BARCELONA (Reuters) - Primoz Roglic eased to victory in Stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana, taking the red jersey after excelling in the individual time trial on Tuesday, putting himself in a commanding position to win the race.
Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic was firm favourite for the complex, winding 36.2km route between Jurancon and Pau in southern France, and he duly delivered.
Roglic’s time of 47 minutes six seconds shot him to the top of the general classification and put him three minutes ahead of Nairo Quintana, with the Colombian climber now needing to make back time in the mountains.
Quintana, the 2016 champion, was in red going into the stage but had to drag himself over the line, losing three minutes six seconds on Roglic.
The Slovenian hit the first checkpoint of 11.9km 21 seconds quicker than the previous fastest time, set by his compatriot Tadej Pogacar, riding for UAE Team Emirates. Pogacar finished one minute 29 seconds behind Roglic.
“You try to go as fast as possible and I’m happy with the performance for sure,” Roglic told Spanish television channel tdp.
“I just tried to go as fast as possible. We’ll have to wait until Madrid (to see if I win), for sure I won today but we’ll have to go day by day.”
Second in the stage was CCC Team rider Patrick Bevin, with a time of 47 minutes 30 seconds, followed by Remi Cavagna of Deceuninck-QuickStep who took two seconds longer.
The race continues on Wednesday with stage 11, stretching 180km from Saint-Palais to Urdax through picturesque Basque Country greenery.
Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Ed Osmond