Vuelta a España: Which GC riders lost time on stage 7 summit finish

Overall leader Team Jumbos Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic 2L crosses the finish during the 7th stage of the 2021 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain a 152 km race from Gandia to Balcon de Alicante in Tibi on August 20 2021 Photo by JOSE JORDAN AFP Photo by JOSE JORDANAFP via Getty Images
Adam Yates and Primož Roglič lead the GC group home on stage 7 of the Vuelta a España (Image credit: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images)

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) narrowly retained his overall lead in the Vuelta a España after the breakaway on stage 7 threatened to dislodge the Slovenian from the red jersey.

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. 

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General classification after stage 7
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 25:18:35
2Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:08
3Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:25
4Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:36
5Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:38
6Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:41
7Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:57
8Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:59
9Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:06
10Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:22
11Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:01:28
12Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain Victorious0:01:42
13Fabio Aru (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash0:01:47
14David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates0:02:14
15Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert0:02:19
16Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers0:02:48

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