Australia’s Vuelta a Espana contenders have been given a ruthless lesson by champion Primož Roglič, who blew away all his challengers to win the fourth stage after a blistering closing climb.
Because the race got here house to Spain after three levels within the Netherlands, Roglič turned the fourth Jumbo-Visma rider to race into the chief’s crimson jersey along with his sensible victory between Vitoria-Gasteiz and Laguardia on Tuesday.
AG2R Citroen’s Ben O’Connor, Australia’s main males’s street rider, battled to stick with the Slovenian and misplaced no time on the ultimate explosive 500m climb as he got here house sixth.
Neither did BORA-hansgrohe’s Jai Hindley, Australia’s Giro d’Italia champion, who additionally completed on the identical mark in tenth place.
But it surely was the emphatic method of Roglič’s destruction of his most important GC contenders within the finale to the stage that demonstrated why the 32-year-old seems to be an unbackable favorite to change into the primary rider ever to win la Vuelta 4 occasions in succession.
Dashing away from Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen, who completed, frustratingly for the Dane, runner-up for the third stage in succession, Roglič is now 13 seconds away from his Jumbo-Visma teammate American Sepp Kuss within the general standings.
He is already opened up early inroads over potential challengers like former Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (fifth, 26 seconds behind), Remco Evenepoel (sixth, 27 seconds), Richard Carapaz (seventh, 33 seconds), Simon Yates (tenth, 51 seconds) Hindley (18th, 54 seconds) and O’Connor (thirty fourth, 1 minute 08 seconds).
O’Connor was happy along with his temporary problem for victory on the push into Laguardia earlier than Roglič put all of them of their place.
“Yeah, I felt actually good,” stated Perth rider.
“I might by no means excellent these small bunch sprints — however I might be proud of that. My legs had been good.
“But it surely was excellent for [Roglič] .There isn’t any-one higher than him in that kind of end. It is clear the strongest man gained.”
Hindley and his teammate Wilco Kelderman completed tenth and ninth respectively, gaining seven seconds on their BORA colleague Sergio Higuita.
“Sadly, Sergio was not at his greatest at this time, and usually such a finale would have suited him very nicely,” Hindley stated.
“On the ending straight, I attempted to assist Wilco as a lot as attainable and in the long run we had been each within the high 10.”
Roglič, who had been pulled out of the Tour de France by his crew after he suffered a again harm, had solely been confirmed as an entry for la Vuelta initially of final week however this was the clearest proof that he might be again at his highest.
“It is loopy, I am tremendous pleased about this,” he stated after sweeping to his tenth stage win within the race over the previous 4 editions.
“It is actually only the start of the Vuelta however it’s higher to have some seconds in entrance than be behind.
“It was a tough tempo the entire day, a super-fast stage and within the closing, there was a possibility to go for the race win. I had the legs, so I had a go.
“The plan was we (Jumbo-Visma) change on daily basis the man within the crimson jersey. As we speak was my fortunate day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Wednesday’s stage 5 is a testing 187.2 kilometre journey from Irun to Bilbao that options three class 3 and two class 2 climbs.