Vuelta 2019: Valverde wins at Mas de la Costa, López regains red jersey

The 7th stage boils down to a GC clash on the Mas de la Costa, a Wall of 4,1 kilometres at 12.3%. Valverde outguns Roglic, López and Quintana on the line, while López moves back into the race lead. Yet, the gaps are small. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 7th stage Vuelta a España 2019

1. Alejandro Valverde (spa)
2. Primoz Roglic (slo) s.t.
3. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 0.06
4. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
5. Rafal Majka (pol) + 0.42
6. Ion Izagirre (spa) + 0.48
7. Tadej Pogacar (slo) + 0.51
8. Fabio Aru (ita) s.t.
9. George Bennett (nzl) + 1.07
10. Oscar Rodriguez + 1.20

13. Esteban Chaves (col) + 1.37
14. Mikel Nieve (spa) s.t.
15. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 1.48
17. Pierre Latour (fra) + 2.03
22. Sergio Higuita (col) + 3.40
31. Daniel Félipe Martínez (col) + 6.30
42. Dylan Teuns (bel) 9.46

GC after stage 7
1. Miguel Ángel López (col)
2. Primoz Roglic (slo) + 0.06
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.16
4. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.27
5. Rafal Majka (pol) + 1.58
6. Tadej Pogacar (slo) + 2.36
7. Esteban Chaves (col) + 2.52
8. George Bennett (nzl) + 3.34
9. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 3.36
10. Fabio Aru (ita) s.t.

11. Pierre Latour (fra) + 3.55
12. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 4.01
15. Sergio Higuita (col) + 6.24
18. Dylan Teuns (bel) + 8.44
19. Robert Gesink (nld) + 9.05
23. Daniel Félipe Martínez (col) + 10.17
31. David de la Cruz (spa) + 15.17

Race report
Attacks are flying from the gun. Rémi Cavagna and Michael Storer open up a gap at kilometre 17, which they widen to 40 seconds before it goes back down again. Moments after Tomasz Marczynski, Dion Smith, Louis Meintjes, Matteo Fabbro, Valerio Conti and Ricardo Vilela make it across the peloton neutralises the break. With 40 kilometres done.

At kilometre 60, eight riders get lucky. Jelle Wallays, Philippe Gilbert, Sergio Henao, Stéphane Rossetto, Quentin Jauregui, Gianluca Brambilla, Michael Storer and Sebastian Henao initiate a successful breakaway, while Cyril Barthe and Tomasz Marczynski bridge across in a 23 kilometres effort.

The ten extend their lead to 5 minutes in the mountainous zone. Sergio Henao gains the maximum amount of KOM points at the first three climbs.

Gilbert, Brambilla and the Henao’s are the last men standing on the Puerto del Salto del Caballo, while Dylan Teuns can’t follow the pace in the peloton. Sergio Henao once again pockets most KOM points at the top. Meanwhile, the peloton is closing in.

Philippe Gilbert and Sergio Henao tackle the last climb together, but the GC group catches them after a few hundred metres. Quintana accelerates 3.1 kilometres before the line with Roglic, López and Valverde on his wheel.

The race come down to a clash of the for best riders on this Vuelta. Valverde struggles a few time, but he does not crack. In the last few hundred metres he moves to the front. Roglic is the only riders with enough punch to follow, but can’t come around the World Champion. Valverde wins the race ahead of the Slovene with López in third.

López moves back into the red jersey for the third time. Roglic is trailing at 6 seconds with Valverde another 10 seconds further back. Quintana is the fourth rider within 27 seconds of the race lead.

Another interesting read: route 7th stage 2019 Vuelta.

Vuelta a España 2019 stage 7: route, profile, more

Click on the images to zoom

Alejandro Valverde

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