STA, 7 November 2020 - Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is set to win the Vuelta de Espana for a second time as he defended his lead over Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in the crucial penultimate stage on Saturday from Sequeros to the Covatilla ski resort.
Wearing the leader's jersey before the 17th stage of the race around Spain and having a 45-seconds advantage ahead of Carapaz, the 31-year-old Slovenian managed to keep the lead, although giving away 21 seconds to Carapaz.
Sunday's last stage (124.2 km) in Madrid is a mere formality and Roglič is set to win his second Vuelta de Espana title, after he won the race also last year.
Roglič used the services of his strong team to deflect all attacks by Carapaz and the third-placed Hugh Carthy of the UK (EF Pro Cycling) to earn what is the third win for Slovenian riders in the three-week Grand Tour races.
Last year, he won the Vuelta de Espana and was second at this year's Tour de France, behind his compatriot Tadej Pogačar, to confirm his reputation as one of the best and most versatile riders in the world.
"It's always nice to have an exciting conclusion and this was really exciting. I had enough energy to know that it will be enough if I cycle in my own rhythm. Everything turned out well at the end," Roglič told the press after the race.
He was in a great deal of pain near the end but believed in the ultimate success. "I didn't have everything under control, but in such moments you have to remain calm and do what you can do," he said, also praising his Jumbo-Visma team.
"The team has done a good job once again, given that everybody went with full force right from the beginning of the Vuelta", said the Slovenian, who will also bring to Madrid the green jersey for the best sprinter for the second year in a row.
It was precisely his aggressive racing at the ends of stages that helped him earn the overall win. With four stage wins, exceptional sprints and overall consistency in stages earned him 48 bonus seconds, without which he would have lost to Carapaz.
"I'm very happy with winning the Vuelta. This is really a nice conclusion to the season," added Roglič.