Vuelta Stage 7 Preview

This is the third of a trinity of flat stages for the sprinters before the climbers come out to play tomorrow. So far even the flat stages have been entertaining in the Vuelta, no more so than yesterday’s stage.

Stage 6 Review
Michael Morkov vuelta
You can read in one sentence that Tony Martin was out in front all day but got caught within sight of the finish line. But this doesn’t do the effort justice, he away for almost four hours and got swamped by the bunch with just 100 metres to go. It looked to all as if he was going to win the stage and the result, a win by Michael Mørkøv, testifies to the strange finish. The Dane is not a pure sprinter but as the bunch chased and chased it look a long sustained effort to keep going and he got the better of Maximiliano Richeze.

Stage 7 Preview
The Route: over 200km due south. There are no climbs along the way but two intermediate sprints. The second is in the finish town of Mairena del Aljarafe where the race will cross the finish line before heading out for a 31km loop.

The Finish: another urban finish complete with roundabouts but nothing scary, plus the bunch gets to check out the finish once before they head for the finish.

The Scenario: if Tony Martin can’t hold off the bunch, who can? A sprint finish is likely again but we’re not seeing committed teams controlling the race to set up a sprint finish, instead squads are lending a few riders to a collective effort. If it comes to a bunch sprint Maximiliano Richeze has been close every day and it could be his turn. But again expect to see Tyler Farrar, Nikias Arndt and others in the mix and again OPQS and Orica-Greenedge need to pick between Meersman and Fenn, Matthews and Howard respectively.

Watch the climbers today too because they must rest as much as possible today ahead of tomorrow’s first summit finish showdown.

Weather: hot and sunny with almost no wind, the heat will be a factor during the 200km.

TV: as usual there’s over two hours of live coverage with the finish expected for 5.45pm Euro time. Don’t forget you can channel hop to the World Ports Classic in Belgium today if you want more to watch.

Daily Díaz

  • The Vuelta arrives to Andalusia. This region, the most populated of Spain, is home to Guadalquivir river, one of the most important watercourses of the country. Called “Betis” by the Romans, the current name is of Arab origin. Toponyms starting with “Guad” are very common in Spain, and refer normally to sources or courses of water (INRNG: it comes from “wadi”, meaning valley in arabic)
  • Going back to the Romans, in km 153,5 (52,4 to the finish line) the race will pass by Santiponce, a small town near Seville. Pay attention to images of the ancient amphitheatre of Italica, where gladiators used to fight in front of the eyes of no less than 25,000 spectators
  • After a first pass through the finish line, the bunch will enter Seville, capital city of Andalusia and a major tourist destination. By river Guadalquivir lies the Torre del Oro (“Gold Tower”), built by the Moors in the 13th century. Please note that Guadalquivir is the only main navigable river in Spain, with Seville port 80 km away from the sea.
  • Aljarafe is the name of a small plateau just west of Seville. It explains the gentle slopes the peloton will face in the final 10 km of the stage
  • Prominent Sevillians include a couple of Roman emperors (Trajan and Hadrian) and of course Diego Velázquez, the 17th century Baroque painter whose works are among the most renowned of Spanish and European art.

Thanks to cycling podcaster and history teacher Manuel Pérez Díaz for the local information. You can follow him on Twitter as perezdiazmanuel

25 thoughts on “Vuelta Stage 7 Preview”

  1. Impressive effort from TM yesterday. I sure would like to see his power numbers for that ride; especially the last 20 km. He must have been in the red for quite some time there.

    • +1. On the other hand, it was great to see him hold his position on the drops, for miles and miles. Rare these days. If one good rouleur can almost make it against a whole peloton, a coalition of 2 of them should surely succeed.

      • If there were two good/best rouleurs together (let’s say Cancellara or Wiggo’s out with Martin yesterday), there won’t be a break at all. They would be so dangerous that the peloton would shut them down before the intermediate sprint or not let them go at all.

    • On 2nd thoughts, maybe using a TT bike would have made his intentions too obvious (like that day when Stephen Roche appeared in a his skinsuit in the middle of the peloton, and then he obviously went away solo – and won), and the peloton wouldn’t have let Tony break away. Good question to ask him, anyway.

      • Wonder if manufacturers could make a normal kit/skin suit combo cool enough to last the first half of the race, so riders could strip off Superman-style when approaching the finale? Probably not. But would be cool. And highly dangerous, natch.

    • “Only the traditional type of handlebars is authorised for use in massed-start road races, cyclo-cross and track competitions (except for individual and team pursuit, kilometer and 500 time trials). The attachment of any additional handlebar component or extension is prohibited.”\

      and for a good reason, they are bloody dangerous in a pack.

  2. Yes perhaps he should have done the stage on a motorbike if he wanted to win. Hang on don’t the rules say you need to be on a road bike for a road race?

  3. Someone should resurrect the Baracchi Trophy in the 2-up format. So many great TTers at the moment – I usually find TTs boring to watch but even I would tune in for, say, Martin/Cancellara v Wiggins/Froome.

      • When we visited Alberto Masi at the Vigorelli earlier this year he said the condition of the actual racing surface is very bad. Sadly, we were unable to sneak inside and see for ourselves. With no money for Gran Piemonte, I doubt RCS could find the funds to bring back Baracchi…but it’s a wonderful thought anyway…but ONLY if they ride road bikes instead of chrono machines.

        • I agree. The organiser should be allowed to set the rules and limitations he sees fit for his race. Concerning money, I wonder if all those sugardaddies who finance teams don’t think of financing races instead. If I was a billionaire I’d rather have a “Bundle Trophy” than a “Team Bundle”.

  4. I’m giving Farrar one more go today – I think he was unlucky yesterday, got caught behind the wrong side of the leadout as Argos made a mess of it. Cancellara came up the left with Morkov on his wheel, Richeze reacted quicker than Farrar and jumped across, Farrar gave chase but lost about 2 bike lengths. When he did get going at the finish he was flying and finished the fastest it seemed.

    I think it will have done his confidence some good and this is possibly his last chance of a stage win until Madrid (if he makes it to Madrid).

  5. I think that ferocious dash to the finish line by Cancellara was less to go for a stage and more not to let Martin win and earn great psychological boost before their encounter at Worlds TT

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