Primoz Roglic clinched a second successive Vuelta a Espana title by finishing the processional stage safely as Pascal Ackermann won a photo finish in Madrid.

Roglic lost time on stage 17 on Saturday but not enough to take the red jersey from him, the Slovenian effectively ensuring he would retain the title.

His victory was confirmed in the Spanish capital, where a thrilling sprint saw a dramatic conclusion to the 18th and final stage of the last race of the season.

Bora Hansgrohe led matters going into the final kilometre of the 139.6km route and it was they who were celebrating at the finish as Ackermann edged Sam Bennett on the line.

Roglic also takes the green points jersey, with Guillaume Martin named King of the Mountains.

"It is beautiful to finish the season like this," Roglic told Eurosport. 

"I always say every time when you win it's beautiful. It's really hard. It's impossible to compare [the two titles]."


STAGE RESULT

1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:28:13
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) Same time
3. Max Kanter (Sunweb) Same time
4. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) Same time
5. Jasha Sutterlin (Sunweb) Same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 72:46:12
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:24
3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +01:15

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 204
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 133
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 99
2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 34
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30

Primoz Roglic will retain his Vuelta a Espana title in Madrid on Sunday despite Richard Carapaz threatening to inflict more penultimate-stage heartbreak on the Slovenian.

David Gaudu stormed up La Covatilla to claim a magnificent second stage victory of this year's Vuelta, but it was further down the mountain where the drama was unfolding.

Roglic started a brutal, decisive stage 17 on Saturday with a 45-second lead over Carapaz, but the Jumbo-Visma rider was in danger of losing the red jersey on a gruelling final climb to a mountain-top finish.

Hugh Carthy, third in the General Classification standings, made a move with 4.5km to go, yet Roglic and Carapaz reacted and were able to follow the Brit again when he burst away for a second time.

Roglic and Carthy could not catch Ecuadorian climber Carapaz when he decided the time had come to make one massive final push to try and win the race 3km from the end of the gruelling 178.2km stage from Sequeros.

A shattered Roglic looked to be in trouble as he faded and was left isolated as INEOS Grenadiers rider Carapaz darted up the mountain, with the leader struggling on the steeper sections.

Carthy also moved away from Roglic, but the reigning champion dug deep to cross the line 21 seconds after Carapaz, who will have to settle for second place.

Roglic endured the agony of sensationally losing his Tour de France lead to Tadej Pogacar on the decisive stage in September, but he was not to be denied on this occasion despite the best efforts of Carapaz in an enthralling battle.

A second Grand Tour title will be Rogic's at the end of a 124.4km flat processional ride from Hipodromo de la Zarzuela to Madrid on Sunday.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) 4:54:32
2. Gino Mader (NTT) +00:28
3. Ion Izagirre (Astana) +01:05
4. David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) +01:05
5. Mark Donovan (Sunweb) +01:53

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 64:20:31
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:24
3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:47

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 204
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 133
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 99
2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 34
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30

Jasper Philipsen took the honours at the end of a stage fought amid miserable conditions at the Vuelta a Espana.

For Thursday's 15th stage, the riders took on the 230.8-kilometre slog from Mos to Puebla de Sanabria into a near-relentless headwind, with long spells of rain adding to the difficulty.

Deceuninck-Quick Step's Mattia Cattaneo had the lead up and over the final climb of a long day, with riders in the saddle for more than six hours, but the Italian was swallowed up by the chasing pack.

It was Philipsen who had the legs to provide the strongest sprint finish, the UAE Team Emirates star surging nearly a full bike length clear of German duo Pascal Ackermann and Jannik Steimle, who joined him on the podium.

Organisers neutralised the General Classification late on, with timings for the overall standings taken 3km from the finish.

That meant there was no change at the business end of things, with Primoz Roglic still leading the GC ahead of Richard Carapaz and Hugh Carthy.

