Team Sky do the leadout, but Argos-Shimano sprinter wins again

John Degenkolb of Argos Shimano has extended his lead in the points classification of the Vuelta, beating Elia Viviani of Liquigas-Cannondale in a sprint finish on the wide tarmac surface of the Motorland Aragon motor racing circuit to take his third stage victory in this year's race.

As the peloton headed into the final ten kilometres, a crash in the bunch brought down a number of riders, although the main contenders for the overall win, including race leader Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha and Team Sky's Chris Froome, were safely out of trouble at the front.

Team Sky led the peloton into the final kilometres and even managed to gain a small gap on the rest of the bunch a couple of kilometres out as they raced through the motor racing circuit's bends, but in a scrappy finish sprinter Ben Swift once again missed out, finishing tenth.

It was a bad day for another Team Sky rider, Rigoberto Uran, who dropped from fourth place overall to 15th, 2 minutes 9 seconds down on race leader Rodriguez.

The Colombian, who won silver in the Olympic road race earlier this month behind Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov, punctured a few kilometres from the end of the 164.2-kilometre stage from Huesca, and with the team car held up by that earlier crash, he eventually crossed the line more than a minute behind the stage winner.

Ahead of that crash, in which RadioShack-Nissan's Markel Irizar and Rabobank's Stef Clement came off worst, the peloton had caught a group of four riders that had formed the day's breakaway, Andalucia's Pablo Lechuga, Javier Aramendia of Caja Rural, the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Frantisek Rabon and Bert-Jan Lindeman of Vacansoleil-DCM.

Vuelta Stage 7 Result  

1  DEGENKOLB, John           ARG    3h 48' 30''
2  VIVIANI, Elia             LIQ All at same time
3  DAVIS, Allan              OGE
4  BOUHANNI, Nacer           FDJ
5  BENNATI, Daniele          RNT
6  MEERSMAN, Gianni          LTB
7  VAN WINDEN, Dennis        RAB
8  ROJAS, José Joaquin       MOV
9  MONDORY, Lloyd            ALM
10 SWIFT, Ben                SKY
11 VIGANO, Davide            LAM
12 STEEGMANS, Gert           OPQ
13 CLARKE, Simon             OGE
14 ROCHE, Nicolas            ALM
15 CONTADOR, Alberto         STB
16 RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin        KAT
17 NOCENTINI, Rinaldo        ALM
18 VALVERDE, Alejandro       MOV
19 STYBAR, Zdenek            OPQ
20 LE MEVEL, Christophe      GRS
21 CARDOSO, Andre Fernando   CJR

Last man home on Stage 7  

194 BAGOT, Yohann            COF      + 11' 36''
General Classification after Stage 7  

1  RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin        KAT    25h 53' 04''
2  FROOME, Christopher       SKY          + 10''
3  CONTADOR, Alberto         STB          + 36''
4  GESINK, Robert            RAB          + 54''
5  VALVERDE, Alejandro       MOV          + 54''
6  ROCHE, Nicolas            ALM       + 1' 04''
7  MOLLEMA, Bauke            RAB       + 1' 12''
8  MORENO, Daniel            KAT       + 1' 17''
9  COBO, Juan José           MOV       + 1' 34''
10 HENAO, Sergio Luis        SKY       + 1' 39''

Points Classification after Stage 7  

1  DEGENKOLB, John           ARG            76
2  VIVIANI, Elia             LIQ            47
3  RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin        KAT            45
4  DAVIS, Allan              OGE            45
5  VALVERDE, Alejandro       MOV            41 

Mountains Classification after Stage 7  

1 CLARKE, Simon              OGE            16
2 VALVERDE, Alejandro        MOV            11
3 LIGTHART, Pim              VCD            11
4 MATE, Luis Angel           COF            10
5 RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin         KAT             9

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.