Vuelta a Espana: Roglic unrivalled as he seals hat-trick in style

By Sports Desk September 05, 2021

Primoz Roglic secured his third successive Vuelta a Espana title with an imperious performance in Sunday's time trial finale.

Roglic entered the 33.8 kilometre ride from Padron to Santiago de Compostel all but sure of winning La Roja barring a remarkable turn of events.

And the Slovenian finished things off in style as he became only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions.

Roglic also succeeded in matching Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

He did so by crossing the line in 44 minutes and two seconds, claiming his fourth stage win of this year's Vuelta, which was bookended by Roglic victories, the Olympic time trial champion have started this year's race with a triumph on stage one.

The Jumbo-Visma rider surpassed Magnus Cort's previous best time by 14 seconds, with Thymen Arensman 52 seconds off the pace in third.

It meant his final winning margin over Spain's Enric Mas (Movistar) was a massive four minutes and 42 seconds, with Australia's Jack Haig third for Bahrain Victorious.

As if to hammer home his superiority, Roglic overtook Mas on the final turn before crossing the line, providing an exclamation point as he underlined his status as one of the finest Grand Tour racers on the planet and a clear favourite to challenge for yet more glory next season.

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  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic closes in on victory with second-place finish behind Champoussin Vuelta a Espana: Roglic closes in on victory with second-place finish behind Champoussin

    Primoz Roglic would need an almighty slip up to fail to win the Vuelta a Espana, though Saturday's penultimate stage belonged to Clement Champoussin.

    A monster, 202.2-kilometre route culminated in a summit finish on Mos. Castro de Herville, with 23-year-old Champoussin attacking with 1500m remaining to take the first stage win of his professional career.

    The Frenchman crossed the line six seconds ahead of Roglic, who had led a chasing pack that caught breakaway leader Ryan Gibbons with around 4km left.

    Roglic's second-place finish, two seconds ahead of nearest general classification rival Enric Mas of Movistar, should surely see the Jumbo-Visma rider claim La Roja for a third successive year.

    It could all change in Sunday's time trial, but having won gold in such an event at the Tokyo Olympics, Roglic will know a third Vuelta crown is within his grasp.

    Should he hold onto his GC lead, which stands at 2:38, Roglic will become only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions, while he will also match Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

    Stage 20 belonged to Champoussin, however. After Roglic, Mas, Adam Yates and Jack Haig had caught Gibbons, the AG2R Citroen rider lodged a surprise offensive, catching the quintet cold.

    For a moment, with Roglic gaining ground, it looked as though Champoussin - who only turned pro last year - may have gone too soon, but he held on to claim a maiden grand tour stage success.

    Behind Roglic, Adam Yates of INEOS Grenadiers just edged out Mas to secure a top-three finish. A dismal day for Miguel Angel Lopez saw him abandon the race with 20km remaining after he failed to keep pace with the general classification group.

    STAGE RESULT

    1. Clement Champoussin (AG2R Citroen) 05:21:50
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
    3. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:08

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 83:11:27
    2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:38
    3. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +4:48

    Points Classification

    1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 179
    3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 145

    King of the Mountains

    1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 80
    2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 61
    3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 51

    What's next?

    Sunday's final stage is a 33.8km time trial from Padron to Santiago de Compostela. A consistent climb is followed by downhill, technical sections and a flat straight to the line. 

     

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