The win for Philipsen will exorcise the demons of his agonising near-miss on stage four, when he was overtaken on the line by Sam Bennett.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) 6:22:36
2. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
3. Jannik Steimle (Deceuninck-Quick Step) same time
4. Fred Wright (Bahrain-McLaren) same time
5. Dion Smith (Mitchelton-Scott) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 60:19:41
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:39
3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:47

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 178
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 113
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 89
2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 34
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30

What's next?

The riders take on the 162km route from Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo on stage 16. It's a hilly one with a category-one climb around 30km from the finish line.

Tim Wellens claimed his second victory of the 2020 Vuelta a Espana and Primoz Roglic retained his lead of the race on Wednesday.

Wellens won stage five in Sabinanigo last month and the Belgian crossed the line first again at the end of a gruesome stage 14 in Ourense.

The Lotto Soudal rider left enough in the tank to come out on top in a sprint finish ahead of Michael Woods, Zdenek Stybar and Dylan van Baarle on the 204.7km route from Lugo

After tackling a category three climb of the Alto de Abelaira late in the stage, Marc Soler tried to go solo with 20km to go but he was reeled in.

Stybar, Wellens and Soler worked well together at the front before they were joined by Woods and Van Baarle put in some powerful late work.

It was Wellens who had the pace to double his tally of stage victories in this year's race, which Roglic is in a great position to win for the second successive year.

The Jumbo-Visma rider finished in the peloton to stay in the red jersey, which he regained with time-trial victory on Tuesday, with a 39-second advantage over Richard Carapaz.

Hugh Carthy remains 47 seconds adrift of Slovenian Roglic, who was 10th on stage 14.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 4:37:05
2. Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) same time
3. Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick Step) same time
4. Dylan van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers) same time
5. Marc Soler (Movistar) +00:11

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 53:57:05
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:39
3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:47

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 178
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 113
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 111

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 76
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30
3. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)  28

What's next?

Breakaways will be expected on long, demanding 230.8 km 15th stage from Mos to Puebla de Sanabria on Thursday, with the peloton likely to have their work cut out trying to contain riders who escape on a winding route.

Primoz Roglic urged his Jumbo-Visma team to maintain their focus after he reclaimed the lead of the Vuelta a Espana with victory in a stage 13 time trial on Tuesday.

Defending champion Roglic won his fourth stage of this edition of the race on the 33.7 kilometre route, which started in Muros and finished with a steep climb up to the Mirador de Ezaro.

Roglic clocked a time of 46 minutes and 39 seconds, edging Will Barta by one second, to take a 39-second lead in the battle for the red jersey.

Richard Carapaz of INEOS Grenadiers, who started the day leading the General Classification, is second after finishing the stage 49 seconds back in seventh.

Despite his advantage, Roglic is taking little for granted ahead of the final five stages.

"I felt strong - surprising. I thought I'd suffer a lot more," said Roglic.

"Today went quite fine. We know it's not a fun thing to do the time trial, but I had the legs.

"I'd rather be 39 seconds ahead than behind, but we need to keep our focus."

STAGE RESULT

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 46:39
2. William Barta (CCC Team) +00:01
3. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) +00:10
4. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:25
5. Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) +00:41

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 49:16:16
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:39
3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:47

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 172
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 113
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 103

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 76
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30
3. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 27

What's next?

A much longer challenge awaits the riders on stage 14, which is a 204.7km route from Lugo to Ourense that features a category three climb near its finish.

Hugh Carthy climbed to his maiden Grand Tour stage win on the daunting Alto de l'Angliru and Richard Carapaz took a 10-second lead in the Vuelta a Espana on Sunday.

EF Pro Cycling rider Carthy went on his own with just over a kilometre to go on the gruelling 109-kilometre 12th stage from La Pola Llaviana and went on to celebrate the biggest victory of his career.

Carapaz, Enric Mas and Aleksandr Vlasov crossed the finishing line 16 seconds after British rider Carthy, who moved up to third in the General Classification.

