Storer wins uphill stage as Valverde crashes out of La Vuelta
Australian Michael Storer claimed his first grand tour stage win on Friday in the seventh stage of the Vuelta a Espana, while Primoz Roglic retained the leader's red jersey
The 152km route featured six categorised climbs, culminating at the brutal 8k climb of the Balcon de Alicante.
With three kilometres remaining of the final climb, Team DSM rider Storer pulled away from the lead group of Carlos Verona, Pavel Sivakov and Andreas Kron, holding them off to cross the line first.
"I know what I'm capable of and my next goal was to always win a stage at World Tour level, and now I'm going to have to set myself a new goal," Storer said.
Slovenia's Roglic finished three minutes 33 seconds down on Storer and leads second place Felix Grosschartner by just eight seconds.
Earlier in the day EF Education–Nippo's Hugh Carthy, who finished third in last year's race abandoned the race.
2009 winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) crashed badly on a descent and went into a ravine. He re-mounted his bike but was forced to pull over in pain.
Saturday's stage eight should suit the sprinters, with riders racing the 174km from Santa Pola to La Manga del Mar Menor on a flat route.
VIDEO: 2021 La Vuelta Stage 7 Highlights
2021 La Vuelta Stage 7 Top 10
1 Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM 4:10:13
2 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:21
3 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:59
4 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:16
5 Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:24
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 0:01:32
7 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 0:01:37
9 Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:17
10 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:29
2021 La Vuelta GC after Stage 7
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 25:18:35
2 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:08
3 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:25
4 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:36
5 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:38
6 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:41
7 Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:57
8 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:59
9 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:06
10 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:22