Tour of Spain 2022 – Supersonic Jumbo-Visma of Primoz Roglic, Robert Gesink first red jersey

The Vuelta 2022 begins as the Vuelta 2021 ended for the Jumbo-Visma: victory in the time trial and red jersey. In Utrecht, at home, on the opening team time trial of this 77th edition, the Dutch team achieved a very high performance to win the exercise, 13 ” ahead of the INEOS Grenadiers and 14” on Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl. Passing in the lead on the line with the blessing of his leader, Robert Gesink seizes the first red jersey of this Tour of Spain. But the great operation is for Primoz Roglic, who takes time from all his opponents with a view to the final victory.

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We expected to see a fight between Jumbo-Visma, INEOS Grenadiers and Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl and we were not disappointed. These three formations were the strongest on this opening team time trial, as expected, even if the BikeExchange-Jayco held the lead for a long time before finishing at the foot of the podium (4th, at 31”) . Enough to allow Simon Yates to limit damage, as for the vast majority of leaders. With the exception of the EF Education-EasyPost Chavès-Uran-Carthy trio (17th out of 23, 1’19”), all of them conceded less than a minute, whether Almeida (UAE Emirates, 5th at 33′ ‘), Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe, 7th at 41”), Landa (Bahrain-Victorious, 9th at 42”), Mas (Movistar, 10th at 43”), Lopez (Astana Qazaqstan, 11th at 46” ) or O’Connor (AG2R Citroën, 13th at 55”). But none of these teams could compete for the stage victory.

First Grand Tour leader jersey for Gesink

With a huge collective and an already overpowered Remco Evenepoel, the Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl thought they were on their way to winning by taking the lead in the middle, ahead of INEOS Grenadiers (+2”). But the Belgian formation quickly became disillusioned. First of all by seeing the Jumbo-Visma kill all suspense at mid-race, well ahead of Julian Alaphilippe’s team-mates (+14”). Then crossing the finish line, slightly disorganized but above all in 2nd position, beaten for a few tenths of a second by the INEOS Grenadiers. No red jersey for Evenepoel but no white jersey either, since it comes back on the shoulders of Ethan Hayter. The red was reserved for the Jumbo-Visma, as often on the Vuelta.

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Overpowered from the start, the Dutch formation – the last team to start – created the gaps from the first kilometers, taking advantage of a road that dried up as the passages went by. Faster in the turns, perfectly organized to the point of being able to afford to stay complete until the finish, the Jumbo-Visma quickly ruled out any possibility of letting the red jersey slip away. And in the last kilometer, already assured of a good operation overall, Primoz Roglic even allowed himself to be a great lord by letting a Dutchman, Robert Gesink, seize the leader’s red tunic. The very first of his career on a Grand Tour. A just reward for one of his most loyal lieutenants in recent years. And an ideal Vuelta debut for the Jumbo-Visma.

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