Primoz Roglic was unable to react when Carapaz made a move late in the stage, and so the INEOS Grenadiers rider will start the final week as the man to catch.

Jumbo-Visma's Roglic had spent three days with the same time as Carapaz, but it was the Ecuadorian who took the initiative towards the end of a testing day, taking in three category-one climbs.

Slovenian Roglic appeared to feel the strain on the steeper sections and finished fifth on the day, with Dan Martin dropping behind Carthy into fourth in the GC standings.

Breakaway riders Guillaume Martin and Luis Leon Sanchez were reeled in with 11km to go on the fearsome Angliru and it was Carthy who had enough in the tank to go it alone and pull off a magnificent win.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) 03:08:40
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) +00:16
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +00:16
4. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:16
5. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:26

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 48:29:27
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:10
3. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:32

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 147
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 104
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 100

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 76
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 30
3. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 27

What's next?

A rest day awaits, before Carapaz will look to extend his lead on Tuesday in a 33.7km individual time trial which will be mainly flat by the sea before a 1.5km steep climb to finish on the Mirador de Ezaro.

David Gaudu took the honours on stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana as he triumphed at the summit of the Alto de La Farrapona.

The Groupama-FDJ rider claimed his first Grand Tour stage win at the end of Saturday's 170-kilometre route from Villaviciosa.

Frenchman Gaudu held off General Classification contender Marc Soler, with the Movistar rider still looking up at Primoz Roglic, Richard Carapaz and Dan Martin in the top three of the standings.

Cofidis' Guillaume Martin and Team Sunweb duo Mark Donovan and Michael Storer rounded out the top five on the day, having gone in the breakaway and stayed clear of the peloton.

Soler's move, which saw him climb from 10th to sixth in the GC, was not considered enough of a threat for the key Vuelta contenders to waste the energy reeling him in.

The home hope is now two minutes and 44 seconds back as he seeks to improve on last year's ninth-place finish.

It proved a profitable day for Martin, too, as he strengthened his grip in the King of the Mountains classification.

STAGE RESULT

1. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) 04:54:13
2. Marc Soler (Movistar) +00:04
3. Michael Storer (Team Sunweb) +00:52
4. Mark Donovan (Team Sunweb) +00:52
5. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +00:55

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 45:20:31
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) same time
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:25

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 135
2. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 91
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 90

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 50
2. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 24
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 24

What's next?

More mountains await on stage 12, with three category-one climbs on Sunday's 109km slog from La Pola Llaviana to a summit finish at Alto de l'Angliru.

Defending champion Primoz Roglic surged clear to claim victory on stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana and take the red jersey back off Richard Carapaz.

The Jumbo-Visma rider dominated the uphill finish in Friday's predominantly flat 185-kilometre stage from Castro Urdiales to Suances for his third stage victory.

Roglic moved up in Andrea Bagioli's slipstream and took 10 bonus seconds to move level with erstwhile General Classification leader Carapaz, who lost three seconds.

He takes the race jersey by virtue of his superior placings in the first 10 stages and is the favourite to retain the title he won last year.

"It's beautiful. What can I say? I'm super happy," Roglic said. "It's never easy to win but I had the legs, and it's really, really nice.

"I'm one year older and stronger. Like a wine, the older the better. I'm again in red, but it doesn't really change much for our team.

"We need to keep the momentum and the focus. A weekend in the mountains is coming, so we will do our best."

Sam Bennett was the pre-stage favourite but was dropped with 27km to go, a day after being denied victory on stage nine for barging into Emils Liepins.

Bora-Hansgrohe's Felix Grossschartner had greater success, finishing second to Roglic, while Bagioli (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) was third.

Dan Martin was one of seven other riders to be given the same time as the stage winner, meaning he is within 25 seconds of the overall race lead.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 04:14:11
2. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
3. Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) same time
4. Alex Aranburu (Astana) same time
5. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 40:25:15
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) same time
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:25

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 129
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 83
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 82

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 27
2. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 24
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 24

What's next?

