photo credits @ La Vuelta
Geoffrey Soupe (TotalEnergies) took a surprising victory in stage 7 of the Vuelta a España today, emerging from a hectic bunch sprint to claim the day’s honors ahead of Trek-Lidl’s Edward Theuns, relegating back-to-back stage winner Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) to a paltry fifth place finish.
Intermarché-Circus-Wanty led the peloton along the final 2 kilometers through Oliva, with Soupe executing his winning move with 200 meters to go, allowing the French rider to open up just enough of a gap to hold-off his rivals on the line.
There was drama for the INEOS Grenadiers before the stage really got underway, with Geraint Thomas and two other teammates hitting the deck early on.
José Herrada of Cofidis and Ander Okamika of Burgos-BH later formed the day’s first breakaway effort, with the duo eventually opening up a modest advantage over the peloton.
However, with over 65 kilometers still to go, the duo became one, after the peloton caught Herrada, leaving Okamika out front alone. But, the Spanish rider was ultimately reined in with just over 40 kilometers remaining.
With the peloton all back together, with the intermediate sprint and bonus seconds on offer, Jonas Vingegaard reared his head, stealing third at the sprint and earning himself two seconds in the general classification.
Two crashes later ensnared the field, with yesterday’s stage winner Sepp Kuss and Thymen Arensman, both crashing. But, both managed to regain the race.
Tensions were high in the peloton as riders enter the final kilometer, with Soupe managing to eke out a slight gap during the waning moments to fend-off a fast charging bunch and seize the win.
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