Vuelta a Espana 2015: Bert-Jan Lindeman wins stage seven, Chris Froome loses time

Breakaway succeeds on race's first major summit finish

Bert-Jan Lindeman won stage seven of the Vuelta a Espana from the breakaway, as Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) lost time to his GC rivals on La Alpujarra.

The race’s first major summit finish shook the GC up, but race leader Johan Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) remains in the red jersey after finishing sixth.

Further up the road, Lindeman had put in a gutsy ride to beat Ilia Koshovoy (Lampre-Merida), who had attacked their five-man breakaway earlier on the climb.

Bert-Jan Lindeman won stage seven of the Vuelta a Espana (pic: Sirotti)

Froome, however, was dropped by the red jersey group and drops to 12th overall, trailing Chaves by 1’22” and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) by 25 seconds.

Earlier, after Movistar reeled the first break in, five riders escaped the attentions of the peloton – Jerome Cousin (Team Europcar), Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), Carlos Quintero (Colombia), Lindeman and Koshevo.

That quintet were quickly let off the leash and the advantage sailed past the ten-minute mark and continued to grow, even after Orica-GreenEDGE took up the chase for race leader Chaves.

Movistar, with Sky just behind them, were happy to contribute to the chase though and the gap fell steadily throughout the day as the climbs got ever closer.

Movistar continued to pull the peloton, with Chaves finding himself without support at the front of the bunch, but had to rethink their tactics when Javier Moreno dropped back.

Sensing he and Nairo Quintana might become isolated, Alejandro Valverde called his team-mates off – with Astana forced to take up the mantle instead with Luis Leon Sanchez.

The easing of pace in the bunch suited the breakaway, and Koshovoy was the first to strike out alone, chased by Cousin and, at a distance, Lindeman.

None of the GC men, meanwhile, committed to an attack but the steady rhythm shredded the front group.

Froome was the biggest name to feel the pain, losing contact with his GC rivals – prompting Fabio Aru (Astana) to burst off the front.

Majka and Martin followed, but Koshovoy and Lindeman were still on the front under the flamme rouge and could not be brought back.

The LottoNL-Jumbo dug deep to claim the stage victory, Koshevoy paying for his earlier efforts on the ascent, while Aru snatched third to even claim some bonus seconds.

Majka led the GC group across the line, 36 seconds after Lindeman, with Chaves next across to secure at least another day in red.

Froome dropped the hammer to cut his losses in the final 100m or so, but the Team Sky man tumbled out of the top-ten as a result, with Nico Roche still the team’s best-placed rider in fourth overall.

Vuelta a Espana 2015: stage seven – result

1) Bert-Jan Lindeman (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo – 5.10.24hrs
2) Ilia Koshevoy (BLR) – Lampre-Merida +9”
3) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +29”
4) Jerome Cousin (FRA) – Team Europcar +34”
5) Rafal Majka (POL) – Tinkoff-Saxo +36”
6) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-GreenEDGE – ST
7) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar
8) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar
9) Louis Meintjes (RSA) – MTN-Qhubeka
10) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Team Sky

General classification

1) Johan Esteban Chaves (COL) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 27.06.13hrs
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin +10”
3) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Cannondale-Garmin +33”
4) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Team Sky +36”
5) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +49”
6) Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) – Katusha +56”
7) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +57”
8) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana – ST
9) Daniel Moreno (ESP) – Katusha +1.18
10) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +1.19
Selected Others
12) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +1.22

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