The race moves to the mountains on Saturday as the riders make the 170km journey from Villaviciosa to Alto de la Farrapona - a stage containing four category one climbs, including the Colladona mountain pass.

Reigning champion Primoz Roglic claimed his second stage victory of the 2020 Vuelta a Espana to close to gap on overall race leader Richard Carapaz. 

The Jumbo-Visma rider was involved in a tense battle with Carapaz over the final stretch of Wednesday's stage, which took the riders from Logrono to Alto de Moncalvillo. 

Roglic countered his rival with a fine late counterpunch and finished 13 seconds quicker, as well as earning 10 bonus seconds, compared to Carapaz's six. 

He is now up to second in the General Classification, 13 seconds behind the pacesetter after his remarkable stage eight win. He had begun the day 30 seconds behind. 

"It was quite a boring, slow start and the pace went up and it was super fast and harder after the second to last climb," Roglic said.

"I always like to win, so if there is a small opportunity I will take it. It was super hard today and, luckily, I had the legs and I'm happy to win the stage.  

"It's nice to get some time back but most of all it's nice to win the race." 

Israel Start-Up Nation's Daniel Martin slumped to the ground as he crossed the line in third, tightening his grip on the same position in the GC, with Hugh Carthy slipping to fourth. 


STAGE RESULT

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 04:07:08
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:13
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:19
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) +00:25
5. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:33

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 32:31:06
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:28

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 104
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 81
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 73

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 27
2. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 24
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 24

What's next?

Thursday sees the riders travel 157.7 kilometres from Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo - a flat stage that points to a sprint finish.

Ion Izagirre claimed victory in a rain-soaked stage six of the Vuelta a Espana on a day that saw Richard Carapaz replace Primoz Roglic as the overall race leader.

Astana Pro Team rider Izagirre made his move in the final 3km of Sunday's climb to Formigal to finish 25 seconds ahead of Michael Woods and Rui Costa.

The 31-year-old timed his attack well, something brother and team-mate Gorka failed to do earlier in the race, as he added a fourth Grand Tour stage victory.

An eventful final climb also saw overnight leader Roglic lose pace with Carapaz, who finished 55 seconds behind Izagirre but still did enough to take the General Classification lead and the red jersey.

Roglic was visibly struggling with around 2km to go and Carapaz took full advantage with a late attack, although he did not have the legs to keep up with Hugh Carthy in the final stretch.

EF Pro Cycling's Carthy bridged the gap to the other contenders and moved into second place, with Roglic slipping to fourth behind Dan Martin.

"We have been working very well this week, we have been performing well, and today we had a go," said Carapaz, whose INEOS team-mate Tao Geoghegan Hart won the Giro d'Italia on Sunday. 

"We have done very well, and this is the reward for the whole team. We had more than one scare and that encouraged Movistar to pull in the end. 

"I knew the end of the stage and, to begin with, I let others who were interested do a bit. There were many attacks. 

"I had calculated the distance and I attacked at the right time. There is still a lot of the Vuelta to go and we are going to defend it - it is a luxury to be able to defend it."
 

STAGE RESULT

1. Ion Izaguirre (Astana Pro Team) 03:41:00
2. Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) +00:25
3. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) +00:25
4. Rob Power (Team Sunweb) +00:27
5. Michael Valgren (NTT Pro Cycling) +00:27

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 24:34:39
2. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) +00:18
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:20

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 79
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 61
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 57

King of the Mountains

1. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 19
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 18
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 16

What's next?

After a rest day on Monday, the riders return on Tuesday with stage seven and have two climbs to navigate of the Alto de Orduna, involving an inclination of 14 per cent. The final climb takes place 18km from the finish line in what could be a decisive stretch.

Defending champion Primoz Roglic extended his early lead at the Vuelta a Espana to nine seconds as he finished second behind Marc Soler on stage two.

Roglic appears especially determined to retain his red jersey in Spain, having been dramatically denied at September's Tour de France.

