Van Genechten outsprints Bennati and Valverde to win stage 7 at the Vuelta
Jonas Van Genechten (IAM) won stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana after another intense day of racing and a hectic chase in the final of the stage.
Van Genecten has always been a bit of a specialist in uphill sprints and so he had eyed today’s hilly stage which ended with a 525m climb of 5.5%. He dug deep to make the selection when Astana whittled down the field in the grueling terrain and then powered to a comfortable victory that will go a long way in helping him to secure a new contract.
However, the sprint was far from guaranteed as Luis Leon Sanchez and Simon Clarke made a brave bid for the win and they were only swallowed up with 200m to go. At the same time, a big crash created chaos in the finale where Alberto Contador touched wheels with Tosh van der Sande and rolled across the line with a bloodied shoulder, again suffering bad luck in a grand tour.
Darwin Atapuma finished safely but with Valverde’s third place, he saw his advantage getting reduced to 24 seconds. He faces his first really big test as race leader tomorrow on stage 8 which has one of the hardest summit finishes of the race. The entire stage is completely flat until the riders hit the Alto de la Camperona which averages 7.4% over 8.5km. However, the numbers are deceptive as the gradient barely drops below 20% in the brutally steep final 3000m and so a big battle between the overall contenders is expected.
Vuelta a Espana 2016 – stage 7 results (Maceda – Puebla de Sanabria):
|1||Jonas Van Genechten (IAM)||
|2||Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff)||,,|
|3||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)||,,|
|4||Philippe Gilbert (BMC)||,,|
|5||Kevin Reza (FDJ)||,,|
|6||Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R)||,,|
|7||Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step)||,,|
|8||Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data)||,,|
|9||Romain Hardy (Cofidis)||,,|
|10||Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal)||,,|
General classification after stage 7:
|1||Darwin Atapuma (BMC)||
|2||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)||
|3||Christopher Froome (Sky)||
|4||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)||
|5||Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange)||
|6||Samuel Sanchez (BMC)||
|7||Leopold König (Sky)||
|8||Peter Kennaugh (Sky)||
|9||Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step)||
|10||Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)||