Primoz Roglic won the Vuelta a España for the second year in a row on Sunday. As expected, the red leader’s jersey of the leader of Jumbo-Visma was no longer in danger in the flat final stage. Pascal Ackermann won the sprint in Madrid.
The 31-year-old Roglic has a lead of only 24 seconds in the final classification over the number two Richard Carapaz from Ecuador. Briton Hugh Carthy is third and is on the podium of a grand tour for the first time. Wout Poels (sixth at 7.16 minutes) is the best Dutchman.
Roglic is only the sixth rider to win the Tour of Spain two seasons in a row. The Belgian Gustaaf Deloor (1935 and 1936), the Spaniard Julián Berrendero (1941 and 1942), the Swiss Tony Rominger (1992, 1993 and 1994), the Swiss Alex Zülle (1996 and 1997) and the Spaniard Roberto Heras (2003 and 2004) ) preceded him.
The Slovenian also rode eleven days in the yellow leader’s jersey in the Tour de France earlier this season. In that round, he was bumped from first place on the penultimate day by his young countryman Tadej Pogacar, making him second. Roglic was always on the podium in his last four grand tours.
In the eighteenth and final stage, which ended on a local circuit in Madrid, the German Ackermann dealt with the Irish Sam Bennett and the German Max Kanter in the bunch sprint. It was Ackermann’s second stage victory in this Vuelta.
With the final stage of the 75th Tour of Spain, a special WorldTour season comes to an end. Chris Froome rode his last race in Madrid as a Team INEOS rider; the four-time Tour winner (35) leaves for Israel Start-Up Nation.
Roglic also records four stage victories
Roglic started very well at the Vuelta three weeks ago, because he won the first stage. It was his first of no less than four stage wins in this round. However, with Carapaz, last year’s Giro winner, the leader of Jumbo-Visma had a very strong opponent.
The 27-year-old Ecuadorian took over the red jersey from Roglic twice (in the sixth and in the twelfth stage) and kept the battle for the overall victory exciting until the last weekend.
Last Tuesday’s time trial turned out to be decisive. Roglic won the chrono race to the top of the Mirador de Ézaro and took 49 seconds on Carapaz. The INEOS Grenadiers leader still tried in the last mountain stage on Saturday, but he only gained 21 seconds instead of 45 seconds.