Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome struggles as Primoz Roglic wins first stage

Cycling
Primoz Roglic

Two-time winner Chris Froome struggled as Slovenia’s defending champion Primoz Roglic took the opening stage of Vuelta a Espana.

Briton Froome, 35, in his final Vuelta for Ineos Grenadiers, was dropped on the penultimate climb and is more than 11 minutes behind the leader.

Roglic pipped a small pack including Ineos’ Richard Carapaz and Irish rider Dan Martin of Israel Start-Up Nation.

EF Pro’s British rider Hugh Carthy finished seventh.

The 26-year-old from Preston, who crashed out in stage six of the event last year, is only 14 seconds behind Roglic.

Froome, winner of seven Grand Tours, found it difficult to stay with the pace of the peloton and fell away from the pack during the climb up Elgeta.

The 35-year-old said he was unsure about his condition coming into the race, as he continues to get back to peak race fitness following his horrific crash that ruled him out of both the 2019 Tour de France and Vuelta.

The Vuelta set off almost two months late from Irun because of coronavirius, with just a few spectators in attendance for a 173km route that featured four big climbs.

Stage one result

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 4hrs 22mins 34secs

2. Richard Carapaz (Ecuador/Ineos Grenadiers +1sec

3. Daniel Martin (Ire/Israel Start-Up Nation) Same time

4. Esteban Chaves (Colombia/Mitchelton-Scott

5. Felix Grosschartner (Aut/Bora-Hansgrove)

6. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar)

7. Hugh Carthy (GB/EF Pro Cycling) +4secs

8. Sepp Kuss (USA/Jumbo-Visma) +10secs

9. George Bennett (NZ/Jumbo-Visma) +40secs

10. Andrea Bagioli (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +51secs

Others:

72. Chris Froome (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +11mins 12secs

General classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 4hrs 22mins 24secs

2. Richard Carapaz (Ecuador/Ineos Grenadiers +5secs

3. Daniel Martin (Ire/Israel Start-Up Nation) +7secs

4. Esteban Chaves (Colombia/Mitchelton-Scott +11secs

5. Felix Grosschartner (Aut/Bora-Hansgrove) Same time

6. Enric Mas (Spa/Movistar)

7. Hugh Carthy (GB/EF Pro Cycling) +14secs

8. Sepp Kuss (USA/Jumbo-Visma) +20secs

9. George Bennett (NZ/Jumbo-Visma) +50secs

10. Andrea Bagioli (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +1min 1secs

Others:

72. Chris Froome (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +11mins 22secs

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