Chris Froome remained in second place on the general classification after a long and flat stage seven of the Vuelta.
Characterised by the traditional long breakaway and subsequent chase, there was a chance for the GC riders to gather their energies before Saturday's mountain stage.
Froome remained safe in the peloton as the kilometres were ticked off and Team Sky avoided a mid- peloton crash which bought down several riders before they reached the Motorland Aragon raceway.
On reaching the MotoGP venue the peloton was strung out, eventually Sky hitting the front with 5km to go. Juan Antonio Flecha started the work and handed over to Ian Stannard whose high pace and cornering prowess was enough to briefly break the bunch.
With 2km remaining, the bunch rejoined the Sky leadout train, within which Ben Swift looked to have the perfect leadout from Froome, in a moment reminiscent of the work of Wiggins for Cavendish in the Tour de France.
Unfortunately, the end result was significantly less than the stage win for Swift, who was swamped in the closing stages, John Dagenkolb taking his third sprint of the tour and with it an extended lead in the points classification.
General Classification standings after Stage 7:
1 RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin KAT 25h 53' 04''
2 FROOME, Christopher SKY + 10''
3 CONTADOR, Alberto STB + 36''
4 GESINK, Robert RAB + 54''
5 VALVERDE, Alejandro MOV + 54''
6 ROCHE, Nicolas ALM + 1' 04''
7 MOLLEMA, Bauke RAB + 1' 12''
8 MORENO, Daniel KAT + 1' 17''
9 COBO, Juan José MOV + 1' 34''
10 HENAO, Sergio Luis SKY + 1' 39''