Storer, 24, celebrated exuberantly as he conquered the hardest phase to date of the 2021 Vuelta, showcasing his capacity on the climbs and to climate the tactical fight of winning against some of the major riders in the globe.
“I did not anticipate to be a phase winner of the Vuelta today,” said Storer. “I knew I was in superior sort and I realized that I just had to have a go but I’m genuinely delighted and stunned that I managed to do it right now on a really genuinely tricky phase. I did not love that previous kilometre but now I’m commencing to realise I produced it and can actually love this victory.”
The West Australian benefitted from the existence of four other Teams DSM riders in the breakaway, but eventually had to capitalise on their hard do the job with his possess amazing trip on the final climb to win.
“The prepare currently was to be intense and to individual the race,” reported Storer. “To be honest we truly dominated the stage currently and I’m so impressed with the guys. I really do not feel we place 1 action completely wrong nowadays, it was a seriously outstanding effort and hard work.
“We understood coming into these days that we were being seriously nicely organized and that is truly motivating. As a team we can search for additional possibilities in this race – we really don’t relaxation on our laurels at Staff DSM and we’ll continue to keep seeking just about every day.”
The 152-kilometre stage from Gandia to Balcón de Alicante was established to be the initial real mountain stage of the race, other phases had completed on climb, but Stage 7 was hilly throughout, with the group 1 Puerto de Llacuna the very first of six categorised ascents on the day.
Team DSM managed to get 5 riders into the significant team that inevitably fashioned off the entrance of the race after a very first hour crammed with attacks and strain from within the peloton.
Storer and fellow Aussies Chris Hamilton (Team DSM), Jay Vine (Alepcin-Fenix) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) have been existing as the 30-sturdy team pushed its way distinct of the peloton. There were a couple riders close to the normal classification lead of Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) so the break was not offered a great deal leash by the chasing peloton.
A crash within the peloton for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) observed the 41-yr-old abandon the race, with Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) also a higher-profile rider out of the race after being dropped early.
Immediately after a number of DSM accelerations on the fourth climb of the Puerto El Collao, Storer slipped apparent with Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) on the descent, becoming a member of lone leader Lawson Craddock (EF Education-Nippo) who experienced escaped before. Sivakov dropped his chain during an assault on the penultimate climb of Puerto de Tibi and had some stern terms for Storer when he clambered his way back again throughout, with Craddock dropped.
As the cooperation broke down involving the pair and they approached the final climb of Balcón de Alicante, 8.4 kilometres at 6.2 per cent, they have been joined by Carlos Verona (Movistar) and Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal). Verona was intense, launching two significant attacks. Storer responded to the next a little bit slower, but as he observed he was dropping Sivakov, and he piled on the pressure to capture and then experience very clear of Verona.
The West Australian surged to a lead of 20 seconds which he managed to preserve even on the double-digit gradients of the upper slopes of the fearsome climb to celebrate the biggest earn of his youthful career.
At the rear of, the peloton accelerated on the last kilometres of the climb with a shake-up to the general classification standings. Felix Grossschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) just about took the race lead right after a robust journey from the breakaway, although Haig and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) likewise moved their way into the top 10 total.
Roglič managed his general lead by just 8 seconds above Grossschartner, but retained the similar margin or prolonged his direct on his key rivals as he completed in the vicinity of the head of the elite climbers from the peloton.