Samuel Sánchez took the unusual step of criticizing the race organizer after the conclusion of the Vuelta a España's seventh stage on Friday.
Mind you, he minced his words. The last few clicks on the stage from Almendralejo to Mairena de Aljarafe were visibly everything but safe. Zdenek Stybar anticipated the bunch sprint to claim a well-deserved win, but several of the top GC riders weren't best pleased post-race. Joaquim Rodríguez was one of the first to air his frustrations, and 'Samu' followed up not long after.
"I don't know if it's an indictable stage finish, but it's lamentable", he said. "Our safety has to be thought of. Complicated finishes are okay, but the spectators were too close to us today".
'Samu' got through the stage unscathed, though, but heads into Saturday's big day in the mountains in a lowly 45th overall - almost four minutes in arrears. The team's top rider is still Mikel Nieve in 25th, no more than a minute and a half down on Vincenzo Nibali.
- (1, Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), 4:51:27)
- 32, Samuel Sánchez, 0:01
- 39, Egoi Martínez, s.t.
- 50, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
- 84, Mikel Landa, s.t.
- 90, Jorge Azanza, s.t.
- 98, Igor Antón, s.t.
- 102, Gorka Verdugo, s.t.
- 144, Juan José Oroz, 4:19
- 188, Pablo Urtasun, 4:53