For Primoz Roglic, his second stage victory in the Vuelta a España is of greater value than catching up with classification leader Richard Carapaz.
The leader of Jumbo-Visma won the eighth stage on a tough final climb on Wednesday and thus took time back on the Ecuadorian.
"It was very tough in the end, but luckily I still had the legs to give some extra," Roglic said after the ride to the Alto de Moncalvillo.
"It is nice to take some time back, but I am especially happy with the stage victory."
The thirty-year-old Slovenian jumped away from Carapaz in the final kilometer and thus decided a brilliant fight with the leader of INEOS Grenadiers in his favor.
He was thirteen seconds ahead of his competitor.
"I rode the final climb for the first time in my life and that's why I attacked by feeling," he said.
"It was difficult, but I saw a small chance to win and I took it."
Primoz Roglic soloed to the win at the Alto de Moncalvillo. (Photo: ANP)
Primoz Roglic soloed to the win at the Alto de Moncalvillo.
'The weekend will be super tough'
In the general classification, Roglic, who lost the leader's jersey last Sunday due to a struggle with his rain jacket, climbed to second place.
He is now thirteen seconds behind Carapaz.
"On Sunday we made a mistake and I had to waste too much energy to fight back", the defending champion acknowledged.
"The weekend will be very tough, but there will be a number of other stages first and I look at it from day to day."
After two less demanding stages, two very tough mountain stages follow in the penultimate weekend.
On Saturday the finish is on the Alto de Farrapona, a climb of the first category, and a day later the finish is on the infamous and very tough Alto de l'Angliru.
See also: View the rankings of the Vuelta with Poels in 10th place