Vuelta a Espana
Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Jumbo-Visma promises aggressive racing after time trial crash

Jumbo-Visma look to take up the racing after bad luck struck on stage 1, with mechanicals, injuries, and a 40-second time loss being picked up in only 13.4km.

BENIDORM, Spain (VN) — Team Jumbo-Visma with leader Primoz Roglic promises to ride aggressively in the Vuelta a España after losing 40 seconds in a stage 1 crash.

The team fell in the short 13.4km time trial in Torrevieja and lost time to their rivals including race leader Miguel Ángel López (Team Astana).

“Forty seconds it’s a lot,” Sports Director Addy Engels told VeloNews.

“On top of that, we have injuries. Although the injuries look not too bad, but they are injured. It will have its effect, you sleep worse, your body needs to recover from it. It takes energy you don’t want to lose at this stage.

“So we have to see where it goes from here. First we have to make up 40 seconds and then we have to gain time. The good thing is the injuries don’t look too bad. And the good thing is we have really a strong team to be able to ride aggressively.”

The team began as the favorite for the time trial especially after it won the event in the Tour de France. Its team also includes leaders Steven Kruijswijk and George Bennett. Kruijswijk finished third overall in the Tour last month.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and former star cyclist Alberto Contador named Roglic as the race overall favorite ahead of the Vuelta a España. Now, the team is on the back foot only after a quarter-hour.

Roglic and Kruijswijk, also their helper American Neilson Powless, lost skin and began stage 2 from Benidorm in bandages. Kruijswijk’s knee is “a little bit swollen.”

“You can look at it from different angles, less pressure, because when you have the jersey you have it,” Engels said.

“But on the other hand, you are 40 seconds behind and it’s more pressure to take it back. But first the plan is to get through these next three days in a good way. And then we have the first big test.”

The stage on Wednesday already climbs to Javalambre, the first of eight summit finishes in the 2019 edition. The team will be forced to attack in the coming mountains with one of its three stars.

Eyes will be on Roglic, who won all three stage races he entered earlier this year ahead of the Giro d’Italia. He also entered the Giro d’Italia as a favorite, but after leading for five days and winning two stages, he faded to an eventual third overall behind winner Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team).

Roglic suffered a mechanical and bike crash on the Como stage midway through the Giro that affected his race. With the Vuelta start Saturday, his Grand Tour plans seem to keep getting derailed.

“Everybody has luck in Grand Tours, and everybody has bad luck and Grand Tours,” said Engels. “Three weeks of racing, you get all of it. But this was a lot. This was a lot.”