Primoz Roglic took the lead of the Tour of the Basque Country on Monday winning a 13.9km individual time trial around Bilbao. Roglic of Jumbo-Visma timed 17 minutes 15 seconds, beating 23-year-old American Brandon McNulty by just 2 seconds, with Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard in third at 18 seconds.
Two key contenders for the overall title, Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar and new Ineos rider and winner of the recent Tour of Catalonia Adam Yates, both finished 28 seconds down.
It amounted to the perfect start to the six-stage Tour for Roglic, who suffered a double crash on the last day of Paris-Nice in mid-March, losing the lead on the last day.
“It’s wonderful to be back,” Roglic told reporters. “I’m really happy with my performance today. It’s a great day for us.
“A little special like all races in the Basque Country. I like racing here and it was a nice challenge with some climbs, downhills, corners and a steep ramp at the end.”
He added: “I would like to have the jersey at the end. We’ll see how the race will go and we’ll give it everything.”
The second stage is a 162.8km run over rolling terrain on Tuesday between Amurrio and Altube.
|1||ROGLIC Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||17:17|
|2||MCNULTY Brandon||UAE-Team Emirates||0:02|
|3||VINGEGAARD Jonas||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:18|
|4||FOSS Tobias||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:24|
|5||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||0:28|
|6||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||0:28|
|7||BEVIN Patrick||Israel Start-Up Nation||0:28|
|8||SCHELLING Ide||BORA – hansgrohe||0:29|
|9||ARANBURU Alex||Astana – Premier Tech||0:30|
|10||SCHACHMANN Maximilian||BORA – hansgrohe||0:31|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini