Roglic powers to victory on stage 1 of the Vuelta a España: Daily News Digest

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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

With the Vuelta a España getting underway, the Giro d’Italia in its final week, and WorldTour one-day racing going on at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, things are about as busy as they can be in the world of pro cycling, and on top of that, Tuesday brought some compelling storylines to boot.

In Belgium, a young star took her first WorldTour win of the season as another big name was relegated. Over at the Vuelta, things kicked off with a thrilling stage for the GC contenders that saw some marquee riders shine and others falter with more than two weeks still to go. And at the Giro d’Italia, a first-time Grand Tour stage winner nabbed a victory from the break.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s News

| Roglic wins Vuelta opener as big names lose time

Defending champion Primoz Roglic stormed to victory on a thrilling first stage of the Vuelta a España that saw big gaps in the general classification standings.

On a challenging parcours that included two steep climbs just before the finish, the Vuelta peloton was whittled down to only a handful of riders with plenty of big names losing touch. Chris Froome fell off the pace on the penultimate climb with a little under 20 kilometers still to go as his own Ineos Grenadiers team set the tempo at the front. Thibaut Pinot was also dropped early.

Multiple attacks flew as a very select lead group made its way up the final climb, and although the pressure saw more big names, like Tom Dumoulin, lose touch, nothing stuck on the climb itself. A group of eight riders went over the top more or less together and then Roglic powered off the front in the final few hundred meters to nab the victory with Richard Carapaz in second and Dan Martin in third.

With an originally planned trio of opening stages in the Netherlands cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vuelta got underway with a challenging mountain stage in the Basque Country on the very first day.

The peloton allowed the early break to build a few minutes’ advantage before gradually reeling the move back in, and things were back together in time for the two final climbs of the day. On the penultimate ascent, the Ineos Grenadiers hit the front and the pace proved too high for former winner Froome as well as Pinot.

By the time the “pack” reached the final climb, it was down to a select group at the front, and that group continued to shrink going up. A big surge from Sepp Kuss helped force more separation, leaving only nine riders at the front: Kuss, Roglic, Carapaz, Martin, George Bennett, Esteban Chaves, Hugh Carthy, Felix Grossschartner, and Enric Mas. Bennett was then dropped but the remaining eight rode into the finale together. After a few attempts to get clear – with Carthy particularly aggressive – were reeled in, Roglic sailed away to nab the victory ahead of Carapaz and Martin.

Top 10, stage 1

1 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4:22:34
2 CARAPAZ Richard (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:01
3 MARTIN Dan (Israel Start-Up Nation)
4 CHAVES Esteban (Mitchelton-Scott)
5 GROSSSCHARTNER Felix (BORA – hansgrohe)
6 MAS Enric (Movistar Team)
7 CARTHY Hugh (EF Pro Cycling) 0:04
8 KUSS Sepp (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:10
9 BENNETT George (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:40
10 BAGIOLI Andrea (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 0:51

Top 10, GC

1 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4:22:24
2 CARAPAZ Richard (INEOS Grenadiers) 0:05
3 MARTIN Dan (Israel Start-Up Nation) 0:07
4 CHAVES Esteban (Mitchelton-Scott) 0:11
5 GROSSSCHARTNER Felix (BORA – hansgrohe)
6 MAS Enric (Movistar Team)
7 CARTHY Hugh (EF Pro Cycling) 0:14
8 KUSS Sepp (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:20
9 BENNETT George (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:50
10 BAGIOLI Andrea (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 1:01

| Tratnik wins stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia

Jan Tratnik nabbed his first career Grand Tour stage victory on Tuesday, winning a lumpy stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia from the break.

Tratnik joined a big early breakaway on the 229-kilometer stage from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli and then put in a solo attack with a little over 40 kilometers to go on the Monte di Ragogna on the second of three laps of a finishing circuit. After Tratnik built a decent gap, Ben O’Connor made an impressive effort to bridge up to him on the final lap and the pair rolled into the final few kilometers together.

O’Connor tried to drop Tratnik in the finale, but Tratnik held on and then counterattacked and put O’Connor in the rearview mirror. Tratnik took the victory with O’Connor settling for runner-up honors, seven seconds back. Enrico Battaglin took third, 1:14 down.

The GC favorites arrived nearly 13 minutes later with race leader João Almeida leading across the line and nabbing two seconds on his main rivals.

