Calm before the storm in the 7th stage of La Vuelta a España 2023

Road 01/09/23 18:11 Migue A.

Geoffrey Soupe won the messy sprint that decided the 7th stage of La Vuelta. A day without more history in which the peloton was dedicated to recover from yesterday and sharpen the knives before the storm, both meteorological and sporting that is expected for tomorrow.

Kaden Groves was unable to score his third La Vuelta stage victory

Transition stage after the very hard day that the riders of La Vuelta a España 2023 experienced in the Sierra de Javalambre. Therefore, the 200 kilometers between Utiel and Oliva, descending towards the Valencian coast to ride south in a journey without difficulties turned out to be a pleasant ride for the vast majority of the peloton, proof of this, the delay that was accumulating the race in its first part.

The breakaway of the day was not even disputed, as it was forged at the start in the first of the attacks, composed of José Herrada and Ander Okamika who, in any case, Alpecin-Deceunink, controlling to look for the third victory of Kaden Groves, did not let them gain much of a gap.

The only thing to note is the crash suffered by Geraint Thomas with 129 km to go, which left him with a visually damaged knee, although the Welshman was able to continue the stage without any problems.

The breakaway came to an end well ahead of schedule, after passing through Valencia, with just over 65 kilometers to go, more due to the search for positioning by the different riders to face the final stretch of the stage by the sea, where the wind could be a factor than for a proper hunting pace. In any case, the side wind that came in from the sea did so head-on, so although there was the usual nervousness when this meteor makes its presence felt, it was not foreseeable that there would be any movements as it made the advance much more difficult.

However, Ander Okamika refused to return to the discipline of the big group and just before being neutralized he pressed again to continue his ride, now alone. At this point, the peloton lifted its foot again, allowing him to gain almost a minute's advantage. But it was only extending the inevitable. The road turns on the way to the bonus sprint of Cullera caused the teams to look for the head again to place their leaders well in anticipation of what could happen, the pace accelerated and put a definitive end to the adventure of the Burgos-BH rider after 159 kilometers in the breakaway.

A bonus sprint that Kaden Groves took without problems, who continues to consolidate the green jersey of the points classification and in which Jonas Vingegaard also got a couple of seconds of bonus by crossing the line third behind the Australian and Andrea Vendrame who took second place.

Despite what might have been expected, the peloton stopped again after the sprint, continuing with a tiring pace very conditioned by the very strong headwind, a prelude to the bad weather forecast for the weekend, which, hopefully, will not affect the development of the race.

In the last kilometers the tension returned to the peloton. First a small pile-up 10 kilometers from the finish and, already in the streets of Oliva, another big crash occurred at 5 in which about 15 riders went to the ground, with INEOS Grenadiers rider Thymen Arensman as the most affected who had to be evacuated by ambulance leaving his team without an important man, a casualty that adds to that of Laurens de Plus in the initial time trial.

Very dangerous approach to the sprint, through narrow streets and very complicated curves that disarmed Alpecin-Deceunink leaving Kaden Groves dislocated in the last corner and that has no chance to dispute the finish with options that goes to the hands of TotalEnergies rider Geoffrey Soupe with Orluis Aular who was very close to give a resounding victory to the modest Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Stage 7 Classification

  1. Geffrey Soupe (TotalEnergies) 4h56’29’’
  2. Orluis Aular (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) +00’’
  3. Edward Theuns (Lidl-Trek) +00’’
  4. Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) +00’’
  5. Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +00’’
  6. Maarijn van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) +00’’
  7. David González (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) +00’’
  8. Hugo Page (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) +00’’
  9. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) +00’’
  10. Matevz Govekar (Bahrain-Victorious) +00’’

Overall Classification

  1. Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) 21h40’35’’
  2. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +08’’
  3. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +51’’
  4. Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) +01’41’’
  5. Steff Cras (TotalEnergies) +01’48’’
  6. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) +01’58’’
  7. Jefferson Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) +02’06’’
  8. David de la Cruz (Astana) +02’23’’
  9. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) +02’47’’
  10. Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +02’50’’



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Calma antes de la tempestad en la 7ª etapa de La Vuelta a España 2023