Alejandro Valverde won the seventh stage of the Tour of Spain on Friday between Onda and Mas de la Costa (183.2 km). Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) is the new leader in the overall standings.
The breakaway of the day was drawn 121 km from the finish. Among the ten men were Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Sergio Henao (Emirates UAE Team) and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo).
The red jersey leader Dylan Teuns was dropped from the pack 26 kilometers from the finish, while Movistar then Astana were forcing to catch the last fugitives.
Among these, Philippe Gilbert played his va-all 13 km from the line, only followed by Sergio Henao.
The duo was finally resumed from the first slopes of the final climb of Mas de la Costa (4 km at 12.3% average, with passes up to 25%).
At 3 km from the summit, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) accelerated the pace. Only Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) were able to keep the Colombian wheel.
In the last hectometres, the world champion took the lead of the group and nobody was able to remount it. Lopez and Quintana even had to leave some lengths to Valverde and Roglic.
The Colombian of Astana however retires the leader's red jersey that he had to abandon to Dylan Teuns Thursday. He is now ahead of Roglic by six seconds, Valverde by 16 seconds and Quintana by 27 seconds.
Saturday's stage will be markedly less hilly, with only one category 2nd grade on the program. The riders will have 166.9 km to go between Valls and Igualada