Roglic extends Spanish TT win streak to eight with Itzulia victory

Primož Roglič is congratuled by Remco Evenepoel after his stage 1 win at Itzulia Basque Country
Primož Roglič is congratuled by Remco Evenepoel after his stage 1 win at Itzulia Basque Country (Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

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."

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