Primoz Roglic got off the perfect start in his bid to win the Vuelta a Espana for a third consecutive year by winning the individual time trial in Saturday’s opening stage in Burgos.
You can rewatch STAGE 1 of 2021 Vuelta a Espana HERE
Roglic was in top form after winning the gold medal in the Olympic time trial in Tokyo and set off last, aiming to topple frontrunner Alex Aranburu (Astana).
The reigning Vuelta champion finished the 7.1km course in eight minutes and 32 seconds, beating Aranburu by six seconds to take the red jersey and a healthy early lead on his general classification contenders.
“It was crazy”, Roglic said. “Obviously it [his time] was enough. I’m super-happy and pleased with today’s result.”
“Seven kilometres are still super-hard. You don’t wish for more when you cross the line. It’s hard. It’s all-out from the start to the finish.
“I don’t really know the intermediate times, but the fact is we have to go fast from the start uphill, and you also need to come down, and survive the corners, and push on the flat.”
The Slovenian has a lead of 27 seconds over Egan Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France winner who is seen as Roglic’s main rival for this Vuelta title and came 46th on the day. Richard Carapaz, the 2019 Giro d’Italia champion and gold medallist in the Olympic road race, trails Roglic by 25 seconds after coming 35th.
Sunday’s stage two is a flat 166.7 km race from Caleruega to Burgos. Gamonal.