Vuelta a Espana 2022 : Stage 7 – Jesus Herrada takes the day for Cofidis

Jesus Herrada of The Mighty Cofidis won stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana and we are jumping happy about it. Smartest and coolest of the quintet of breakaway riders, the Spaniard timed his sprint surge to perfection to edge out Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan) and Bahrain Victorious’ Fred Wright. Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) took the peloton sprint despite concerted efforts by Trek-Segafredo to drop him on the only climb of the day. The GC remains the same ahead of a weekend in Asturias.

Oh boy, once again I have the absolute pleasure of writing a stage report for a VeloVoices favourite – this time it’s Journal Velo and his all consuming passion for all things Cofidis. Vamos!

Stage 7 looked like a day for the breakaway. Check that HUGE drag of a Cat 1 climb halfway way through the route!

However, Trek-Segafredo made it clear from the get-go they had a different end game in mind.

Six riders made it into the break and gained a gap of over 4 minutes heading to the Cat 1 ascent.

As the peloton hit the slopes of the 22.4km Puerto de San Glorio, the Trekkies put their plan into action. To be fair, they had plenty of time to do so, the climb seemed to go on for hours!!  Juanpe Lopez and Kenny Elissonde danced on the pedals at the front and made life very difficult for the fast men. BikeExchange-Jayco added riders to increase the pressure.

Tim Merlier (Alpecin Deceuninck) and UAE Team Emirates’ Pascal Ackermann were dispatched quickly, but Sam Bennett held on until the final 2km – close enough that he was brought back to the group on the descent.

From the descent to the rolling run to the line we were treated to the classic will-they-won’t-they scenario. The break kept the pressure on. The advantage swung back and forth between the break and the chasing group, depending on which sprinters teams would work and how many riders they would commit to the chase.

With 10km to go the break still held a minute, at 5km the gap had only decreased to 49secs. The break had ridden with grit all day and now, crucially, they DID NOT FAFF ABOUT. Under the flamme rouge and they knew it was between the five of them. Things were tense for Cofidis fans…

Our Journal Velo was right to have faith because as Fred Wright opened his sprint and charged for the line, Herrada slid into his slipstream and scorched straight past with enough speed to keep a fast-finishing Battistella behind him.  Watch the Mighty ‘Dis fly while I bedeck VeloVoices Towers with red and white bunting.

What is even more special about this win is that of the five hoping for victory, Herrada would have been my last pick to win a sprint (sorry JV )

You all KNOW how much I LOVE when a brave breakaway defeat the odds, and even more so when winner is overcome with emotion.

Look at his face!

This is what it means.

From the man himself.

It’s crazy! Into the last 3km, the gaps made it clear we would make it. I had to be patient in the last km, following wheels. I knew there were fast men in the group but I trusted my sprint. We fought until the line and I could make it. It’s very important. It was hard to open up a significant gap for the breakaway. We had to go hard on the climb. We worked well together and it was about giving it all until the end. We knew the finale and the wind could play in our favour. After Marc [Soler]’s victory, Spain takes a second stage win. We’re happy. Tomorrow will be very hard but we’ll savour this win.

The best laid plans

Trek Segafredo came with a plan to get Mads into green. They executed brilliantly, but couldn’t finish it off.

At the end of the day, Bennett gained more green jersey points, and despite Trek’s commitment to the cause, that’s not a good end.

While we are on the theme of best laid plans, here’s BEX.

Fred Wright came so close once again. I agree with Andy, and I really hope he can keep the pressure at bay and take his victory.

The Last Word


Stage 7 results

1 Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 4:30:58

2 Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan) same time

3 Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) s/t

4 Jimmy Jannsens (Alpecin-Fenix) s/t

5 Harry Sweeny (Lotto-Soudal) s/t

GC Top 10

1 Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep Alpha Vinyl) 25:21:34

2 Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) +0:21

3 Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:28

4 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:01

5 Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +1:12

6 Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) +1:27

7 Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) +1:27

8 Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) +1:34

9 Simon Philip Yates (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) +1:52

10 Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +1:54

All the Jerseys

Leader’s jersey :Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep Alpha Vinyl)

Points jersey : Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)

King of the Mountains jersey : Victor Langellotti (Burgos-BH))

Young Rider Jersey : Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep Alpha Vinyl)

Team competition : Bahrain Victorious

For the full stage review, go to cyclingnews

Go here for the official La Vuelta websit

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