The world’s top ranked cyclist Tadej Pogacar opened his road race season in dominant style as he took the overall victory at the Vuelta a Andalucia on Sunday. He also won last week’s warm-up race for this tour, the Jaen Paraiso Interior semi-classic. The two-time Tour de France winner took three stage wins and also the overall title in the five-day race. Pogacar says he now wants to take his Tour de France crown back and also attempt three of the ultra-long one day Monument races this season — a tactic that saw him fall just short last season.

“I’m super happy with my shape and with the shape of the team,” Pogacar said Sunday.

“With the result, I’m maybe a little bit surprised, but I knew that my level is good. I felt really strong, and I hope I can feel as strong in the next races,” he added.

The 24-year-old Slovenian now has 51 victories to his name. Notable on the Anadalucia roster were three Spaniards in the top five who also look set to make their mark in 2023. In second place, Bahrain-Merida’s Mikel Landa was 1:24 adrift while Ineos youngster Carlos Rodriguez was fourth at 1:44, and Enric Mas of Movistar was fifth at just over two minutes. This trio are all primed for tilts at titles in 2023. Another Spaniard, Omar Fraile, won the day’s honours after the Ineos man got in the day’s escape and then accelerated away in the run in.


1 FRAILE Omar INEOS Grenadiers 4:27:59
2 COVI Alessandro UAE Team Emirates 0:00
3 PASQUALON Andrea Bahrain – Victorious 0:00
4 KRON Andreas Lotto Dstny 0:00
5 SCHULTZ Nick Israel – Premier Tech 0:00
6 SERRANO Gonzalo Movistar Team 0:00
7 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald TotalEnergies 0:00
8 CARUSO Damiano Bahrain – Victorious 0:05
9 EZQUERRA Jesús Burgos-BH 0:05
10 ROTA Lorenzo Intermarché – Circus – Wanty 0:05



1 POGAČAR Tadej UAE Team Emirates 21:05:02
2 LANDA Mikel Bahrain – Victorious 1:18
3 BUITRAGO Santiago Bahrain – Victorious 1:23
4 RODRÍGUEZ Carlos INEOS Grenadiers 1:39
5 MAS Enric Movistar Team 2:02
6 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao INEOS Grenadiers 2:47
7 CARUSO Damiano Bahrain – Victorious 3:05
8 ROTA Lorenzo Intermarché – Circus – Wanty 3:23
9 KRON Andreas Lotto Dstny 3:40
10 SIVAKOV Pavel INEOS Grenadiers 3:57


RBA/AFP Photos: Sprint Cycling

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