Vuelta a España – Stage 7 Alhendín – Alcaudete

THE 7th stage of La Vuelta turns its back on the sea today and with that, any prospects of cool sea breezes as it heads north today from Alhendin, just south of Granada into the heat of Alcaudete in Jaen.

It’s been a fairly sedate race so far as the big contenders start to shuffle around near the top of the pack. If nobody drops out today it will be the first time since 1996 that the Vuelta has gone a whole week without any riders withdrawing. The ferociously hot August weather has no doubt curtailed some of the more ambitious young riders keen to shine. Well, apart from the eager beaver that is Dutch rider Pim Ligthart, who spent the last two days valiantly trying to win two stages from the get go.

With roughly 100km to go the stage end, today’s race has been chock full of incidents, punctures, crashes and a broken finger for Italian rider Ivan Santaromita, who made the first big break, was caught and then crashed, breaking his finger and is out of the race.

Chris Froome has been in the wars and his participation is looking decidedly dodgy. A flat tyre, a crash and the heavy ascent of alto de Illora has taken its toll as Froome fell off the pace of the peleton, losing about one minute until his Sky team mates dropped back and dragged him back into the peleton. Froome was last spotted consulting with the doctor in the medical car.

News just in. Bryan Nauleau and Alksejs Saramotins, victims of the earlier crash, are joining Santaromita in exiting the tour. One hundred and ninety five riders remain in the race.

 

Euro Weekly News will update with the results of stage seven as soon as they come in.

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