A rain-soaked course was the last thing on the mind of KATUSHA ALPECIN’S Ruben Guerreiro as he gave his all in hopes of claiming a victory in Saturday’s stage 8 of the 74th La Vuelta Ciclista a España. Guerreiro fell short, taking fourth behind stage winner Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb), but vows to keep fighting for the win.
Guerreiro: “I was so close! I really wanted to give a victory to this team. We work so hard and I think today was a big opportunity for us. It makes me so disappointed. Fourth place is OK but we had in mind to win. I was close, but still there were faster guys.” Guerreiro’s efforts came from a successful large breakaway that managed to go clear midway through the race, finally being reduced on the climb in the last 30km. Ruben’s objective was clear to him: secure a victory.
Guerreiro: “I tried to attack so many times and I feel I raced a smart race. At 400m to go I had the gap, but the Caja Rural guy came up close to me and then I stopped. But we will try again. The rain was a factor for many today and there were crashes. Luckily, we have good tires (Continental) and were able to stay upright. In truth I was not thinking about the rain or the crashes. I was focused on the finish line. Next time I am going to attack again and try to win the stage.”
Taking second-place behind Arndt was Alex Aranburu of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) took third in front of Guerreiro, all on the same time of 3:50:48 (43.39km/h) for the 166.9k stage from Valls to Igualada. The red jersey changed to the back of Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) who now leads by 2:21 to Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Merida) and 3:01 to Astana’s Miguel Ángel López.
The racing continues on Sunday with stage nine as the peloton heads to Andorra. At 94.4km the stage begins in Andorra la Vella and ends in Cortals d’Encamp.