The second longest stage of the 2020 Giro saw a sizable break get away in the first half hour, and the peloton was content to give the move plenty of breathing room.

Ruben Guerreiro jumped away on the finishing circuit but Tratnik and Manuele Boaro caught and past him after powering away from the break. On the penultimate ascent of the Ragogna climb, Tratnik dropped Boaro, as a select group of chasers formed behind.

O’Connor jumped from the chase group and made an impressive effort to bridge in the final lap of the finishing circuit, but Tratnik proved strongest in the finale to take Bahrain-McLaren’s first WorldTour level win since the resumption of the racing season.

Top 10, GC

1 TRATNIK Jan (Bahrain – McLaren) 6:04:36
2 O’CONNOR Ben (NTT Pro Cycling) 0:07
3 BATTAGLIN Enrico (Bahrain – McLaren) 1:14
4 MALECKI Kamil (CCC Team)
5 SWIFT Ben (INEOS Grenadiers)
6 VENDRAME Andrea (AG2R La Mondiale) 1:21
7 BOUCHARD Geoffrey (AG2R La Mondiale)
8 FABBRO Matteo (BORA – hansgrohe) 1:25
9 BOARO Manuele (Astana Pro Team) 1:33
10 TONELLI Alessandro (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) 1:37

Top 10, stage 16

1 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 65:45:08
2 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb) 0:17
3 HINDLEY Jai (Team Sunweb) 2:58
4 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (INEOS Grenadiers) 2:59
5 BILBAO Pello (Bahrain – McLaren) 3:12
6 MAJKA Rafal (BORA – hansgrohe) 3:20
7 NIBALI Vincenzo (Trek – Segafredo) 3:31
8 POZZOVIVO Domenico (NTT Pro Cycling) 3:52
9 KONRAD Patrick (BORA – hansgrohe) 4:11
10 MASNADA Fausto (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 4:24

| Wiebes takes Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne victory after D’hoore relegated

Lorena Wiebes took a big WorldTour victory on Tuesday at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne after Jolien d’Hoore was relegated for an irregular sprint.

The 156.3-kilometer one-day race came down to a reduced sprint in De Panne, where D’hoore jumped out to an early lead. As Wiebes worked up speed, she tried to come around on D’hoore’s left, but D’hoore moved towards the barriers, keeping her from coming past. It was nonetheless a photo finish between the two, with D’hoore hitting the line first, but D’hoore was then relegated by the race jury for her line deivation, leaving the victory to Wiebes.

Lisa Brennauer took runner-up honors in the final standings with Lotte Kopecky in third.

With no early breakaway, the action didn’t start to heat up until the second half of the race. Attacks from the likes of Ellen van Dijk and Elisa Longo Borghini were reeled in, but then crosswinds split the pack in the last hour of racing, with the pack splitting, regrouping, and splitting again for good to leave a select group at the front for the last 15 kilometers.

Sunweb worked hard to bring back multiple moves in the finale, ensuring a reduced sprint. D’hoore powered ahead to an early lead and then Wiebes worked her way up to speed, but D’hoore moved to her left, slowing her progress.

D’hoore was the first rider across the line but the jury declared Wiebes the winner after relegating D’hoore.

Top 10

1 WIEBES Lorena (Team Sunweb) 3:39:43
2 BRENNAUER Lisa (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling)
3 KOPECKY Lotte (Lotto Soudal Ladies)
4 ROY Sarah (Mitchelton-Scott)
5 BERTIZZOLO Sofia (CCC – Liv)
6 BARNES Alice (Canyon SRAM Racing)
7 LONGO BORGHINI Elisa (Trek-Segafredo Women)
8 VAN DIJK Ellen (Trek-Segafredo Women)
9 JACKSON Alison (Team Sunweb)
10 DUVAL Eugénie (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)

| Gaviria out of the Giro after positive COVID-19 test

Fernando Gaviria is out of the Giro d’Italia after testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time this year.

The 26-year-old Colombian, who spent weeks in Abu Dhabi after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this year at the UAE Tour, tested positive in the second round of rest day testing at the Giro. According to his team, he is not showing any symptoms.

The positive test was announced in a joint statement from the RCS and the UCI, and Gaviria’s positive was the only positive result from a rider, with one staff member from AG2R-La Mondiale also registering a COVID-19 positive.

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Today’s featured image of Primoz Roglic winning stage 1 of the Vuelta a España comes from Cor Vos.

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