And his bid for a second General Classification title is going to plan so far.

Roglic was 19 seconds shy of Soler on Wednesday but led the chasing pack - including several other GC contenders - pipping Daniel Martin to claim the six-second bonus for second place.

Martin finished third for the second day running, while Richard Carapaz - second on Tuesday - was fourth, the pair switching places in the overall standings.

Victory was Spaniard Soler's reward for a late solo attack, pulling clear on the descent of the final summit for a first Grand Tour stage win.

"I'm very happy because we're racing on home roads," he said. "This was a stage we really wanted to win and we'd studied the roads this week.

"This is my first win in a Grand Tour and I'm very happy about that.

"It pays us back for all the hard work done during what has been a very difficult year. It's great for all the team and I can only thank them for their support."

Meanwhile, Chris Froome is now almost half an hour back after another poor showing in his final Grand Tour with INEOS Grenadiers.


STAGE RESULT

1. Marc Soler (Movistar Team) 3:47:04
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:19
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:19
4. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:19
5. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +00:19

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification  

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 04:22:24
2. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:09
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:11

Points Classification  

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 45
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 34
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 32

King of the Mountains

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 14
2. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 14
3. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) 6 

WHAT'S NEXT?

Thursday's stage three takes in the tough 166.1km ride from Lodosa to La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa, consisting almost solely of climbs.

Reigning champion Primoz Roglic took the red jersey with an impressive success on the opening stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

After losing out on Tour de France glory to Tadej Pogacar in dramatic fashion in September, Roglic quickly laid down a marker in the final Grand Tour of the year.

The Slovenian attacked on the category one ascent of the Alto de Arrate – the final test on the 173-kilometre stage from Irun to Eibar – and beat Richard Carapaz to the line to take a five-second lead in the General Classification.

Only eight riders managed to stay within 10 seconds of Roglic, with Jumbo-Visma team-mate Tom Dumoulin and 2009 champion Alejandro Valverde – both considered among the other contenders for glory in Spain – already over a minute behind in the GC.

Roglic said: "It's nice to win. I'm really happy. The team showed again that they're all really strong. They worked perfectly through the whole stage and in the end I was able to win so it's a beautiful start.

"It was already hard before the final climb, and then we were going full gas. We have crazy guys like Sepp [Kuss] and I'm just happy to win it in the end.

"It's a strange season so I'll just enjoy the leader's jersey, starting from tomorrow, and the fact that we're racing."

Thibaut Pinot lost over 10 minutes, while Chris Froome, contesting his final Grand Tour with INEOS, finished more than 11 minutes back.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 4:22:34
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS) +00:01
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:01
4. Jhoan Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) +00:01
5. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) +00:01

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification  

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 04:22:24
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS) +00:05
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:07 

Points Classification  

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 25
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS) 20
3. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 16 

King of the Mountains

1. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 10
2. Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale) 6
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) 6 

WHAT'S NEXT? 

The 151.6km ride from Pamplona to Lekunberri includes three categorised climbs, the last of which lasts for 9.4km at an average gradient of 7.9 per cent.

Primoz Roglic goes into the Vuelta a Espana as favourite to defend his title, with Chris Froome among a strong group of challengers after the Briton was left out of the Tour de France.

Tadej Pogacar beat Roglic by 59 seconds to win the Tour last month as the Slovenian duo recorded a remarkable one-two for their country.

Roglic, who has reached the podium at all three Grand Tours, goes into the Vuelta as the man to beat, having won by two minutes and 33 seconds over Alejandro Valverde in 2019.

Froome, Valverde, Tom Dumoulin, Richard Carapaz, Thibaut Pinot and Enric Mas will all be hoping to challenge.

Ahead of the event, which starts with a stage from Irun to Arrate on Tuesday and runs until November 8 with the finish in Madrid, we take a look at the biggest talking points with the help of Opta data.

