Roglic defeats Pogacar in an anthological stage in Arrate

The stage was a huge ambush that ended with a display by Roglic and a victory for a very strong Gaudu. Pogacar defended himself with everything and it was not enough.


The story of the last stage of the Tour of the Basque Country was one of an extraordinary battle in which all the teams fought to bring down the UAE of McNulty and Pogacar, but in which the strongest cyclist emerged victorious: Primoz Roglic. The Slovenian of the Jumbo starred in an exhibition of attacking cycling and strategy in which he erased with a stroke of the pen all the doubts that had arisen about his form and the organizational capacity of the Dutch team. Together with a Gaudu, who after being the only one capable of holding him, took a deserved stage victory, the two-time La Vuelta champion won his second Itzulia by legs and by head, in a condensed day show in 110 km in which he went from everything from start to finish.

He left at a thousand an hour and the escape attempts led to a group of great quality being formed ahead. There were Carapaz (Ineos), Carthy (EF), Fraile (Astana), Hirschi (UAE), O Connor (Israel), Tolhoek (Jumbo) and Enric Mas (Movistar). A move that would later be found to be, in most cases, the pawns for the ambush that was being prepared. Movistar, which also put Verona ahead, already warned of its intentions when, with those two cyclists ahead, Valverde attacked in the group of leader Brandon McNulty.

Astana marks the race

The North American, a runner of great projection but still young at 23, was the unfortunate protagonist of the key moment of the day. On the descent from Gorla, Astana, always ready to mess it up, launched the race from behind and the yellow jersey was cut along with Pogacar, who at that time was still acting as a gregarious man for his teammate. Ahead, Roglic, Valverde, Landa… they managed to stand out. And a spectacular persecution began with two sides: all against the UAE.

There were many kilometers ahead and the Pogacar and McNulty group was about to close the gap, but of course, Movistar was shooting ahead with Mas and Verona, the Jumbo with Tolhoek ... and behind the UAE looked very alone, barely the help of a Hirschi who dropped from the front group because it was smelled that the situation was beginning to be dramatic. More when McNulty began to falter and Pogacar became the team's first trump card.Roglic and Gaudu

The advantage was starting to grow (it even exceeded the minute) and that was the moment that Roglic chose to show that his preparation for the Tour is going from strength to strength. On the 17% ramps of Krabelin, still 45 km ahead, Roglic, who also had his partner Vingegaard marking Pogacar, accelerated. Landa and Valverde gave way, and only two renowned climbers like Gaudu and Carthy kept up with the Slovenian. The film changed radically: Roglic, before everyone else.

And little by little, the inertia changed, even though Pogacar found little collaboration behind him. But the winner of the Tour, based on race and some relief from Yates and Valverde, shortened the distance to about 30 ”on the ramps of the final climb to Arrate. At that moment, Roglic found a great ally, Gaudu. The Slovenian and the French left Carthy to continue their climb to glory. From behind, Valverde took out the race and only Pogacar, his shadow, a Vingegaard that carried his wheel all the stage, and Yates could hold him.

But there was no longer any ground to react. Roglic made it clear to Gaudu that the cast had no cracks: the stage for Groupama, that he was only thinking about winning his second Itzulia. And that collaboration ended with both raising their arms on top of Arrate. Roglic had defeated Pogacar, who took the podium third behind the winner and Vingegaard, two Jumbo. The UAE phenomenon already knows that his compatriot is well, strong and wants to get even for his defeat in the 2020 Tour. He is capable and thus demonstrated it in Arrate in an anthological day that goes down in the history of the Basque race.

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