Germany’s on-form Marcel Kittel claimed stage seven of the Tour of Spain on Friday following a crash-riddled bunch sprint to the line
The day’s action took the peloton over a relatively straightforward and flat 185 km trek to Talavera de la Reina in the Sistema Central ranges.
Apart from a four-man breakaway that failed to do any serious damage it was another rather unspectacular day.
That is until 27 kilometres to the line when a minor crash split the bunch.
But the Vuelta train was back in motion heading into Talavera de la Reina with teams gearing up for a mass sprint.
However most of the fast men in the pack ended up licking their wounds on the home straight.
As Kittel powerfully kicked out in front to take the victory American Garmin-Cervélo rider Tyler Farrar tangled with Vacansoleil-DCM’s Michal Golas bringing both down as well as many others including general classification hopeful Michele Scarponi.
As the fallen sprinters were scraping themselves off the tarmac behind Kittel was punching the air in delight of his victory.
Stage six winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia and experienced Spaniard Oscar Freire took second and third respectively.
In the overall standings Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel retained the leader’s jersey – he’s 15 seconds ahead of Daniel Moreno of Spain with defending champion Vincenzo Nibali lurking close behind in third.