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Rudy Molard retains race lead

Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale) won stage seven of the Vuelta a Espana, attacking with just a couple of kilometres to go on the shallow climb to the finish line. Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski, second at the start of the day, lost 25s to his rivals after a crash in the closing stages.

The 185.7km stage to Pozo Alcon was devoid of any major challenges but featured a significant drag towards the line that ultimately did for the out-and-out sprinters.

Michael Woods was the last survivor from the breakaway, but he was caught with 13km to go and from then on the pace stayed high and a combination of attacks and crashes split the peloton.

With around 2km to go, Tony Gallopin took off, swiftly gained 100m, and never relinquished it.

Kwiatkowski was among those to fall and he slipped to sixth in the general classification. Race leader Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) finished in the favourites’ group and now leads Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by 47s.

Valverde finished third on the day, beaten in the sprint by Peter Sagan.

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