Primož Roglič continued a unique record with his victory in the Itzulia Basque Country opening time trial on Monday, with the Slovenian having never lost a time trial he's raced in Spain.
Roglič, who beat Remco Evenepoel by five seconds in Hondarribia to open Itzulia with a race leader's jersey, has now raced eight individual time trials in the country stretching back to 2017, and has triumphed in every single one.
Four of those have come at the race he now leads, and four at the Vuelta a España, which he's won three times in a row. The latest win is a perfect start to his bid to make it number three at Itzulia, which he won in 2018 and 2021.
Speaking after the race, Roglič called his achievement "crazy", adding that he hopes he can keep the streak going as long as possible.
"Let it last as long as possible, eh?" he said. "It's just crazy. I really always enjoyed racing here, but I don't focus on all these things that I never lost a time trial here. I did quite some races already here.
"Today was let's say not really a classic time trial. It was quite a lot up and down, and technical. I like this kind of thing. It's quite short and obviously had the legs and I enjoyed it. I could push hard.
"I didn't think I took risks. I just did a good descent, eh?" Roglič added, noting that he had rode the technical course several times before the race.
"I went too slow in Paris-Nice maybe with all the corners and it cost me a bit. I just wanted to be more decisive in the corners. I [wasn't] taking risks because the race is long. In the end, it's a good result and we enjoy the moment."
Roglič had put five seconds into Evenepoel over the latter part of the course after crossing the 3.15km checkpoint atop the San Telmo climb. In addition to taking time on the Belgian, he put even more into his other GC rivals.
The Ineos duo of Adam Yates and Geraint Thomas lie 18 seconds down along with Aleksandr Vlasov, while 2019 winner Ion Izagirre is two seconds further back, and others like David Gaudu, Enric Mas, and Sergio Higuita are over half a minute down.
"It's not just him, eh?" Roglič said of Evenepoel. "You have a whole bunch of super strong guys here. It's just the start.
"It's a good start for us, but tomorrow is the longest stage and it's difficult – hardest at the end. We'll see. I'll go day by day and we'll see how far I can go."
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.
Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to Cyclingnews. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.