Sam Bennett looking for strong Saturday showing after losing points jersey

Nairo Quintana takes green jersey after Friday’s summit finish at Mas de la Costa

Team Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde of Spain  crosses the finish line in front of Team Jumbo rider  Primoz Roglic to win the seventh stage of the Vuelta a España  from Onda to Mas de la Costa. Photograph: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

Team Movistar rider Alejandro Valverde of Spain crosses the finish line in front of Team Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic to win the seventh stage of the Vuelta a España from Onda to Mas de la Costa. Photograph: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

 

Sam Bennett will hope for a strong showing on Saturday’s eighth stage of the Vuelta a España after Nairo Quintana (Movistar) took over the green jersey of points leader on Friday. Bennett had held the jersey since stage four but freely admitted that the hillier stages would see the advantage shift to the climbers and could well see him lose the lead.

That did indeed come to pass on Friday’s stage to the summit finish of Mas de la Costa where Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) beat Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Quintana to the line.

Bennett rolled in 160th , saving energy for Saturday’s stage. This takes an undulating route from Valls to Igualada. His chances of victory will depend on how things play out , if there is a breakaway, and if he stays in contact on the second category Puerto de Monserrat climb , which peaks 28 kilometres from the finish line.

VUELTA A ESPAÑA

Stage 7 – Onda to Mas de la Costa: 1 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 183.2 kilometres in 4 hours 34 mins 11 secs, 2 P Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) same time, 3 M Angel Lopez (Astana) at 6 secs, 4 N Quintana (Movistar Team) same time, 5 R Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) at 42 secs, 6 I Izagirre (Astana) at 48 secs.

Irish: 160 S Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) at 28 mins 42 secs.

Overall classification: 1 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) 28 hours 19 mins 13 secs, 2 P Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 6 secs, 3 A Valverde (Movistar Team) at 16 secs, 4 N Quintana (Movistar Team) at 27 secs, 5 R Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) at 1 min 58 secs, 6 T Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) at 2 mins 36 secs.

Irish: 151 S Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) at 1 hour 16 mins 44 secs

Points: 1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) 50 points, 2 Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) 48, 3 Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) 45

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