Yates safely navigates dangerous final on stage 7 of La Vuelta

Fri 31 Aug 2018

Three-time Giro d’Italia stage winner Simon Yates has safely navigated a fast and furious finale to stage seven of the Vuelta a Espana, finishing with the group of overall favourites just behind winner Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale).

Yates, who was guided through the closing rough and narrow roads by Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Jack Haig, remains fourth overall, 51seconds down on race leader Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ). 

A tight leash:
It was clear from their moment of escape that the seven-man breakaway would be controlled for the whole day. 

At a maximum, they managed a three-and-a-half-minute advantage but for most the 185km stage they hovered at around two-minutes from the bunch.

It was Bora-Hansgrohe who shouldered a lot of the work with current race leader’s Groupama-FDJ before the last remaining survivor, Michael Woods (Education First – Drapac), was reeled in with 12km remaining.

Frantic final:
Narrow roads and poor surfaces made for a sketchy final and as team battled to keep their leaders at the front of the race, a number of riders crashed, including Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Damien Howson

Gallopin launched his move first, whilst Movistar Team’s Nairo Quintana tried a move of his own in the closing kilometres  but was closely guarded by the group of favourites.

Gallopin held on for the stage victory by five seconds from Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) who headed up the reduced front bunch of 28 riders.

Simon Yates:
“It was a bit nervous at points with guys going up the road but Jack was there, he did a phenomenal job to place me in a good position and also to shut down dangerous moves down so I could just cruise to the line. 

“It was a bit of a sketchy final, we came off a big road and onto a small road and the climb and the descent was on some terrible road surfaces. It was pretty dangerous from then onwards, and the finish was slightly uphill but it was all OK.”

La Vuelta – Stage 7 Results:
1. Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) 4:18:20
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:05
3. Alejandro Valverde (Moveistar Team) +0:05
23. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:05

La Vuelta – General Classification after Stage 7:
1. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) 26:44:40
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +0:47
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:48
4. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:51

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.