Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic on Tuesday pulverized his key rivals at the Vuelta a Espana individual time trial to take a commanding lead with 11 stages remaining.
Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) posted a razor-sharp time of 47 minutes, 5 seconds to seize the leader’s red jersey from climb specialist Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who lost more ground than he might have expected.
World champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is in second in the general classification at 1:52 behind, while Columbian Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) is in third at 2:11 back and his compatriot Quintana has slipped to fourth, 3:00 adrift of Roglic.
“These differences were predictable,” Valverde said. “It is clear that Roglic was the big favorite for this stage and he proved it, but the Vuelta still has a long way to go. One minute more, one less — that doesn’t mean anything.”
Former ski jumper Roglic, who came third at the Giro d’Italia in May, banks on doing well in the time trial and holding on in the hills.
“You just try to ride as fast as possible, so I’m happy with the performance, for sure,” Roglic said.
The crushing victory puts Roglic firmly in charge of the Vuelta, whose 10th stage unusually took place entirely in France. The 36.2km course between Jurancon and Pau was full of winding country lanes and technically demanding descents that were always likely to challenge those more comfortable on the climbs.
However, Quintana would still have been disappointed with his showing, which leaves the Colombian with a significant gap to close in the event’s more mountainous stages that remain.
Roglic edged out Patrick Bevin (CCC Team), who came second on the stage, with fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) the only general contender to make much of an impression. Pogacar remains fifth overall after winning stage nine on Sunday.
Bevin came in 25 seconds slower than Roglic, while third-placed Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck Quick-Step) was a further 2 seconds back.
In the 11th stage today, riders negotiate a 180km route between Saint-Palais, France, and Urdax, Spain.
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