Roglic thrives in Vuelta time trial, takes overall lead
PAU, France (AP) — Primoz Roglic earned a dominant victory in the individual time trial Tuesday to take the overall lead of the Spanish Vuelta.
The Jumbo-Visma rider won the 36-kilometer (22-mile) 10th stage in the French city Pau with a time that was 25 seconds faster than second-place Patrick Bevin, a New Zealander from CCC Team. Frenchman Rémi Cavagna of team Deceuninck-Quick Step was third, 27 seconds off the lead.
“I’m happy with the performance, for sure,” said the 29-year-old Roglic, a former ski jumper. “The goal was to try to go as fast as possible all the time and, yeah, it was enough in the end.”
Roglic, only the second Slovenian to take the Vuelta lead, opened a gap of nearly two minutes over second-place Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team.
“It was everything as expected,” Valverde said. “Roglic was the favorite for this time trial and he showed why. I had a decent time trial. There is a long way to go and we are still in it.”
Third-place Miguel Ángel López fell more than 2 minutes behind Roglic.
“We will have a lot of opportunities,” the Colombian rider said. “Hopefully we will still be in the fight in the end.”
Valverde’s teammate Nairo Quintana, who was wearing the leader’s red jersey entering Tuesday’s stage, dropped to fourth place, three minutes off the lead.
“Three minutes is a lot,” the veteran Colombian said. “In this situation we have lost races and we have won races. We have nothing to lose. We are at least going to try.”
Tuesday’s time trial came after the first rest day in the three-week Grand Tour race that this year is without many top riders, including defending champion Simon Yates.
On Wednesday, riders return to Spain in a mid-mountain 11th stage of 180 kilometers (111 miles) from Saint-Palais to Urdax.