(Road Bike Action & AFP; Photo: Bettini)
Dutch rider Bert Jan Lindeman won Friday’s seventh stage of Spain’s Vuelta at La Alpujarra summit during a first stage in the mountains which proved gruelling for Britain’s Chris Froome. The Lotto-Jumbo rider withstood the searing Andalusian heat, powering ahead of Belarusian Ilia Koshevoy of Lampre and Italy’s Fabio Aru of Astana at the line.
Colombian Johan Esteban Chaves of Orica-GreenEdge holds the leader’s red jersey, building up a slight lead on Tour de France winner Froome, who crossed the line some 30 seconds behind the favorites. The summit finish favoured the breakaway group with five riders including Lindeman building up a 13-minute lead on the peloton at one point with the Dutch rider proving the strongest and most cunning in the final sprint.
Sky’s Froome is bidding for a Tour-Vuelta double but fell outside the top ten in the overall standings and is now 12th at 1min 22sec after the first test at altitude. Saturday’s eighth stage will leave Andalusia with the 182.5km run from Puebla de Don Fadrique to Murcia largely set to favour the sprinters despite a category three climb to cross twice in the final 40km.