LODOSA, Spain (AFP) — Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic grabbed hold of the leader’s yellow jersey at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco with Thursday’s victory in the 19.4-kilometer time trial on stage 4.
Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) completed the circuit around Lodosa in 22 minutes and 26 seconds, finishing nine seconds clear of BMC’s Kiwi Patrick Bevin and 11 ahead of former world champion Vasil Kiryienka of Team Sky.
“I knew that all eyes were on me as a pursuer in the GC and as a time trial specialist. That provided extra pressure,” Roglic said.
“It was a flat time trial, but there was a lot of wind. At the finish, I saw that I had the fastest time, which made me very happy of course.”
Former ski jumper Roglic, second on both of the opening two stages, wrested away the race lead from Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe who surrendered 42 seconds after coming home in eighth place. Alaphilippe won stages 1 and 2, both times beating Roglic at the line.
Friday’s penultimate stage 5 takes the peloton along a 163km route from Vitoria to Eibar, with a pair of category two climbs before the category one ascent of the Azurki.
“But we should not get ahead of ourselves. At the beginning of the course, I already said that I want to take it one day at a time. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m really looking forward to the last stages,” Roglic added.
Stage 4, top 10
- 1. Primož RogliČ, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, in 0:22:26.300
- 2. Patrick Bevin, BMC RACING TEAM, :22:35.240
- 3. Vasil Kiryienka, TEAM SKY, :22:37.210
- 4. Jonathan Castroviejo, TEAM SKY, :22:40.610
- 5. Michal Kwiatkowski, TEAM SKY, :22:46.550
- 6. Michael Matthews, TEAM SUNWEB, :23:02.870
- 7. David De La Cruz Melgarejo, TEAM SKY, :23:03.820
- 8. Julian Alaphilippe, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, :23:08.140
- 9. Bauke Mollema, TREK – SEGAFREDO, :23:09.050
- 10. Damiano Caruso, BMC RACING TEAM, :23:09.400
- 1. Primož RogliČ, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, in 13:41:26
- 2. Julian Alaphilippe, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :34
- 3. Bauke Mollema, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:33
- 4. Patrick Konrad, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:36
- 5. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 1:42
- 6. Emanuel Buchmann, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:48
- 7. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 1:51
- 8. Nairo Quintana, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 1:57
- 9. Jon Izaguirre Insausti, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 2:08
- 10. Mikel Landa Meana, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 2:11