Madrid – Slovenian rider Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) has crossed the finish line in Madrid to seal his victory of Vuelta a Espana, defending the title, which he won for the first time in 2019. Today’s last, 124.4-km stage in Spain was meanwhile won by Germany’s Pascal Ackermann.
Roglič was also expected to win this year’s Tour de France, having been in the lead for much of the race, but had to concede to his fellow compatriot Tadej Pogačar.
The Vuelta victory is another culmination for Slovenian cycling after the stunning double victory in France in September, confirming Roglič’s reputation as one of the best and most versatile riders in the world.
Apart from winning the red jersey for the second year running, Roglič also won the green jersey for best sprinter, which makes him the first ever rider at Vuelta’s 85-year history to win both two years in a row.
As the overall winner, he had a 24-second lead before Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), while Britain’s Hugh Carthy finished third overall.
It was Roglič’s aggressive racing at the ends of the stages that helped him defend the title, but he said today there were still some races he would like to win, not least the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
He however declined to compare both Vuelta victories, saying each one of them demanded a great deal of sacrifice. “It’s impossible to compare both Vuelta victories. I’m very happy I won the race and ended the season in this way.”
Apart from the two Vuelta overall wins and the second place at the Tour of France, Slovenia’s best-ever rider also secured fourth place at the Tour de France in 2018 and third place in Giro d’Italia in 2019.
Statistics from the past few years shows his domination in cycling, and he is bound to end another season as No.1 on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rankings.
As the UCI updates its rankings on Tuesday, he is expected to take over from Pogačar, who replaced him at the top for a few weeks after the Tour de France victory.
However, asked by the press whether he was currently the best rider in the world, Roglič remained cautious.
“I don’t know. Let’s say I’m the best at this Vuelta. There are a few races that I have not yet won, which is a challenge for coming seasons. But now we’ll first celebrate,” he said.
Twitter is already buzzing with congratulation as Slovenians are taking great pride in Roglič’s achievements.