Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) won stage 7 of La Vuelta, ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
Stage 7 of La Vuelta was marked as a sprint stage, but with two category three climbs, it was going to be a tough day on the road for the fast riders. The 185,7km stage ran from Puerto Lumbreras to Pozo Alcón, ending in a drag up to the finish.
A group of seven were established soon into racing and they were only brought back as the peloton ascended the second categorised climb of the stage, Alto de Cael. A crash in the peloton with 15km of racing left caused the peloton to ease up the chase, but the front leaders were eventually swallowed up by the pack.
As the race entered the final km’s of racing, the front group contained the majority of the GC favourites, and Louis Meintjes was there to represent Team Dimension Data. Making up for the set-back of yesterday’s stage, Meintjes was our first rider over the line, finishing just five seconds behind the stage winner, Gallopin.
With the strong finish, Meintjes moved up into 25th in the GC and is now our best placed rider.
Alex Sans- Race Director
We planned to go in the break but we saw from the start of the stage that Bora wanted to control the race as was a good final for Sagan, who in the end was second today. From there we focused on protecting Louis and making sure he starts the last climb in front, as the roads very tricky.
From there the pace was high and small group of 20 riders came to the final with Louis in it.
It was a good day at the end.