Roglic's Stake

The Slovenian, who responded to a distant attack by Egan Bernal, won alone in the Lakes of Covadonga and left La Vuelta practically sentenced.


Primoz Roglic wears the red jersey again. This time with the intention of keeping it until Santiago de Compostela. There is no one stronger. The first explosion of the final fireworks has been enough. Not only for the Slovenian to recover the garment, but also for him to leave La Vuelta practically sentenced. In cycling, you have to be very cautious with this type of statement, much more when this Thursday a colossus like the Gamoniteiro appears, but Roglic could have given the final blow to the mythical ramps of the Lakes of Covadonga, where he triumphed prominently after starring in the feat of the day with another illustrious, another great of the peloton who honored what is expected of another champion: Egan Bernal.

After the disappointing days of the weekend, when the roosters turned blind eyes to the invitation to fight in Villuercas and Mijares, this Wednesday there has been good cycling. The Battles of the Lakes have historically been limited to the last climb, but this year's stage included two suggestive passes through Collada Llomena, a 7.6-kilometer pass at 9.3%. A good scenario for a champion like Egan Bernal, who saw the red jersey at 4:21 minutes, still too far away, to detect an opportunity to advance in the general classification. Waiting for the last ascent did not catapult the comeback.

Bernal started in the second step. Brave. Roglic accepted the challenge. Superman López also tried, who sought the duo's wake, but could not link. The couple was at the head of the race. And what a couple! On the one hand, Egan Bernal, champion of the Tour and the Giro, an extraordinary one who joined La Vuelta with the idea of completing the Triple Crown. On the other, Primoz Roglic, winner of the last two editions, who aspires to equal Toni Romiger's record, three wins in a row. A high-level duel. Cycling delicatessen.

Roglic and Bernal progressed to exceed one minute's lead. Behind, the bunch of pursuers was unarmed. Odd Christian Eiking had already taken off the hook, even suffered a fall. The red jersey was a beautiful dream that was fading. Miguel Ángel López, Enric Mas and Jack Haig were the most interested in neutralizing the attempt. Guillaume Martin, the second classified, did enough to stay in that group, which could take him to the podium. Adam Yates and Sepp Kuss had their teammates ahead of them, so they weren't going to waste a gram.

A Slovenian and a Colombian had turned the race upside down, but the biggest thing was missing: the Lakes. A set for great movies. A legendary ascent that emerged in the 80s to incorporate such distinguished names as those of Marino Lejarreta, Pedro Delgado, Robert Millar, Lucho Herrera, Álvaro Pino, Laurent Jalabert, Pavel Tonkov, Nairo Quintana ... And, from 2021, also Primoz Roglic. Both started the climb together, in harmony, but the Slovenian is several points above. Seven and a half kilometers from the summit, Primoz left Egan's company. And he went off for glory. Bernal did not even resist to save second place, but his effort, his proposal, deserves perpetual applause. It was Kuss who completed the double, on a great day for the Jumbo.

Roglic has taken a tremendous leap to win La Vuelta. Definitive surely. His third victory has brought him back to the top with 2:22 over Enric Mas; 3:11 on Superman López; 3:46 on Jack Haig; 4:16 on Guillaume Martin and 4:29 on the brave Egan Bernal, who made little profit in time, but all the credit in image. Cycling is done as the Colombian proposed. And as the Slovenian finished it off.

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