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Roglic relinquishes red jersey in fifth stage Vuelta a España

Roglic relinquishes red jersey in fifth stage Vuelta a España

Primoz Roglic has relinquished his red leader's jersey in the Vuelta a España. In the stage to Bilbao, Team Jumbo-Visma allowed a large breakaway group to grab enough time to compete for the leader’s jersey. Frenchman Rudy Molard is the new leader in the general classification. Marc Soler won the stage.

With losing the red jersey, Roglic relieves not only his teammates of work for the next few days but also himself. “It brings a lot of extra obligations. I know that from my own experience”, teammate Robert Gesink said after the finish. “To wear the leader’s jersey is an honour. However, you won’t have much time to celebrate because of your podium duties and interviews with the media. The Vuelta lasts three weeks. It’s important to have the red jersey on the last day.”

"The Vuelta lasts three weeks. It’s important to have the red jersey on the last day"

Robert Gesink

Gesink praised the breakaway riders. “Congratulations to them. They rode away with a big group. There was a lot of anticipation because it took eighty kilometres before a good group got away. I think everyone knew what was at stake today. The breakaway group established a comfortable lead and battled for the race win and the lead in the overall classification. We controlled the race. In this regard, our group is more than capable. We can save energy in the coming days because we no longer have the leader’s jersey. Even though we have to stay sharp to control the classification.”

Controlling the race is something the team has mastered. “We’ve made a mental list of riders we’d rather not let get away. With Edoardo Affini, Mike Teunissen and Rohan Dennis, we can control the race very well. If a rider we don’t want to see ahead escapes, we immediately send someone after him to try to close the gap. When one rider attacks, another follows close behind with enough speed to counter the next attack. When this goes smoothly, it’s a pleasant way of working together. And it’s going well because we came here with a well-oiled machine. We’ve learned that in the past few years. The peloton only stops when it stops. You shouldn’t want to force that. You have to have strong legs, but more than anything else, teamwork is crucial.”

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