Nacer Bouhanni won stage eight of the Vuelta a Espana in Albacete on Saturday, with Movistar Team's Alejandro Valverde retaining the red leader's jersey. sprinter Bouhanni held off a late burst by Team Giant-Shimano's John Degenkolb and then edged Orica-GreenEdge rider Michael Matthews by a wheel to secure his second stage victory.

Lampre-Merida's Elia Favilli and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA's Javier Aramendia formed a two-man breakaway and were six minutes up at one point before being reeled in with less than 40 kilometres remaining.

The riders split into groups in the final 25km, with Valverde, Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) among the front pack.

More and more riders gradually joined the leaders, leading to a group of around 50 riders in contention in the final straight.

Bouhanni broke first, with around 300 metres left, and ended up pipping Matthews on the line, with Cannondale's Peter Sagan third and Degenkolb fourth.

Valverde remained top of the general classification, 15secs ahead of Movistar team-mate Nairo Quintana and 18secs clear of Contador.

Ireland’s Dan Martin finished 37th and compatriot Philip Deignan was 10 places further back, with both riders awarded the same time as Bouhanni. Martin is 15th in the general classification while Deignan is 66th overall.