Vuelta a España: Gallopin gets the win in Pozo Alcón

Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) won stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana after attacking from a reduced group inside the final three kilometres. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the sprint from the chasing group behind to take second place with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third place.

Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) extended his race lead after Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) lost time following a crash in the final kilometres. The former wearer of the red jersey slid out hard on a descent and had to battle to limit his losses. Valverde is now in second place at 47 seconds to Molard after taking bonus seconds on the line.

On paper, the finish of stage 7 was not an overly difficult one but the winding roads and relentless attacking saw a group of fewer than 30 riders come to the line together. Luis Mas Bonet (Caja Rural) sparked the final run of attacks with 10 kilometres to go on the short descent off the final classified climb, the Alto de Ceal.

His move was short-lived as the general classification riders pushed on, keen to take time out of each other and the chasing Kwiatkowski. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) would be next to go, with Gallopin bridging across to him inside the final three kilometres. Herrada was already flagging at this point and was quickly left behind by a determined Gallopin, who put behind him a difficult season as he crossed the line with his arms aloft in Pozo Alcon.

"We knew the final was hectic a little bit, so we had a plan that first we try to go in a breakaway, then at the end, the team put me in a really good position and I fight with the best. Then when we came on the last straight road, I had a plan that if I have a possibility I try to attack. I found a good moment - and I'm so happy," said Gallopin.

"It's a dream for the riders to win in a big tour. After this year, with so much bad luck, so many times I crashed and I was sick, so after I stopped in the Tour, we had the plan that I go to the Vuelta and now I won, so I think the plan was good."

How it happened

For the second day in Murcia, the sprinters would get another chance but the lumpy course and gently rising finish meant that the puncheurs could upset the fast men. Stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana would bring the peloton inland from Puerto Lumbreras to Pozo Alcon. After a chaotic finish to Thursday's stage, Molard had kept hold of his red jersey for at least another day and would be hoping for an easier route through the day.

The break was formed almost immediately as seven riders launched themselves off the front of the bunch in the early kilometres. Several more tried to join them but they were brought back by the peloton, who looked eager to make sure that the leading group didn't have too much strength in numbers.

The seven to escape the clutches of the bunch were Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac), Floris de Tier (LottoNL-Jumbo), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi Basque Country Murias), Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo), and Alexis Gouegard (AG2R La Mondiale).

Some had predicted that the breakaway could have their chance again, but the peloton had other ideas. The gap would grow to 3:40 at one stage, but that would be all they could get with Bora-Hansgrohe, Movistar and Groupama-FDJ working on the front.

Woods' day in the breakaway almost came to an early end when he crashed less than 20 kilometres into the day. He would have to change his bike twice as a result of the incident and was left with a gaping tear in the right of his shorts, with only some gauze to keep his modesty. The Canadian also did some damage to his lower right leg in the crash and was well wrapped up by the doctor.

Patched up, he was back in the group of escapees but the peloton always had them in their sights. With 25 kilometres left on the clock, the gap hovered just over a minute. As the peloton loomed close on the approach to the final climb, there were repeated attacks from the escape group. A crash in the middle of the pack on the narrow Alto de Ceal saw a few riders felled and delayed the peloton.

Aranbura struck out from the breakaway but he was soon passed by the stronger De Tier and Woods, with Woods eventually leaving his companion behind at the top of the climb. One by one, the peloton, led by Mitchelton-Scott and then Movistar, picked off the dropped escapees. With 15 kilometres to go, Woods had just over 30 seconds on his chasers. It was a valiant effort from the injured rider but he would be caught less than 500 metres shy of the top of the climb.

Caja Rural were not done and Mas attacked on the descent, sparking a flurry of moves behind him that would drastically reduce the size of the peloton and drop most the sprinters. The roads en-route the finish were twisting and narrow and Kwiatkowski would be one of several riders to fall afoul of them, crashing on a corner in the final 10 kilometres.

