Roglič survived a rapid early hour of the race in which the peloton split to pieces over the first climb of the Puerto La Llacuna, and then more than held his own on the final climb when his rivals failed to even put the Slovenian under serious pressure.
The day also saw Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) crash out of the race and leave Movistar with just two possible cards to play in the overall standings: Enric Mas and Miguel Angel López. Both riders finished safely alongside Roglič in the GC group and both riders even put in tentative attacks during the stage.
Valverde had started the day in fourth overall and even attacked during the stage in a move that drew both Roglič and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) out of the peloton. The veteran briefly continued after roadside medical checks but eventually climbed off his bike in tears.
Valverde wasn’t the only major rider to leave the race, with last year’s third placed finisher, Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo), also abandoning the Vuelta. The British rider was dropped on the first climb and already lost over four minutes coming into stage 7. After a brief attack on the lower slopes of the first climb, Carthy quickly drifted back before pulling out, but the rest of the GC was shaken up by a massive 29-rider break that shaped the race.
Felix Großschartner (Bora hansgrohe), Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo Visma) were all in the major move and finished clear of the GC contenders. The quartet would all finish the stage inside the new top-ten overall with Großschartner narrowly missing out on the race lead by just eight seconds.
Polanc had been in the provisional lead for most of the stage and benefited hugely by tireless work from his teammate Matteo Trentin, but the Slovenian couldn’t handle the pace on the last two climbs and eventually had to settle for fifth overall.
Haig and Kuss both moved up 19 places to seventh and eighth overall but there were time losses for Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-PremierTech) after both riders were distanced on the steepest sections of the final climb.
Vlasov lost 11 seconds but Landa, Carapaz, Fabio Aru (Qhubeka-NextHash), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) all lost 30 seconds to the red jersey.
Those time gaps ensured that Vlasov dropped to ninth at 1:06, while Ciccone and Landa are now at 1:28 and 1:42, respectively.
Egan Bernal failed to follow a move from Roglič just before Valverde’s crash and the Giro winner didn’t play his hand on the final climb either. He now sits sixth, still 41 seconds down on Roglič. Mas and López remain Roglič's closest true GC contenders in third and fourth, at 25 and 36 seconds down.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma||25:18:35|
|2||Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:08|
|3||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team||0:00:25|
|4||Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team||0:00:36|
|5||Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:38|
|6||Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||0:00:41|
|7||Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious||0:00:57|
|8||Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma||0:00:59|
|9||Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech||0:01:06|
|10||Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers||0:01:22|
|11||Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo||0:01:28|
|12||Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain Victorious||0:01:42|
|13||Fabio Aru (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash||0:01:47|
|14||David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates||0:02:14|
|15||Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert||0:02:19|
|16||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||0:02:48|
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