Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Vima) got off the Cibeles podium a year ago as the winner of the 2019 Vuelta and in Arrate he wore the red after making it clear in the final ascent that he is still the king, in addition, opening a gap in the general in the first round.
Roglic, 30, second on the Tour and recent winner of the Liege Bastogne, gave the first warning at the premiere. He is the leader of his team and wants to win another Vuelta. Within a group with the strongest 8, he attacked 1 kilometer from the finish line and entered with a second over the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos) and the Irish Dan Martin (Israel).
In the same group were the Colombian Esteban Chaves and the Spanish Enric Mas. Roglic’s damage suffered prominent names such as Alejandro Valverde, David de la Cruz or Tom Dumoulin, who gave up 51 seconds, to begin with, a good stick.
Roglic, awarded with 10 seconds bonus, removed the seal from the red jersey, which he will defend in the second act with 5 seconds over Carapaz and 7 seconds over Martin. Enric Mas, attentive among the best, made a good impression and is the first Spaniard, sixth at 11 seconds.
The first stage in the history of the Vuelta was animated and was going to end in a first-class port. Weird, different environment, with facial recognition instead of the usual signature control and masks, symbol of these times of pandemic
A day for the men of the general enlivened by a quintet that starred in the first escape of this 75th edition. The initiative, from a born escapist, French champion Remy Cavagna, who was joined by Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Bol (Burgos BH), Sütterlin (Sunweb) and Jauregui (AG2R).
Jumbo and Movistar in command of the peloton immediately showed their intentions to take care of the general and fight the stage. Both teams did not allow joys of more than 4 minutes, which in the middle of the route and coinciding with the beginning of the ports was barely a minute and a half.
And so came the last ascent, with almost all the greats in the front positions, with the once great Froome off the hook, the warrior Valverde fighting not to waste time, Enric Mas presenting his credentials to do something great this fall and, above all, Roglic, marking territory as soon as he started pedaling. And that there is still a whole return.