Up front, the attacks would continue to come. Herrada jumped clear with just over five kilometres remaining. Several of the general classification favourites would try to follow them, making it another fast and furious finale. As Herrada faded in the final three kilometres, Gallopin bridged the gap and then dropped the Spaniard. The Frenchman pushed on through the last kilometres to take the win, crossing the line five seconds ahead of the chasing group.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4:18:20
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:05
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
4Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
5Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team
6Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
8Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
9Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
10Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo
11Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
12Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
13Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team
14Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
15Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
16David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky
17Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
18Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
19Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data
20George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo
21Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team
22Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
23Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
24Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
25Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
26Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
27Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida
28Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
29Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
30Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
31Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data0:00:24
32Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:27
33Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:30
34Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
35Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
36Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
37Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
38Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
39Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
40Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team
41Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data
42Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
43Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
44Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
45Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
46Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:01:06
47Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates0:01:48
48Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb
49Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data
50Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Burgos BH
51Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
52José Mendes (Por) Burgos BH
53Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team
54Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
55Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
56Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky
57Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:02:52
58Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:04:12
59Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
60Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:04:27
61Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates
62Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
63Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
64Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:40
65Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:05:41
66Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data
67Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
68Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BH0:06:56
69Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
70Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:07:49
71Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
72Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
73Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
74Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:07:52
75Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
76Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
77Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:08:07
78Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
79Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data
80Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
81Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
82Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin
83Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors
84Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
85Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
86Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
87Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb
88Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
89Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
90Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
91Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
92Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
93Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
94Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
95Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
96Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
97Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Sky
98Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team
99Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky
100Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:10:06
101Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:10:33
102Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
103Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
104Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
105Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
106Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
107Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
108Georg Preidler (Aut) Groupama-FDJ
109Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
110Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
111Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
112Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb
113Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin
114Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:12:46
115Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
116Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
117Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
118Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
119Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:12:49
120Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:13:32
121Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:14:50
122Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:15:11
123Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
124Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
125Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
126Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
127Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
128Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
129Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
130Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
131Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin
132Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH
133Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH
134Antonio Molina Canet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
135Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
136José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
137Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos BH
138Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team
139Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
140Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
141Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos BH
142Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky
143Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos BH
144Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
145Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
146Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
147Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team
148Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
149Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott
150Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
151Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
152Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
153Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
154Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
155Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
156Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
157Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
158Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ
159Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida
160Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
161Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
162Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
163Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Floors
164Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
165Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb
166Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky
167Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
168Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data
169Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data
170Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:15:23
171Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
172Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
173Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team0:15:26
174Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:18:47
175Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:20:18
176Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-Alpecin0:24:55
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Intermediate sprint
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA4pts
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team2
3Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo1
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Finish
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale25pts
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe20
3Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team16
4Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias14
5Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team12
6Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale10
7Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida9
8Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors8
9Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb7
10Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo6
11Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo5
12Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo4
13Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team3
14Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors2
15Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates1
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KOM 1 - Alto Collado de Laude - 117km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo3pts
2Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias2
3Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1
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KOM 2 - Alto de Ceal - 173km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott3pts
2Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott2
3Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale1
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Team Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team LottoNl-Jumbo12:55:15
2Bora-Hansgrohe
3Bahrain-Merida
4Astana Pro Team0:00:25
5Dimension Data0:00:44
6Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:47
7Lotto Soudal0:00:50
8Movistar Team0:01:43
9Team Sky0:02:08
10Groupama-FDJ0:04:07
11Euskadi Basque Country, Murias0:04:32
12UAE Team Emirates0:06:05
13Trek-Segafredo0:06:37
14BMC Racing Team0:07:09
15Team Sunweb0:07:19
16Katusha-Alpecin0:07:43
17Quick-Step Floors0:07:44
18Mitchelton-Scott0:08:02
19EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:08:27
20AG2R La Mondiale0:09:40
21Burgos-BH0:10:17
22Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:12:36
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Combativity
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
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General Classification after stage 7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ26:44:40
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:47
3Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:48
4Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:51
5Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:59
6Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:01:06
7Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:01:11
8Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:01:14
9Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:18
10Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:01:23
11George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:26
12Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:01:27
13Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:01:28
14Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:01:29
15David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:01:34
16Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:01:46
17Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:02:50
18Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:03:08
19Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:25
20Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:56
21Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:28
22Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida0:04:45
23Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:50
24Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:05:07
25Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data0:05:35
26Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data0:06:34
27Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:39
28Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:07:54
29Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data0:07:59
30Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:08:02
31Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:09:00
32Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:09:57
33Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:10:06
34Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:10:38
35Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:10:46
36Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
37Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:11:28
38Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:11:46
39Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:11:48
40Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:12:26
41Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:12:29
42Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:13:05
43Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data0:13:24
44Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:13:57
45Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:14:21
46Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:14:26
47Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo0:14:48
48Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:15:19
49Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:15:20