Vuelta 2023 Favourites stage 8: For punchy descenders

Egan Bernal - Vuelta 2023 Favourites stage 8: For punchy descendersimage: Cor VosIt's back to the climbers on La Vuelta's eighth day of action. After a race with five climbs - the last of which excessively steep -, the finish is situated at the end of a short downhill. (Slideshow route/profile)

The descent to the line it not overly technical, but it is steep. Julian Alaphilippe dropped his fellow-attackers Rafal Maja and Jan Polanc in 2017 in the last part, just before the route evens out in the final kilometre, to solo to victory.

The 8th stage includes an elevation gain of over 3,600 metres. The first 20 kilometres are flat and then it comes; the riders tackle the Alto de Vall d’Ebo (7.9 kilometres at 5.7%), Puerto de Tollos (4.2 kilometres at 5.6%), Puerto de Benifallim (9.5 kilometres at 4.9% ) and Puerto de Carrasqueta (9.5 kilometres at 4.9%) within 80 kilometres. On rolling roads the route continues to the big blast of the day, Xorret de Catí, which is nothing short of a wall.

The Xorret de Catí is just 3.9 kilometres long and averaging 11.4%, although the riders also face stretches of tarmac that point heavenward with over 20%. It’s a little over 3 kilometres from the top to the finish. The section after the flamme rouge runs ever so slighly uphill, which could be important when it comes to a sprint of a small group.

We expect the GC men to refray from going for the stage win, which would open up the way for a successful attack.

Favourites 8th stage 2023 Vuelta a España

*** Wout Poels, Romain Bardet, Egan Bernal, Einer Rubio
** Jesús Herrada, Santiago Buitrago, Steff Crass, Lennert Van Eetvelt
* Juan Pedro López, Romain Grégoire, Andreas Kron, Kenny Elissonde, Sylvain Moniquet

Another interesting read: route 8th stage 2023 Vuelta.

Vuelta a España 2023 stage 8: profiles & finish route

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