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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, August 15, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

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Vuelta a España stage one reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team:

Primoz Roglic has won the prologue of the Vuelta a España in a convincing way. The Team Jumbo-Visma rider is also the first wearer of the red leader’s jersey of the Spanish stage race.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic gets the year's first red jersey. Sirotti photo

The Slovenian needed 8:32 to complete the seven kilometre time trial. With that time he was six seconds faster than number two Aranburu. Teammate Sepp Kuss was the fastest up the 1.2 kilometre climb. He now leads the mountain classification.

With the victory, Roglic immediately lived up to his status as Olympic time trial champion. "I am very happy to have achieved this result today. Although the time trial was only seven kilometres, it was still very tough", he said. "I rode full speed from start to finish. Fortunately, it was enough. I don’t know exactly where I made the difference. We had to go straight up and then get through the corners well. I started a little slower and then picked up the pace. On the flat it was mainly about keeping pedalling hard."

"We’ll see if I can keep the red jersey for three weeks", the two-time winner of the Tour of Spain continued. "It’s a great start to this race. Hopefully we can enjoy this with the team in the coming days."

With this win, Roglic’s victory tally comes to seven this year.

Here's the report from second-place Alex Aranburu's Team Astana-Premier Tech:

Alex Aranburu took a solid second podium place in today’s opening individual time trial around the Cathedral of Burgos. The Astana – Premier Tech rider finished with the best provisional time halfway through the race, stopping the clock at 8 minutes and 38 seconds. Aranburu had to wait for some two hours in the hot seat until defending La Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic beat his time with just six seconds, taking the stage win and the first red jersey.

“Well, of course I feel a bit of disappointment after I was so close to a stage win, but honestly, it was expected that Primoz Roglic would be the biggest favourite today. I did a good time trial, and I can say I liked it very much. I love these kind of short and explosive races and I was motivated to do a good race today. I tried to do my best on the climb, but also in the final part, which I think was crucial for the stage result. It was not easy to keep a high pace in the last few kilometres, but I succeeded, and I finished with the best provisional time. Well, I had to wait quite long on the hot seat and at the end of the day I just missed the win. However, I can be proud of my performance today and I think this is a good start to the race for me”, – said Alex Aranburu.

In general, Astana – Premier Tech team performed well in today’s first stage. Firstly, it was Omar Fraile, who finished with the best provisional time and later Luis Leon Sanchez and Oscar Rodriguez both crossed the line with the third best time. Next it was Alex Aranburu, who smashed it with the new time, enough to get the team’s first podium place at this La Vuelta. Later, we saw good performances from the Spanish Time Trial Champion Ion Izagirre and his brother Gorka Izagirre before the team’s leader Aleksandr Vlasov showed good legs with a place in the top 10 of the stage.

Luis Leon Sanchez

Here's Luis Leon Sanchez finishing his ride. Sirotti photo

Young Kazakh rider Yuriy Natarov was motivated to try to fight for the first mountain points at the Vuelta a España, but could not get the points on the top of the climb. However, it was his first attempt to get a result at his first ever Grand Tour stage.

“I think that the team had a really solid start today and all the riders showed themselves in the best way. Indeed, we were so close to a victory but instead we took another second place. However we knew that Roglic was the main favourite in this short time trial, so we can be really happy with the performance of Alex Aranburu, but also with the stage of our leader Aleksandr Vlasov, who did a very strong time trial and finished inside the top 10 ahead of many other GC contenders. Well, it was a good start for us and now we are looking forward to the next stages”,– added Dmitriy Fofonov, Team Performance Manager.

Felix Grossschartner's Bora-hansgrohe team sent this report:

The Vuelta kicked off with a short 7.1km individual time trial that started and finished at the Cathedral of Burgos. The course went continuously uphill for the first 3km up to Alto del Castillo, a 1.2km climb with a gradient of approximately seven per cent.

However, 38 degree heat and gusty southwesterly winds provided a challenge for the riders out on the course. The first participant rolled off the start ramp shortly before 18:00, setting the first benchmark time of 9:30. Patrick Gamper opened the race against the clock for the team from Raubling, while Felix Großschartner was one of the last to take on the course. With a time of 8:52, Felix rode a solid race, setting a time which was ultimately enough for 18th position, the highest placing of the team on a day which saw P. Roglič take the stage win. Maximilian Schachmann reached the finish line in 8:54 minutes, thereby taking 25th place.

From the Finish Line
"I felt quite good today and it was a pretty solid start to the race. It was important to get through the course well and not take too big a risk that I would crash somewhere. But on the whole I got through well and so I'm looking forward to the upcoming days." - Felix Großschartner

"We’re happy that the Vuelta has gotten underway. We’re well prepared for the race and have come here with quite a young team. In today's time trial our full focus rested on Felix Großschartner, who finished 18th and lost little time on his main competitors. Maximilian Schachmann is also worth mentioning, with his 25th place after today’s short and technical opening time trial in Burgos." - Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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