A DIFFERENT YEAR

As well as clashing with the conclusion of the Giro d'Italia, which runs until October 25, due to coronavirus-related rescheduling, this year's Vuelta has some other key differences.

For the first time since 1985 there will be fewer than 21 stages, with just 18 in the 2020 race across a 2,882-kilometre route.

Irun will host the start of the race for the time, while it was 1961 when La Vuelta last began in the Basque Country.

SPANISH DOMINANCE WANING

Historically, home riders have thrived at the Vuelta, with Spanish participants winning on 32 of the 74 occasions the race has been run. France and Belgium are the next best nations on nine and seven respectively.

However, a Spaniard has not taken the red jersey since Alberto Contador triumphed in 2014, the country's longest drought since 1992-1997 (six races).

The dry spell came after Spanish riders had won eight of the first 10 Vueltas in this century. Now, Contador's 2012 and 2014 wins are their only triumphs in the last 10.

On the plus side, a Spanish rider has won a stage at every Vuelta apart from in 1996.

THE CHALLENGE FACING ROGLIC

Roglic is looking to defend his crown, but no rider as achieved that at this race since Roberto Heras' triumphs between 2003 and 2005. The Team Jumbo-Visma star also faces some stiff competition. 

INEOS Grenadiers rider Froome is the last rider to have won multiple editions of La Vuelta, doing it so in 2011 and 2017 – the longest span between two wins among all riders with multiple titles. 

He will now look to join Heras (four wins), Tony Rominger (three) and Contador (three) among the Vuelta greats.

Valverde has finished on the Vuelta podium a remarkable seven times in 13 appearances (2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2019), the most of all time.

He has 10 top-five finishes, although 2009 was his only win. This will be the veteran's 14th participation, more than any other active rider.

Mas finished second in his last outing in 2018, when he also finished as best young rider.

The Movistar rider comes into the race with some form – he was fifth at the Tour and came second in the young riders classification behind only the yellow jersey winner Pogacar.

Pinot has been in the top 10 in each of the two Vueltas he has managed to finish, though he has abandoned in a Grand Tour seven times, which is more often than he has reached the end (six).

Dumoulin has been in the top 10 in each of the last five grand tours he finished, while Carapraz has two major top-five results to his name, though is yet to finish higher than 18th in Spain. 

POINTS JERSEY UP FOR GRABS

Roglic and Froome won the points jersey as well as the overall classification in their 2019 and 2017 triumphs – prior to those doubles, that feat had not been achieved since 2000.

Along with the challengers for overall glory, sprinters Sam Bennett and Pascal Ackermann are among the top contenders for that honour at this event.

Irishman Bennett has seven stage wins at Grand Tours, while German Ackermann won the points classification in the only previous Grand Tour he took part in, the 2019 Giro.

Tadej Pogacar became Slovenia's first-ever winner of the Tour de France on Sunday, but that was just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the young rider's achievements in the 107th edition of the race.

Pogacar thrillingly overhauled fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic in Saturday's individual time trial to head into the final, largely ceremonial stage in the French capital on Sunday wearing the famous yellow.

He also claimed the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey and white jersey for the best rider aged 25 or under, as the UAE Team Emirates rider produced a memorable performance across the three-week race, which began in Nice on August 29.

But, while Pogacar was ultimately the star of the show, Roglic once again showed his quality, Sam Bennett did Republic of Ireland proud to fittingly claim the green jersey, while Australia's Richie Porte became only the second Aussie to finish on the podium at a Grand Tour.

As the dust settles on a gruelling and engrossing Tour de France, we look at the Opta numbers behind the 2020 edition…

Prodigious – Pogacar is the youngest winner of the Tour de France (21 years and 365 days) since Henri Cornet in 1904 (19 years and 352 days), 116 years ago.

Debut – Pogacar became the first rider to win the Tour de France in his maiden appearance since Laurent Fignon in 1983.

King – The Slovenian is also only the second rider to win the General Classification and two more standings (King of the Mountains and best young rider) in a single Tour de France. Eddy Merckx accomplished the feat in 1969, 1970 and 1972.

