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Primoz Roglic has done some good business in the overall classification in the seventh stage of the Vuelta a España. The Slovenian leader of Team Jumbo-Visma was second only to World Champion Alejandro Valverde on the steep climb to the finish at Alto Mas de la Costa. In the overall standings, Roglic has moved up to second place, just six seconds behind Miguel Angel Lopez.
With George Bennett, Team Jumbo-Visma has a second rider in the top ten overall. The rider from New Zealand finished ninth on the stage and is now eighth overall.
With an average speed of almost fifty kilometre in the first hour, it took a long time before eleven riders could get away. The leading group was reeled in at the foot of the final climb, after which Sepp Kuss and George Bennett increased the pace. Roglic left a strong impression and took some seconds back on Lopez.
"It was a short, tough, but sweet climb," Roglic said. “This is the kind of finish that is perfect for Valverde. I have shown that I can also do these climbs, but Alejandro was the best today. I am very happy with this second place and with how things go. Everyone knows that it is difficult to win races without a team. What the team showed today was impressive. My compliments to them for how they supported me today. They were really strong. We are doing well and are in a good position.”
Bennett emphasises the team spirit. “Today I have seen a strong team. The young riders in particular were very strong. This is beautiful to see and gives us confidence. Especially after what we have been through in the past days with the many crashes, all the cuts and bruises, and Steven having to leave the race. After the team time trial we had to attack and we kept our heads up and kept fighting. Now it is important to keep Primoz in this position until the time trial next Tuesday. "
Sports director Grischa Niermann concurred with his GC riders. "The team was very strong. Robert, Neilson, Sepp and George assisted Primoz well in the final. Primoz competed with the best on the steep final climb and did not face any problems. With George also in the top ten we are doing really well."