The Czech Republic’s Zdenek Stybar, riding for Omega, edged the seventh stage of the Tour of Spain on Friday as Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali held on to the overall lead.
Stybar narrowly claimed the day’s honours after a 205.9km ride from Almendralejo to Mairena de Aljarafe from Belgian world road race champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC). In third came Germany’s Robert Wagner (Belkin).
Nibali came in 22th, one second behind the winner, and retained possession of the leader’s red jersey. Stybar, a double former world cycle-cross champion, and Gilbert slipped clear of the peloton with seven kilometres to go, this pair holding off the sprinters led by Wagner by a matter of centimetres.
Nibali succeeded in escaping any mishaps during the tricky winding end of the stage to go into Saturday’s eighth stage with a three-second cushion over American Chris Horner and Republic of Ireland’s Nicolas Roche. Saturday’s ride takes the peloton on a 166km run from Jerez de la Frontera to Estepona with the finish on the first category col de Penas Blancas.