Pipped – Pogacar's victory was made all the more dramatic by Saturday's events, and as such, he is the first rider to win the Tour de France in the last two stages since Cadel Evans, who took the yellow jersey from Andy Schleck on the penultimate stage in 2011.

National service – Roglic and Pogacar are the first two riders of the same nationality to finish first and second in the Tour de France since Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in 2012.

Four-ce to be reckoned with – Roglic hasn’t ranked outside the top four in any of the 12 stage races he has completed since April 2018, winning eight of them.

Emulating – Porte is the second Australian rider to reach the podium in a Grand Tour. Only Evans has done so before (three in the Tour de France, one in the Giro d'Italia and one in the Vuelta a Espana).

Bern out – Egan Bernal is the first Tour de France winner (2019) to abandon the race in the following season since Chris Froome. After winning in 2013, he failed to finish in 2014.

Rub of the green – Bennett is the second Irishman to win the points ranking in the Tour de France after Sean Kelly (1982, 1983, 1985 and 1989).

A first to forget – This is the first time Peter Sagan has completed the Tour de France failing to win the Points Classification. He had won it in seven of the past eight editions and no other rider has claimed this title more times in the history of the race.

Nairo struggles – Excluding abandonments, this is the worst Nairo Quintana result (17th) in one of the three Grand Tours since his first appearance in La Vuelta 2012 (36th).

Tadej Pogacar completed his stunning Tour de France triumph in Paris as Sam Bennett celebrated taking the green jersey with victory on the Champs-Elysees.

Pogacar thrillingly overhauled fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic in Saturday's individual time trial to head into the final, largely ceremonial stage in the French capital bedecked in the famous yellow.

The 21-year-old UAE Team Emirates rider is the youngest winner of the Tour since 1904, while he also claimed the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey and the white jersey for the best rider aged 25 or under.

As is customary in Paris, one final moment of glory for the sprinters who have managed to toil through the mountains remained up for grabs and Bennett concluded a triumphant race in style.

The Irishman of Deceuninck-Quick-Step was already secure at the top of the points category after Peter Sagan did not contest the intermediate sprint.

Sagan was among the big hitters in contention for cycling's most famous sprint finish, obviously shorn of its usual bustling crowds, but none of them could live with Bennett who powered clear.

Pogacar concluded a life-altering three weeks shortly afterwards to rubber stamp his success on the day before his 22nd birthday.

The defeated Roglic and Australia's Richie Porte completed the podium behind cycling's newest breakout superstar.

POGACAR WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY WITH SECOND OR LAST

Pogacar's triumph has proved as popular with the peloton as it was surprising, and the youngster lapped up an unforgettable moment of sporting triumph.

"It's unbelievable, it's really crazy. Even if I had come second or last it would still be nice to be here," he said. "But this is the top of the top. I cannot describe this feeling with words. Today was very special, a special moment with my team-mates. Finally some chance to talk with them on the bike and not just going full gas every day.

"A lot of respect to all the riders, I think every single one of them congratulated me. This sport is really amazing."

BENNETT REVELS IN UNIMAGINABLE VICTORY

The proud owner of the green jersey matched his counterpart in yellow in terms of joy and wonder.

"I can't tell you how excited I am. The green jersey, the Champs-Elysees, world championships of sprints … I never thought I'd ever be able to in this sage," Bennett said. "And to do it in green, with my dream team is so special. The way the boys rode all day, they were fantastic. The feeling is so amazing, I can't thank everyone enough."

STAGE RESULT 
 1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 2:53:32
 2. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
 3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
 4. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)
 5. Elia Viviani (Cofidis)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification
 1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 87:20:05
 2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:59
 3. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +3:30

Points Classification
 1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 380
 2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 284
 3. Matteo Trentin (CCC) 260

King of the Mountains
 1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 82
 2. Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS) 74
 3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 67

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