De Marchi Solos To Vuelta Stage Win

Cycle//Vuelta a España

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Alessandro De Marchi, one of four early breakaway riders, won stage seven of the Vuelta a España as he dropped his fellow escapees in the closing stages.

Following the drama of the first serious mountain climb yesterday it was expected the sprinters would battle it out for stage honours today (Friday). However, the peloton were not able to reel in the early breakaway allowing De Marchi to claim victory.

"It’s the best memory of my career. It was great to be in a break with such strong riders. This clearly is my best result. It was a near-perfect day for me," De Marchi said.

It was a mixed day for Chris Froome as he recovered from an early crash to finish seventh and claim two seconds on his rivals for the time bonus. The Team Sky leader fell inside the opening 40km on the first of the day’s two categorised climbs, requiring him to chase back on to the peloton and then receive bandaging to cuts on his right arm.

However, unlike at the Tour de France when a seemingly innocuous fall ultimately put pay to his title hopes, Froome was able to recover and sprint clear in the closing stages to gain two valuable seconds. Despite missing out on any time bonuses yesterday's winner, Alejandro Valverde, retained overall lead of the race.

Stage Seven

1. Alessandro De Marchi 4hrs 1min 52secs
2. Ryder Hesjedal +1:35
3. Hubert Dupont 
4. Johann Tschopp
5. Philippe Gilbert +2:17
6. Dan Martin 
7. Chris Froome +2:18
8. Gianluca Brambilla +2:20
9. Alejandro Valverde
10. Alberto Contador 

General Classification

1. Alejandro Valverde 26hrs 52mins 20secs
2. Nairo Quintana +15
3. Alberto Contador +18
4. Chris Froome +20
5. Johan Esteban Chaves +44
6. Joaquim Rodriguez +45
7. Robert Gesink +55
8. Fabio Aru +58
9. Wilco Kelderman +1:09
10. Damiano Caruso +1:12

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