Vuelta a Espana: Alejandro Valverde wins stage eight as Rudy Molard stays in red

Peter Sagan and Alejandro Valverde
38-year-old Alejandro Valverde (right) claimed his second victory of this year's Vuelta a Espana

Alejandro Valverde won stage eight of the Vuelta a Espana as France's Rudy Molard remained the overall leader.

Slovakia's three-time world champion Peter Sagan launched his sprint on the uphill finish with 150 metres to go but was caught by the 38-year-old Spaniard just before the line.

Dutchman Danny van Poppel finished third on the 195km stage to Almaden.

Great Britain's Simon Yates came home seventh on Saturday and remains fourth overall.

Sunday's mountainous 200km stage is likely to have a significant effect on the GC race, with the day ending at 1,965m in the ski resort of La Covatilla in western Spain.

Stage eight result

1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) 4hrs 35mins 54secs

2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe) Same time

3. Danny van Poppel (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo)

4. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida)

5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Trek-Segafredo)

6. Jesus Herrada (Spa/Cofidis, Solutions Credits)

7. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott)

8. Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel/Lotto Soudal)

9. Ivan Garcia (Spa/Bahrain-Merida)

10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo)

General classification

1. Rudy Molard (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) 31hrs 20mins 34secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +37secs

3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +48secs

4. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +51secs

5. Tony Gallopin (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) +59secs

6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) +1min 06secs

7. Ion Izagirre (Spa/Bahrain-Merida) +1min 11secs

8. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +1min 14secs

9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL-Jumbo) +1min 18secs

10. Enric Mas (Spa/Quick-Step Floors) +1min 23secs