Leaving Puebla de Don Fadrique – a small village in the north-east of Andalusia – riders head to the Region of Murcia. A relaxing day should be ahead as the start is at an elevation of 1,240 metres altitude, while the finish is at 45 metres. The greatest enemy will be the heat. In the barren plains of Murcia the mercury can easily reach 40 degrees Celsius in August.
With 139 kilometres done, the riders pass through the city of Murcia for the first time. A bit later the first climb up Alto de la Cresta del Gallo welcomes them. After a 5.5 kilometres slog at 6.3% follows a technical descent.
Alto de la Cresta del Gallo is on the menu the menu twice. As it is then crested with 17 kilometres left, the second ascent could inspire adventurous minds to escape the sprinters filled pack. During the technical descent they can extend their lead and try to hold off the pack in the plains leading to Murcia.
Murcia hosted the Vuelta in 2010 and Thor Hushovd cherishes fond memories of that day. The strong Norwegian bested Daniele Benatti and Grega Bole with a powerful sprint.
Alejandro Valverde wishes to be on the podium today. The Vuelta-winner of 2009 lives in Murcia.
Results/race report stage 8, Vuelta 2015.
Vuelta 2015 stage 8: Route maps, height profile, and more
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