Vuelta a Espana: Lindeman wins stage 7

It was third time lucky in this year’s Vuelta a Espana for Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), who claimed stage 7 of the race to La Alpujarra.

The Dutchman had been in breaks twice already, but on the first serious mountain test of this year’s race he survived from the early break to take a fine stage win ahead of young rider Ilia Koshevoy (Lampre-Merida) and a fast-finished Fabio Aru (Astana) – the Italian attacking from a group of GC favourites on the final climb and putting time into all his rivals.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) lost time, with both riders distanced inside the final two kilometres. Aru’s attack moved him up to eighth overall but Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEdge) retained his 10 second lead over Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin).

Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) all finished safely in the Chaves group. Froome lost a handful of seconds and dropped several places in the fight for the overall.

It was a day marked by a late incident, too, with breakaway rider Antoine Cousin (Europcar) taken out of contention in a collision with Koshevoy on the final climb. The Frenchman was with Koshevoy and Lindeman, with the trio entering the final pitches of the ascent to the line. Once the collision with took place the stage was set to be decided between Koshevoy and Lindeman – the pair having attacked at several points on the final climb, but it was the Dutch rider who held firm, with his winning acceleration coming at 200 meters to go.

Further down the climb, and with the gap secure enough for the stage win to go to the breakaway rider, Aru unleashed a devastating attack. His Astana team and Movistar had set the pace for most of the stage, but it was Dan Martin who put in the first dig. He was matched by a number of riders before Aru struck for home.

Froome and van Garderen we