Roglic begins his quest with a bang
August 14 th 2021 - 21:21 [GMT + 2]
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won stage 1 of La Vuelta 21, a 7.1km time-trial around Burgos cathedral, to take the leader’s jersey from day 1, just like he did in 2020. The ITT Olympic Champion remains unbeaten against the clock on the roads of the Spanish Grand Tour and already takes an advantage on his rivals ahead of three weeks of racing leading to another time-trial, in Santiago de Compostela. The two-time winner of La Vuelta dominated Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech), who stayed on the hot seat for most of the stage, and his Slovenian compatriot Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious).
The 76th edition of La Vuelta starts Saturday afternoon in the spectacular settings of Burgos, when the young Spanish rider Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH) leaves from the Plaza Santa Maria, right in front of the iconic cathedral. He is the first to reach the finish, with a time of 9’30’’, but riders will quickly do better.
Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech) sets a strong reference: 8’55’’. But Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers), who chose to be among the early starters at 18:05, narrowly edges the Spaniard: 8’52’’.
The first man to beat Yates is his teammate Dylan van Baarle, in 8’52’’. The Dutchman, who already led the opening time-trial in Malaga in 2018, stays on the hot seat for more than half an hour before another Spaniard from Astana-Premier Tech takes the provisional lead. Although Alex Aranburu was trailing atop the Alto del Castillo (cat 3, km 2.5), he flew on the downhill and the remaining flat section to clock a time of 8’38’’ (49,3km/h).
More riders beat Aranburu’s time at the intermediate point, as they chase the first polka-dot jersey of La Vuelta 21. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) takes the lead up the Alto del Castillo before setting a time of 8’47’’.
The intensity rises as the last riders take the start. Among them, Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) takes the 27th best time (+19''), moments after Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) took the 14th (+15'').
Slovenian ITT Champion Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious) comes very close to beating Aranburu’s time but he has to settle for 2nd (+2’’). The Spaniard’s effort proves to be too much for everyone except one rider: Roglic, the last man on the road as the two-time defending champion, who covers the 7.1km in 8’32’’ (49.9km/h) and already gains 27’’ on Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), the penultimate starter.