Roglic makes a return statement with an overwhelming time trial victory

MADRID: from Slovenia Primoz Roglic justified his tag as a favorite to win the Back to Spain Tuesday by crushing his rivals in the individual time trial in stage 10.

Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) recorded a time of 47 minutes and 5 seconds to seize the leader's red jersey and get ahead of the climber Nairo Quintana ( Movistar ), which lost more ground than it could have expected.

Quintana has fallen to fourth place in the general classification, three minutes from Roglic, while Miguel Ángel López (Astana) in third place is 2 minutes and 11 seconds, while the world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is the closest, still 1min 52sec behind.

These differences were predictable, a challenging Valverde insisted.

It is clear that Roglic was the big favorite for this stage and proved it, said Valverde.

But the Tour still has a long way to go. One more minute, one less, that means nothing.

The former ski jumper Roglic expects him to do well on the tt and hold on to the hills.

You just try to drive as fast as possible, so I'm happy with the performance, sure, Roglic said.

The overwhelming victory puts Roglic firmly in charge of the Vuelta, the main cycling event in Spain, whose tenth stage took place unusually completely in France.

The 36.2-kilometer route between Jurancon and Pau was full of winding rural roads and technically demanding descents that were always a challenge for the most comfortable climbers.

But Quintana would still be disappointed with his performance, which leaves the Colombian with a significant gap to close in the more mountainous stages of the event that remain.

Sharp roglic Patrick Bevin (CCC team), which came second on stage, with Slovenian teammate Tadej Pogacar (United Arab Emirates), the only general contender who made a great impression. He remains fifth overall after winning stage nine on Sunday.

Bevin arrived 25 seconds slower than Roglic, while third place Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) was two seconds behind.

Thursday's eleventh stage will see cyclists negotiate a 180-kilometer route between Saint-Palais and Urdax.

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