Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) was the winner of stage seven. He took the win ahead of Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) and David De La Cruz (Team Sky).
It was another mountain stage, rolling through the Basque country in Spain, that awaited the peloton on Stage 17. The stage started in Getxo and finished on the category one summit of Alto del Balcón de Bizkaia. It also included four category three climbs and one category two climb.
A flurry of attacks came off the front as soon as racing got underway, but the break was only established on the climb and descent of Alto de la Arboleda. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier was in the action with a large group of riders. Merhawi Kudus, bridged across with a three riders, bringing the group to 26 riders. As soon as the break started the final climb, the attacks came off the front. In the final 3km, a select group, including Ghebreigzabhier went ahead. Four riders then went off the front, of which the stage winner, Woods, was part of.
Ghebreigzabhier claimed 7th spot, a great achievement in his first grand tour outing. He crossed the line just 48 seconds behind the stage winner. Kudus just missed out on a top 10 placing, finishing in 12th position.
Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier- Rider
Today’s stage was really hard. The team gave me the opportunity to go in the breakaway by following the moves in the beginning. I was happy to make the break, first with 22 riders and then I was really happy that Merhawi made a big effort with three other guys to come across so we had a big group of 26. It was a really hard stage, because it was a difficult course, but we also had to ride it at a high pace, because the Euskadi Team was riding at the front of the peloton because it was their home region. The final climb was steep and hard, but my legs were feeling ok, so I am very happy with my ride today. It is my first grand tour, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I was just trying to do my best. Today’s result has given me a lot of confidence, I am very happy for the team to give me this opportunity and grateful to Merhawi for his help in the breakaway.