Vuelta – Stage 7


Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) soloed out of a breakaway after a crash to win stage 7 of the Tour of Spain, Froome crashes but comes back to take time on Valverde

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Vuelta – Stage 7

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Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) soloed out of a breakaway to win the 169-kilometre stage, 94 seconds ahead of breakaway companions Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Hubert Dupont (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Johann Tschopp (IAM Cycling).  “This is the best moment of my career,” the Cannondale rider said. “It is great to be in a break with such strong riders and this was a fantastic result.”

Stage 7 De Marchi wins


“I was lucky in the final. I had one chance to play in the final and I played it. The start was fast; I knew I had to wait to the climb to make one attack to try. I was lucky to make one attack. I am really happy. I don’t win so much; I have to work for the team. I don’t have a lot of days for me. When I do, I have to play good. The Tour was a hard race, and I tried lots of times, but it’s destiny. Now, in the Vuelta I win; I’m happy. I have to say thanks to the team for my life.”

Leaving the start at Alhendin, the stage appeared finely balanced between the chance of a breakaway win or a sprint finish. The pace was frantic from the off and provided early drama with a number of crashes, including that of Froome and Adam Yates.

Stage 7. A. Yates after crash

Adam Yates gets back ont he black stuff after a crash. Photo:

Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondaile), Johann Tschopp (IAM Cycling), Hesjedal and De Marchi finally forced their way clear and, despite Trek Factory Racing and Lampre-Merida giving chase, the quartet took a comfortable buffer in excess of five minutes into the final circuit. With 14km to go with Dupont, dropped, Hesjedal crashed on a hairpin going uphill after his wheel slipped out and after initially waiting to see if they were coming back, De Marchi put the hammer back down and was never caught.

His former breakaway companions stayed clear of the peloton as well whilst BMC’s Philippe Gilbert finished fifth surging past Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp).

Drama for Froome
As the race approached the third-category Alto de Illora, Froome found himself on the ground but after a bike change and a visit to the medical car, the Kenyan born Sky rider needed to rely on help from his team-mates to bridge back across to the bunch after losing a minute or more.

Finishing the stage with a bandaged right elbow and knee, the Team Sky rider showed there were no ill effects from the crash by accelerating away from his GC rivals to take seventh on the stage, two seconds ahead. Froome now sits just two seconds off third-placed Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and 20 back on race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), despite the scare which saw him temporarily distanced from the peloton amid a frantic start.

Stage 7 Froome


“I’m feeling okay,” Froome confirmed to after the stage, “but you definitely get the feeling that when bad luck comes it comes more than once. But all things considered I’m feeling all right and I think I got off relatively unscathed. It’s good to have another day behind us now”.

“When the crash happened, a Giant-Shimano rider went down in front of me just to my left. I swerved to try and avoid that and went down. Then the guys paced me back. It took us a good 15km before we got back into the peloton. The rest of the guys did a great job looking after me, pacing me back into the race and keeping me in a good position for the rest of the day.”

After a testing day Froome admitted that taking a couple of seconds on the line was a nice bonus. “I’ll definitely take that after a stage like today,” he added. “At the end of the race you might need all the seconds you can to defend your place. I’ll keep chipping away and get closer to the time trial.”

Stage 7. Froom-Team Sky


British neo-pro Adam Yates was also involved in a crash but has been cleared of any injury by his team.

Race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) explained after “These are demanding roads, plus the pace was really fast today. Though it was less hot than the two previous stages, the sun still burnt and made the day considerably hard. Fortunately, we didn’t have any troubles, but we had to stay focused because, as everyone could see, there were many crashes and it was a dangerous one.”

“We were told Froome had crashed – we were going after riders on the attack at the front and we never pushed at 100% nor trying to get him dropped. It was a crash, you have to respect that. The Albacete roads on tomorrow’s stage are always difficult due to the wind, and we will have to keep full attention, though everything is easier while in the lead. It’s a bigger effort, to spend the whole day up-front, but this jersey makes it less hard.”

Stage 7 Valverde


Alberto Contador: “Froome crashed on a seemingly easy stage” explained Contador. “The roads here are very slippery and that means that we take no chances when it comes to staying safe. Nobody was in the front pulling (after Froome crashed). We were all expecting to regroup and have a quiet day. For me, right now, everything is better than I expected, much better, but I’m still cautious, knowing that we’ve only been at it for one week. But maybe the first week was the hardest for me”,

“I decided to take the wheel of Alejandro (in the finale) because I thought Valverde was going to close the gap. Froome had started his sprint, but I saw that Alejandro didn’t go, that surprised me. I’ve crossed the finish line unharmed, there’s a little less heat and now we’ll rest before tomorrow”.

1. De Marchi Alessandro, Cannondale 4:01:52
2. Hesjedal Ryder, Garmin Sharp 1:34
3. Dupont Hubert, AG2R La Mondiale 1:35
4. Tschopp Johann, IAM Cycling
5. Gilbert Philippe, BMC Racing Team 2:17
6. Martin Daniel, Garmin Sharp
7. Froome Christopher, Team Sky 2:18
8. Brambilla Gianluca, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 2:20
9. Valverde Alejandro, Movistar Team
10. Contador Alberto, Tinkoff-Saxo6

12. Quintana Nairo, Movistar Team
14. Rodríguez Joaquim, Team Katusha
95. Kennaugh Peter, Team Sky 7:19
98. Millar David, Garmin Sharp 7:44
99. Boonen Tom, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
111. Yates Adam, Orica GreenEDGE
113. Evans Cadel, BMC Racing Team
167. Craven Dan, Team Europcar
180. Rowe Luke, Team Sky 20.42

1. Valverde Alejandro, Movistar Team 26:52:20
2. Quintana Nairo, Movistar Team 0:15
3. Contador Alberto, Tinkoff-Saxo 0:18
4. Froome Christopher, Team Sky 0:20
5. Chaves Rubio Johan Esteban, Orica GreenEDGE 0:41
6. Rodríguez Joaquim, Team Katusha 0:45
7. Gesink Robert, Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:55
8. Aru Fabio, Astana Pro Team 0:58
9. Barguil Warren, Team Giant-Shimano 1:02
10. Kelderman Wilco, Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 1:06

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