VALDEGOVÍA, Spain (AP) — Michael Woods prevailed in the final kilometer to win the seventh stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Tuesday, with Richard Carapaz holding on to the overall leader’s jersey.
Woods made his move to the front entering the final kilometer (mile) and finished four seconds in front of Omar Fraile and Alejandro Valverde after a hilly stage that took riders 159 kilometers (98 miles) from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Valdegovía.
“It was a special day,” said Woods, who is Canadian. “I had a bit of luck, I had the legs and managed to get the win. I’m going to savor this one.”
Carapaz maintained the overall lead by finishing in the peloton, which crossed the line almost a minute later. The Ecuadorian kept an 18-second lead over Hugh Carthy, with Dan Martin and defending champion Primoz Roglic close behind. Roglic finished the stage in 19th place.
“I think we kept the situation under control,” Carapaz said. “We tried to stay calm and we knew things were not too dangerous with the finale. We tried to keep the breakaway under control and I think we finished with a good gap.”
Woods, the EF Pro Cycling rider who finished second in Sunday’s sixth stage, was 48th in the overall standings, almost 40 minutes behind Carapaz. He was the seventh different stage winner at the Vuelta this year.
“He played his cards and it worked well,” Fraile said of Woods.
Monday was the Vuelta’s first rest day.
On Wednesday, riders will face a mountain stage of 164 kilometers (102 miles) from Logroño to the Alto de Moncalvillo.
The Vuelta is taking place amid tight health restrictions as Spain endures a surge in coronavirus cases. The race was postponed from earlier in the year because of the pandemic.
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