The lack of a top level sprinter is showing at the Vuelta, this time with a clear sprint stage foiled by a break of two in the closing kilometres. Cav, Greipel, Kittel et al. must be wondering what is going on with the race. That said, these have been fantastic stages for fans as there’s that lingering question as to whether the escapees will stay away.

Stage 7 saw Gilbert drag Stybar to the line for an excellent win. Stybar seems to have mastered staying out of the wind, and used his new-found skills with great aplomb. And the rainbow stripes appear to retain their curse.

And in the tipping, we have our first sprint-inflicted casualty.

Who tipped whom?

It was all sprinters, as we would expect. A few people were looking for escapees with the likes of LL Sanchez, Ten Dam, Cancellara and Zubeldia all tipped. A few people were all over the shop, taking Basso or Pozzovivivivos (seriously).

Rider | Number of tips

Tyler Farrar | 60
Michael Matthews | 51
Maximiliano Ariel Richeze | 45
Gregory Henderson | 16
Leigh Howard | 16
Edvald Boasson Hagen | 13
Gianni Meersman | 12
Nikias Arndt | 8
Adam Hansen | 4
Ramon Sinkeldam | 4

The experts

Again the ivory tower followed the masses today for the most part, with the noticable exception of zero Farrar tips. The InnerRing went for the Argentine Richeze. VeloTipper followed suit.

Some 60% of yesterday’s top 10 went for Farrar … thanks for playing. The remaining four opted for Richeze or Meersman. In short, not many surprises.

The stage winners

Let’s hear it for Brenton Farr, the only person to tip Stybar! Excellent tipping.

EggnSpoonr and Chun-Ping Liao both had Gilbert for equal second, picking up a few bonus seconds.

But spare a thought for the 60 people who backed the sprinter Farrar on a flat stage. Farrar was called back for team duties to bring Dan Martin back to the field after a crash. Farrar dropped some 3 minutes in the process, and caused 3h 20m worth of damage to the tipping peloton. Farrar gets the Egg of the Day award. Other contenders were Leigh Howard (1h 12m) and Nikias Arndt (34m).

The leaders

We have another leader. This time it’s Ter Culloty who re-dons the Red Jersey. He was in second yesterday and stayed on Richeze while Darren Cathie went with Farrar. The top 10 has changed around, and we welcome inrng.com to the top of the table. Can he hold on??

Top Ten

  1. Ter Culloty
  2. Jackson Ankers
  3. Brad Stephens
  4. Olly Harris
  5. Chris Seglenieks
  6. Daniel Baker
  7. Dan Collins
  8. Derek Clarke
  9. inrng.com
  10. Dom Geoghegan

Warren Suen continues to lead the points on 97 from Darren Cathie on 93.

Looking forward

Stage 8 is the first of four very challenging stages. The road is basically flat with a small bump in the middle and a 15km climb to the line. We would normally look to GC riders, but given that this stage is relatively easy in the context of the seven remaining summit finishes, we at VeloTipper will be backing a roughy to preserve the GC riders for some of the bigger days to come.

To see the full leaderboards after stage 7 of the Vuelta tipping competition, log in here.