls - Igualada > 166.9 km

Nah, dont think this is Valverde territory. He has seemed rather slow on flat roads recently.

I hope the peloton will keep it close and its not just a break day, could be a very interesting last 40 km.
Yeah. But they have to race the climb hard for such a scenario. Could be fun to see one of these odd 40-50-man sprints with no real sprinters.

I would like to see if Gilbert still has what it takes to win a semi-bunch sprint.
 
We could see the red jersey change hands again (and back to one of the usual suspects after tomorrow's stage).

Looks like a 4-man race, might as well roll a 4-sided die to pick the winner.
 
You could do stages like that with quite a lot of climbs, maybe not so difficult as Monte Grappa but still. All along the coast and then up and down Haza del Lino to finish in Motril? Flat stage around central Andalucía ending with a climb to Pradollano via Hazallanas and Collado de las Sabinas before descending to Granada? Perhaps something in western Catalunya ending with the Coll d'Ares and a descent finish like my Race Design Thread stage to Monestir de las Avellanes? Crossing the border into Portugal to do a stage over Torre from Covilhã and descending to finish in Seia or Gouveia? The issue is simply that this is a fairly common Vuelta format in the last ten years - El Vivero, Desierto de las Palmas, Torcal de Antequera, Rat Penat, la Quesera, Cresta del Gallo (and Monte Castrove in 2014 was similar and could be used in the same format) - however the final climb here is neither as steep or as inconsistent as Vivero or Rat Penat, nor as long as Torcal de Antequera or El León, so is likely to be less selective.
 
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There was a hard stage yesterday with only 35 men in the front group after the cat2 climb and a fast climb to Mas de la Costa. And there is hard stage tomorrow. The GC men are going to smoke it. If today's climb was harder, they would have smoked yesterday's stage as well as we've seen in recent years every time there were two or three hard mountain stages in a row.
 
There was a hard stage yesterday with only 35 men in the front group after the cat2 climb and a fast climb to Mas de la Costa. And there is hard stage tomorrow. The GC men are going to smoke it. If today's climb was harder, they would have smoked yesterday's stage as well as we've seen in recent years every time there were two or three hard mountain stages in a row.
It's about managing domestique energy much, cause if it's hard enough for leaders to make a difference it's hard for everyone. Yesterday would never smoke out simply because the final climb was too hard for domestiques to have any use anyway and you'd always have the crazy race to the bottom.

If the climb was really big today you might see the break get a lot of time, a lot of domestiques check out early while GC guys still attack each other.
 
It's about managing domestique energy much, cause if it's hard enough for leaders to make a difference it's hard for everyone. Yesterday would never smoke out simply because the final climb was too hard for domestiques to have any use anyway and you'd always have the crazy race to the bottom.

If the climb was really big today you might see the break get a lot of time, a lot of domestiques check out early while GC guys still attack each other.
Maybe. Or maybe we would see today something like Montoso without Landa. One thing I appreciate in this year's route is that they've avoided stacking hard mountain stages. The only exception is the two Asturian stages and that is a step down from the usual three in a row. I guess they've been fed up of the "too much waiting because tomorrow is also hard" attitude.
 
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De Gendt didn't catch the break though:

Break: Jorge Arcas (Movistar Team), Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Luis León Sánchez (Astana Pro Team), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Jonas Koch (CCC Team), Zdeněk Štybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Carl Fredrik Hagen and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Nic Dlamini (Dimension Data), David de la Cruz (Team Ineos), Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha Alpecin), Nikias Arndt and Martijn Tusveld (Team Sunweb), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Alex Aranburu and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jesús Herrada and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Fernando Barceló (Euskadi-Murias)
Peloton: at 4:00
 
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Still in the balance with Astana holding the gap at 4:20ish. Nobody in the break from Bora or MS, so it’s conceivable that they get help. As against that, the more durable sprinters teams are in a bit of a bind - if they put a stage win on the table, the peloton is more likely to drop their guys on the climb anyway.
 
First 90km swallowed with average speeed of 45km/h. Good.
Should be close between breakaway elite and the leaders group. Will see.
 
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