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Gallery: Peerless Primoz Roglic dominates opening Vuelta a Espana TT

Slovenian gets red jersey defence off to the best possible start as rivals largely misfire

Martin James
15 Aug 2021

The organisers of this year’s Vuelta a Espana may have broken with their usual custom of starting the race off with a team TT, instead going with an individual race against the clock to decide the first red jersey with a 7.1km circuit around Burgos.

But there was no real surprise in the result, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) getting his quest for a third straight Vuelta win under way with a dominant win.

Time-trials can be time-consuming to watch, even short ones like this, although there was plenty of variety in the course to at least make for interesting watching – and some great photo opportunities.

Yet spare a thought for Spaniard Alex Aranburu (Astana), one of the early starters, who came in with an excellent time of 8min 38sec to earn his place in the hot seat as fastest man around.

He then had to sit there and watch as rider after rider tried and failed to match his time, knowing full well that the most likely threat would come from the very last rider on the road, Roglič himself.

And so it proved, the Slovenian defending champion going 6 seconds faster than Alanburu and beating Ineos Grenadiers GC rivals Richard Carapaz and Egan Bernal by 25 and 27 seconds respectively.

Of the other contenders to Roglič’s overall crown, Alanburu’s Astana teammate Alex Vlasov was the best placed in 10th at 14 seconds, while Team DSM’s Romain Bardet delivered a surprisingly strong ride to finish 14th, 17 seconds down on the Jumbo-Visma man.

Here are Cyclist photographer Chris Auld’s photos from the stage:

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