Vuelta a Espana: Roglic begins red jersey defence with victory

By Tom Webber 21 October 2020 5
Vuelta a Espana: Roglic begins red jersey defence with victory

Reigning champion Primoz Roglic took the red jersey with an impressive success on the opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

After losing out on Tour de France glory to Tadej Pogacar in dramatic fashion in September, Roglic quickly laid down a marker in the final Grand Tour of the year.

The Slovenian attacked on the category one ascent of the Alto de Arrate – the final test on the 173-kilometre stage from Irun to Eibar – and beat Richard Carapaz to the line to take a five-second lead in the General Classification.

Only eight riders managed to stay within 10 seconds of Roglic, with Jumbo-Visma team-mate Tom Dumoulin and 2009 champion Alejandro Valverde – both considered among the other contenders for glory in Spain – already over a minute behind in the GC.

Roglic said: "It's nice to win. I'm really happy. The team showed again that they're all really strong. They worked perfectly through the whole stage and in the end I was able to win so it's a beautiful start.

"It was already hard before the final climb, and then we were going full gas. We have crazy guys like Sepp [Kuss] and I'm just happy to win it in the end.

"It's a strange season so I'll just enjoy the leader's jersey, starting from tomorrow, and the fact that we're racing."

Thibaut Pinot lost over 10 minutes, while Chris Froome, contesting his final Grand Tour with INEOS, finished more than 11 minutes back.



1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 4:22:34
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS) +00:01
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:01
4. Jhoan Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) +00:01
5. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) +00:01


General Classification  

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 04:22:24
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS) +00:05
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:07 

Points Classification  

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 25
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS) 20
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 16 

King of the Mountains

1. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 10
2. Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale) 6
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) 6 


The 151.6km ride from Pamplona to Lekunberri includes three categorised climbs, the last of which lasts for 9.4km at an average gradient of 7.9 per cent.

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Tom Webber