John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) underlined his supremacy in the Vuelta a España’s sprints by adding a third win to his Vuelta tally at Motorland Aragón on the race’s seventh stage this afternoon.
On the racing circuit finish, popular with MotoGP and Superbike, he outsprinted ahead of Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Allan Davis (Orica-GreenEdge) on a regular pushbike.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
It was sweet recompense for his Argos-Shimano squad who shouldered most of the responsibility of reining in the day’s four-strong breakaway over the Aragón plains.
The group, consisting of Frantisek Rabon (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Jan-bert Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM), Javier Aramendia (Caja Rural) and Pablo Lechuga (Andalucia), was brought back on the run-in to the motor racing circuit in the Aragón plains.
Uran loses time
A crash with ten kilometres to go divided the bunch. Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) appeared to be held up by it, losing 1-09 and falling out of the top ten overall.
As the race got onto the smooth, wide straights and rumble strips of the circuit, Team Sky attempted set it up for Ben Swift.
Ian Stannard briefly bludgeoned a gap with him, team leader Froome and three others in tow, but their small group was caught by the rest.
Degenkolb shifts Swift
In the sprint, green jersey Degenkolb jumped past Swift and just held off a battling Viviani to the line. That’s three out of three Vuelta sprint stages so far for the ex-HTC Highroad man.
Swift was swamped and placed tenth, while race leader Rodriguez, Froome and Contador all finished on the same time.
The trio will be a lot more to the fore in tomorrow’s eighth stage, which sees a finish on the Andorran climb of Collada de la Gallina.
Vuelta a Espana 2012, stage seven: Huesca-Alcañiz. Motorland Aragon
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3. Allan Davis (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-BigMat
5. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan
6. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
7. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank
8. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar
9. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Ben Swift (Gbr) Team Sky
15. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 2secs
16. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha
23. Chris Froome (Gbr) at same time
General classification after stage seven
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 25-53-04
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky at 10secs
3. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank at 36secs
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 54secs
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 1-04
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 1-12
8. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha at 1-17
9. Juan Jose Cobo (Spa) Movistar at 1-34
10. Sergo Henao (Col) Team Sky at 1-39
Degenkolb makes it win number three
RadioShack lead the peloton on another hot day in the Vuelta
Vuelta a Espana 2012: Startlist
Vuelta a Espana 2012: Latest news
Vuelta a Espana 2012: Reports
Vuelta a Espana 2012: Route info and analysis