Stage 7: Murcia — Orihuela
What is it? Flat thing.
Got Climbs? Just one, and it's category 3.
Red Jersey Battle: Not today.
Ideal Rider: Sprinter! Why not Oscar Freire? It is his home race.
@Gavia: Bizarre course, this one. Keep your route slips handy, kidz.
More info and results below the fold!
This stage between Murcia and Orihuela follows an Escher staircase of a course, heading northeast then looping back on itself to finish not far from where it began. The profile is mostly flat with just one category 3 climb to interrupt the tranquility. The Puerto de Hondón de los Frailes climbs 8.8 kilometers and summits with around 60 kilometers to go. It's a nice incentive for a rider interested in wearing the mountains jersey to go with the early break. The long descent to the flat finish should offer the sprinters' teams plenty of road to bring back any cheeky escapists. A sprint looks all but certain in Orihuela, not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Post-Race Happy Hour
A Win for Petacchi!
Petacchi won today's sprint ahead of Mark Cavendish and JJ Haedo. The stage followed the familiar pattern: early break, late catch, bunch sprint. Philippe Gilbert continues another day in the Red Jersey of race leader.