Slovenia’s Primož Roglic, who rides for Team Jumbo Visma, claimed victory on the 173km opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana, which culminated on the tough Alto de Arrate climb today.
The defending champion led a group of seven riders home after an acceleration in the finale of the five-kilometre ascent that finished high above the town of Arrate.
He crossed the line in 4:22:34, one second ahead of Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Ireland’s Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), to secure the race’s first red jersey.
Colombia’s Esteban Chaves, Austria’s Felix Großschartner and Spain’s Enric Mas – runner-up in 2018 – finished in the same time, with Britain’s Hugh Carthy and America’s Sepp Kuss four and 10 seconds back respectively.
Stefan de Bod, who made his Grand Tour debut for NTT Pro Cycling today, was the leading South African, finishing 8:32 down in 57th position.
“The stage was already quite hard and then on the final climb I think we were all suffering,” said Roglic.
“I am just super happy to win it (red jersey) again. It’s quite a strange season with a lot of stress, but it’s super nice that in these times we can do some races.”
Chris Froome’s dream of a third Vuelta title ended early when he was dropped on the penultimate climb. He eventually crossed the line in 72nd, 11:12 behind Roglic.
|1||Primož Roglic||SLV||Jumbo Visma||4:22:34|
|2||Richard Carapaz||ECU||Ineos Grenadiers||+0:01|
|3||Dan Martin||IRE||Israel Start-Up Nation|
|6||Enric Mas||ESP||Movistar Team|
|7||Hugh Carthy||GBR||EF Pro Cycling||+0:04|
|8||Sepp Kuss||USA||Jumbo Visma||+0:10|
|9||George Bennett||NZI||Jumbo Visma||+0:40|
|10||Andrea Bagioli||ITA||Deceuninck-Quick Step||+0:51|
|57||Stefan de Bod||RSA||NTT Pro Cycling||+8:32|
|87||Reinardt Janse van Resnburg||RSA||NTT Pro Cycling||+14:35|
|98||Nic Dlamini||RSA||NTT Pro Cycling|