MADRID, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Tony Gallopan of Ag2r-La Mondiale claimed an impressive win in the 7th stage of the three-week Vuelta de Espana (Tour of Spain) cycle race on Friday.
Gallopan was able to take advantage of a difficult finish to show his strength in the final uphill straight to finish five seconds clear of second-placed Peter Sagan of Bora-Hangrohe and Alejandro Valverde.
The French rider caught a small breakaway group with two kilometers left and was able to power his way to the finish line at the end of 185.7 kilometers between Puerto Lumbreras and Pozo Alcon.
The stage ended with a technical 30 kilometers over twisting roads, some of which had less than idea surfaces for racing. That helped to produce a series of falls and splits in the main peloton, while temperatures over 30 degrees centigrade again made life difficult for the riders.
Michael Kwiatkowski of Sky was victim of a fall after sliding out on a corner in the closing kilometers and lost 30 seconds, dropping from second to sixth in the overall classification.
Rudy Mollard of Grupama-FDJ retains the overall leader's jersey with an advantage of 47 seconds over Valverde in second and Emanuel Buchmann in third, while Gallopan moves up to fifth after his stage win.
Saturday's stage is a relatively flat 195.1 kilometers between Linares and Almaden, while Sunday sees the first high-mountain stage and the first mountain finish of the race.