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Image: ALBERTO SAIZ/AP/Press Association Images

La Vuelta: Kittel takes stage seven amid chaos

Germany’s Marcel Kittel won the seventh stage of this year’s Vuelta a España, but the finish was marred by a massive pile-up involving the stage favourite, Tyler Farrar, among a great many others.
Aug 26th 2011, 6:05 PM 268 0

SKIL-SHIMANO MAY not be one of the strongest teams in world cycling, but in Marcel Kittel they’ve uncovered a talent capable of competing against the world’s top sprinters.

The 23-year-old German stormed to victory in today’s seventh stage of the Vuelta a España, outpacing the previous day’s winner, Liquigas’s Peter Sagan, Rabobank’s Oscar Freire and Leopard Trek’s Daniele Bennati in the home straight.

The finish was marred somewhat by an enormous pile-up inside the final kilometre, a crash for which stage favourite Tyler Farrar must take a great deal of the blame. In his anxiety to stay on the wheel of Vacansoleil’s Michal Golas, the American ended up touching wheels with the Pole and bringing both riders to the ground.

The resulting pile-up effected a significant proportion of the peloton and even succeeded in bringing a noticeably irate  Michele Scarponi to the ground.

Though unable to continue for a number of minutes, a severely bloodied Golas eventually succeeded in crossing the line.

Dramatic though the seventh stage proved to be, it did little to change the General Classification. Quick Step’s Sylvain Chavanel retains a fifteen second lead over Katusha’s Daniel Moreno heading into the race’s eighth day, while Irish duo Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche remain less than two minutes adrift, in 24th and 25th place, respectively.

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Conor Nagle

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