Vuelta a España arrives in Cuenca after quiet day
David De La Cruz remains the highest-placed home rider in the general classification.
Cuenca, the town of Luis Ocaña – a winner of the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, and one of the best Spanish riders of all times – greeted the peloton on Friday afternoon 11 years after its previous visit. If at that time the riders took on an ITT, now the bunch arrived there after the longest stage of this edition (207 kilometers), one which despite the rolling roads and crosswind alert, didn't bother the peloton too much.
A 14-man breakaway stole the show on Friday, opening at one point a gap of nine minutes, which was more than enough to see them stay at the front all the day to the finish, with the status quo changing only on the sharp cobbled climb of Alto del Castillo which came in their way with 14 kilometers remaining. Matej Mohoric was the one to emerge victorious from that group, after attacking on the ascent and holding off the chasers and on the descent to Cuenca.
The group jersey group, strung out and severely reduced on the day's third categorized climb, completed the stage more than eight minutes later, but the general classification didn't witness any significant changes. Ahead of the second weekend, David De La Cruz – who was escorted by Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels in the closing kilometers of stage seven – is sixth overall, just 40 seconds behind the race leader.
Matteo Trentin, who a few days ago completed his set of Grand Tour stage wins with a spectacular sprint victory in Tarragona, continues to sit at the top of the points classification going into Saturday's stage, which will see the peloton tackle the infamous and excruciating Xorret de Cati.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele