Jumbo-Visma gift Gesink with La Roja
August 19 th 2022 - 20:38
Robert Gesink is the first leader of La Vuelta 22 as Jumbo-Visma dominated the opening team time-trial, a 23.3km challenge covered in 24’40’’ in the streets of Utrecht. On home soil, the Dutch squad was 13’’ faster than Ineos Grenadiers and 14’’ faster than Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to already put Primoz Roglic in prime position in his bid for a historic fourth consecutive victory in the Spanish Grand Tour. But first, Gesink takes La Roja in his 9th participation. He will enjoy it in the Netherlands as stage 2 runs from 's-Hertogenbosch to Utrecht.
Burgos-BH were the first riders to set off at 18:30, with menacing clouds covering the sky of Utrecht, with a few wet spots on the road. And the Spanish squad naturally sets the first reference, in 26’38’’. Unfortunately, they could only start with 7 riders as Manuel Peñalver returned a late positive test to Covid-19.
BikeExchange set the early reference
Michael Woods and Chris Froome’s Israel Premier Tech are the third team to finish, with a strong time (25’44’’)… Not enough to hold off Groupama-FDJ, whose time of 25’18’’ is then beaten by Simon Yates’ BikeExchange-Jayco, flying over the 23.3km at 55.5km/h to set a time of 25’11’’.
The situation then settles until Bora-Hansgrohe set off with the winner of the Giro, Jai Hindley. At the intermediate point (km 11), they are 2’’ ahead of Team BikeExchange-Jayco. But they trail by 10’’ as they cross the line.
Jumbo-Visma fly on home soil
The intensity rises as we get closer to the last starts, with Ineos Grenadiers (Richard Carapaz), Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl (Remco Evenepoel, Julian Alaphilippe), Movistar (Alejandro Valverde, Enric Mas) and Jumbo-Visma, led by the defending champion Primoz Roglic and the TT expert Rohan Dennis.
Ineos Grenadiers are the first team to go under 25 minutes, with a time of 24’53’’. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl only rail by 0.77’’ on the line… But Jumbo-Visma smash the best time in 24’40’’. Gesink is the first across the line to take La Roja in his ninth participation in La Vuelta.