Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) defended his 2019 Vuelta a España title, winning the 2020 edition of the Spanish Grand Tour by 24 seconds ahead of Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers), with Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) in third.
By
SBS Cycling Central

9 Nov 2020 - 8:31 AM  UPDATED 9 Nov 2020 - 1:05 PM

The Slovenian star ended an impressive 2020 season with overall victory at La Vuelta, building his title upon a superb all-round showing in the mountains, the Stage 13 time trial, and even in reduced bunch sprints. 

Roglič took four stage wins in all, and he needed all the bonus seconds and extra time he could muster by the end of the race, as a late surge by Carapaz on the penultimate stage summit finish threatened to see the Jumbo-Visma rider relegated to runner-up again, after being dethroned by Tadej Pogačar on the second to last stage of the Tour de France earlier in the year.

Roglič weathers Carapaz assault to secure Vuelta red jersey in final test
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) managed to mitigate the damage from a final assault on his lead at La Vuelta a Espana to go into the final Madrid processional with a 24-second buffer over Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) and the leader's red jersey on his shoulders.
Roglič surrenders yellow after 'giving everything'
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was the leader of the Tour into the penultimate stage of the race, but lost the yellow jersey to Slovenian compatriot Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

There was to be no such upset for Roglič in Spain however, and the jubliant former ski-jumper spoke of his joy at achieving the result.  

"My teammates have been special all year," said Roglič. "We’ve had a big team all year, from the beginning. In La Vuelta, we had to push sometimes when we didn’t have our best moments. Still, we do our best. It’s amazing, I’m really happy and glad that I’m a part of that team.

"The more you win, the more you know how to enjoy it. It’s always a different story and you can never compare. It’s just definitely amazing to be in the place we are.”

There was little comparison for Roglič between his 2019 and 2020 successes.

"The 2019 win was of course special, because I won my first grand tour then”, the Slovenian said. “Nevertheless, I also rate this victory very highly, because it is part of the great season that I have had.

"We should be happy that, given the situation in the world, we were able to ride the Vuelta this year. For that I would like to thank the organisation of the Vuelta and all those involved. It was very well organised here.”

The final stage was a duel between the two class sprinters of the race, with Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) emerging triumphant over Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in the photo finish after a superb leadout from his teammates ensured that the big German would launch his sprint from in front.

“I wasn’t sure who won at the finish and I was asking Sam who won. We were both really unsure and we had to wait some minutes until we got the message,” Ackermann said at the finish.

“The team are so happy about the victory and I have to say thank you to my teammates. I think that today was an amazing lead-out. You could see it on the television. I’m really happy to take the victory, and I’m just so happy.”

Ackermann was also humble when asked about whether he was the best sprinter in the race due to the fact that he had won more then Bennett and his other rivals.

“No, I’m only counting one stage because in the other Sam was relegated [after crossing the line first] and so I think we all have one victory and we can all be happy with that."