November 9 th 2020 - 11:07 [GMT + 1]
Primoz Roglic said it again and again during La Vuelta 20: “I always want to win.” His late debut in cycling, after a first career as a ski jumper, probably incite him to enjoy to the fullest his best years on the bike. His victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège already offered him a sweet revenge after his young Slovenian compatriot, Tadej Pogacar, narrowly edged him in the Tour de France after proving his worth the year before in the Spanish Grand Tour.
Primoz Roglic thus enjoyed a triumphant ending to a shortened season with a major success, his second in a row through the most prestigious avenues of Madrid. The winners of La Vuelta have lost the habit of defending their title and reputation, and it’s a very unusual sight to see the bearer of the bib number 1 claim victory on the very first day. But since Primoz always wants to win, he chased and claimed success as soon as La Vuelta began in Arrate.
His vulnerability also makes him a popular figure, within the mighty Jumbo-Visma. As a matter of fact, he didn’t keep La Roja from stage 1 until the finish. The leader’s jersey slipped away from him on two occasions, in Formigal, where he was missing a jacket to fight the cold, and up L’Angliru, that he felt was “too steep for a sprinter”.
Roglic, a sprinter? He showed his strength with an unexpected win in Suances. Roglic is a climber, obviously, and a rouleur. He repeated at Mirador de Ézaro the time-trial success he claimed a year earlier in Pau.
In 2020, as it was already the case in 2019, he is the only rider to climb on the podium of two Grand Tours. All the way to the last three kilometres up La Covatilla, his dominance was contested by the runner-up Richard Carapaz, with a powerful counter-attack after an earlier move from Hugh Carthy, the new face of an edition of La Vuelta that will remain in the history books and in the hearts of the lovers of cycling, who feared for a long time they wouldn’t be able to cheer for champions as comple and willing as Primoz Roglic.