Oliveira makes big sacrifices into breakaway, finishes 5th atop hellish Xorret de Catí to come just six seconds short to overall top-ten; Movistar continues to lead team GC after fourth consecutive day in the escape
Not a single day without fighting. The Movistar Team got into the winning break at the Vuelta a España for a fourth consecutive day thanks to Nelson Oliveira, who is offering many evidences about why he's considered as one of the most consistent riders into Eusebio Unzué's ranks. At a tremendously fast stage eight -43kph average, 30 minutes ahead of schedule at the end of the 199km route from Hellín to Xorret de Catí (Cat-1)-, the Portuguese rider was very active into a 21-rider breakaway that stayed until shortly before the five-kilometer ascent from Castalla.
At the slopes of the Xorret, Alaphilippe (QST) and Majka (BOH) put an early gap on the rest of the lead group, while Oliveira, loyal to his regular pace and style on the bike, continued to overtake riders and reached the top with Pauwels (DDD), just behind third-placed Polanc (UAD), who ended up catching the lead duo at the downhill. Nelson claimed 5th place at the finish, 28" behind Alaphilippe and a minute ahead of the favourites' group, led home by Froome (SKY) and Contador (TFS). One who tried to notably feature inside that group was Marc Soler, who attacked with 3km from the top and ultimately finished 1'20" behind the top GC contenders.
Oliveira has taken a remarkable step forward on the standings (11th), now sitting 2'03" behind Froome (SKY) and just six seconds after the 10th spot. The Movistar riders in turn continue to lead the team GC, before the long first week in the Vuelta ends on Sunday with a 174km journey from Orihuela to the Category-1 Cumbre del Sol climb en Benitatxell (two passages).