Vuelta a España stage 7 report: Soupe takes a surprise win in a hectic sprint finish

35-year-old Frenchman navigates a tricky finale to take his first ever Grand Tour stage win.

The final sprint on stage 7 of the Vuelta a España.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 01.09.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Geoffrey Soupe (TotalEnergies) sprinted to victory on Friday’s stage 7 of the Vuelta a España, successfully navigating a stressful finale and taking his first ever Grand Tour stage win ahead of Orluis Aular (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Edward Theuns (Lidl-Trek).

The final 10 km saw two bad crashes, including one that forced Thymen Arensman (Ineos Grenadiers) out of the race, but overnight leader Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) and the other GC contenders at the top of the overall standings finished safely in the peloton.

Brief results

Brief analysis

After spending much of his career as a lead-out rider, Geoffrey Soupe finally got to celebrate his own win on Friday.

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As it turned out, Geoffrey Soupe wasn’t even expected to be racing in Spain at first, as Soupe described in his post-race interview.

I didn’t even have the Vuelta [on my calendar] for this year. But Alexis Vuillermoz had a crash in the Tour de l’Ain so the team decided to pick me to [go to] the Vuelta. I didn’t think it was possible to win a stage because it’s really, really, really fast.

Obviously, the change of plans worked out for Soupe and his team in the end.

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It was close enough at the line that it took a few moments for Soupe’s victory to be confirmed, but that just made for an even more excited celebration with his teammates after the finish.

ICYMI, there is a hip young person in the lead at the Vuelta.

Also ICYMI, there is an extremely capable Cava drinker in second place overall at the Vuelta.

Up next

The climbers will reenter into the equation on stage 8. None of the early ascents is particularly brutal in and of itself but the accumulating elevation gain will put fatigue into the legs before a short but very steep final climb. The first-category Xorret de Catí climb is 3.9 km long but features an 11.4 percent average grade, which will make it a potential launching pad before the downhill run to the finish. It’s tough to say whether this stage will go to the break or the GC riders, but it seems almost guaranteed to go to an elite climber. As usual, look for Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič of Jumbo-Visma, and maybe Enric Mas (Movistar).

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