La Vuelta 7: Dedicated To Alfredo Martini

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A finger up, toward the sky,toward the Cyclists Heaven from where for sure Alfredo Martini was watching the race... and telling a story.
Great rider, DS and man, Alfredo Martini, died  94 few days ago. And a great sign of respect by another great rider, Alessandro De Marchi ,at the end of a great stage.
At the begining it was break-away:  Tschopp and Hesjedal ahead the peloton. They had 33'' at km 37. Dupont and  De Marchi trying to bridge while Movistar and Saxo Tinkoff were leading the chase.
Then a crash.  No clear info but Chris Froome was told dropped at the start of a climb, 1 'from the head of the race. Then it became evident that he wasn't the only one in trouble:  Orica GreenEdge reported that Ivan Santaromita had been involved in a crash, had brocken his finger and was heading to the hospital. John Degenkolb had been also involved and was back to the medical car.Then the news came that Saramotins and NAULEAU had abandoned.
Meanwhile Dupont and De Marchi had joined Hesjedal and Tschopp, the peloton was at 1 ', but the gap quickly increased till 07:18. Ryder Hesjedal was now closer to the virtual red jersey. Then  De Marchi turn the gas on... and won solo ... as he uses to do.
Froome had joined the peloton before the top of the climb and even if crashed he looked perfectly well: he  attacked in the finale and gained 3 '' on his main opponents.
Instead Warren Barguil crashed hard on the right side of his head. He was able to cross the line but still... 

Alessandro De Marchi:
“I came into this race without too much pressure on me,” said the Italian. “I was just looking to get some form and hoping for some opportunities. But my legs felt good today. This is the best memory of my career. After so many top fives, this is a great result, an almost perfect day for me.”
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Chris Froome:
"I'm feeling okay but you definitely get the feeling that when bad luck comes it comes more than once. But all things considered I'm feeling all right and I think I got off relatively unscathed. It's good to have another day behind us now.
When the crash happened a Giant-Shimano rider went down in front of me just to my left. I swerved to try and avoid that and went down. Then the guys paced me back. It took us a good 15km before we got back into the peloton.
The rest of the guys did a great job looking after me, pacing me back into the race and keeping me in a good position for the rest of the day.
After a testing day Froome admitted that taking a couple of seconds on the line was a nice bonus.
I'll definitely take that after a stage like today," he added. "At the end of the race you might need all the seconds you can to defend your place. I'll keep chipping away and get closer to the time trial."

Team Tinkoff-Saxo DS Steven De Jongh:

"The stage was actually harder than the profile suggested it would be in terms of climbing. It was relentlessly up and down and even though it was slightly cooler than the previous few days, it was still hot for out there. But the boys did a fantastic job for Alberto during the stage without having to do the hard work in front of the peloton and we're ready for a similar stage and similar tactics tomorrow before Sunday's mountain top finish."

Team Giant-Shimano DS Christian Guiberteau:
“We didn’t have much luck today with both John and Warren coming down but both seem OK and we will see how they are feeling in the morning. It is not ideal coming the day before a good stage for John. 
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Adam Yates looking for... his bike?
The plan was for a couple of guys to try for the breaks early on as it was 50/50 today as to whether a break would survive or it would be controlled. We didn’t want to spend too much energy in this though and we still needed to protect Warren and John. In the end we weren’t in the move, but the guys looked after each other in the peloton.
After a week of racing now we are in a good position. The young guys are tired yes, but not overly so and they aren’t suffering like lots of riders are here with the heat we have had and the hard racing. With John’s wins and Warren’s strong result yesterday the morale is good and everyone is really motivated to keep working towards our goals."

Robert Gesink:
“In the sprint, I wanted to follow Dan Martin, but unfortunately I couldn’t. It went up and down all day, and I think that many guys suffered. The profile appeared to be flat, but I’ve learnt that you can never trust the Spanish profiles. I have miscalculated before and seriously suffered. As a GC rider you need to stay focused every day.”

Samuel  Sánchez: 
"The crash was luckily avoidable. Today's stage was made harder by the wind and crashes and I think everybody can't wait for the rest day. After seven stages, the GC (general classification) is decided a bit. But the hard part is still to come and everything is possible." 

Philippe Gilbert (5th)
"I had been suffering in the warm weather conditions like a lot of riders. Now the heat is a little less and I am feeling better. Even if it is only fifth place, it gives me confidence for next week."

ORICA-GEDS Neil Stephens:
“It was a really demanding day. The heat and the fatigue at this year’s Vuelta is starting to take its toll. Right from the start it was very difficult for all the riders and once again our main priority was Esteban in the general classification with a view to seeing how the race panned out.
It’s already a difficult race but things are going to be even more difficult with the absence of a really important man in the mountains in Ivan."

More to come

1 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale 04:01:52  
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 00:01:34  
3 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:01:35  
4 Johann Tschopp (Swi) IAM Cycling  
5 della squadra Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing 00:02:17  
6 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp  
7 Christopher Froome (GBR) Team Sky 00:02:18  
8 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:02:20  
9 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Team (Spa) Movistar  
10 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo  
11 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
12 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar della squadra  
13 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale  
14 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha  
15 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
16 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
17 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - Qhubeka  
18 Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
19 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
20 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar team 26:52:20  
2 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar team 00:00:15  
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:00:18  
4 Christopher Froome (GBR) Team Sky 00:00:20  
5 Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica GreenEdge 00:00:41  
6 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 00:00:45  
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:00:55  
8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:58  
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) del Team Giant-Shimano 00:01:02  
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:01:06  
11 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky 00:01:09  
12 Squadra Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing 00:01:11  
13 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 00:01:12  
14 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:01:18  
15 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN - Qhubeka 00:01:19  
16 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Soluzioni Credits 00:01:26  
17 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 00:01:34  
18 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 00:01:47  
19 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 00:01:57  
20 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:02:06  
21 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:02:25  
22 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 00:02:29  
23 Andre S Fernando Cardoso Martins (Por) Garmin Sharp 00:02:30  
24 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre Racing (Spa) Trek fabbrica 00:02:35  
25 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 00:02:44  
26 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol 00:02:46  
27 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:02:52  
28 Squadra Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing 00:03:10  
29 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:03:47  
30 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha 00:04:47  
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) del Team Giant-Shimano 

1 Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte Team (Spa) Movistar
1 Belkin Pro Cycling Team

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