Vuelta a Espana #7: Merhawi Kudus crashes out of Vuelta

Matej Mohric (UAE Emirates) won the 7th stage of the Vuelta a Espana after attacking his breakaway companions in the final kilometers. Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished 2nd and JJ Rojas (Movistar) placed 3rd. Chris Froome (Team Sky) remained the overall race leader.

Misfortune has followed Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka around all week at the Vuelta a Espana and today it claimed Merhawi Kudus. Unfortunately, Kudus crashed 100km into today’s 200km stage, our Eritrean climber tried to get up and continue but was unable to. Kudus was sent to hospital for further examination. This puts our African Team down to just 5 riders, after Nic Dougall (stage 6), Youcef Reguigui (stage 5) and Ben King (stage 3) fell ill.

Today’s stage was relatively calm otherwise. 14 riders made the early break of the day and with no serious threats to the GC in the move, Team Sky allowed them to gain an advantage that would see the escapees decide the stage. Mohric was the best in the break today and took a good win. Igor Anton finished with the main GC contenders to keep a top 20 placing on the overall GC.

Serge Pauwels, Lachlan Morton, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Omar Fraile all got through the stage safely. Despite the rough start to the 3rd grand tour of the season, our African Team will fight on with a stage win still being our main goal over the coming days.

Igor Anton – Rider
The peloton took a more relaxed day today. Only in the last part of the stage there was a little bit of tension and stress with some wind around and also one short climb. I didn’t really feel at my best today but I got through the day without losing any time which was good. We are now a third of the way through the Vuelta and I would like to carry on in a consistent way. It is sad to lose Merhawi and the other guys this week but our team fight every day for Qhubeka so we still chase a top result.