Primož Roglič says he knew he had enough time to secure Vuelta a España title

The Slovenian successfully defended his red jersey by riding at his own pace following a late attack from Richard Carapaz

Primož Roglič says he knew he had enough time on the final summit finish of the Vuelta a España 2020 to ride at his own pace and secure the overall victory despite Richard Carapaz’s late charge, but that he has not always been in control during this Spanish Grand Tour.

“I had enough of a head start to know that I would have enough time riding at my own pace,” Roglič said in the flash interview following stage 17. “I am very happy with the win in this Vuelta. It’s a very nice way to end this season.”

The Vuelta a España became the third and final Grand Tour of the year to have a scintillating finish to the GC battle, with Roglič able to defend his leader’s jersey this time around, having lost the yellow jersey at the Tour de France on the penultimate stage to Tadej Pogačar.

“It’s always nice to have an exciting final,” the Jumbo-Visma rider said. “Today was certainly exciting. I have not always been in control, but luckily I accomplished my task.”

>>> Five talking points from stage 17 of the Vuelta a España 2020

As well as receiving help from Enric Mas to track down the former Movistar man Carapaz, Roglič’s team-mate was on hand at just the right time, having been up the road as part of the day’s break.

“Every metre he rode in front has helped me. But the whole team has done a fantastic job. I am very grateful to them for that.”

Carapaz added that he was not bothered by the fact Mas helped chase him down, saying Movistar likely did that because of their own interests, rather than revenge.

“They probably did that out of their own interest, so I have no comment on that,” the Ecuadorian said.

Roglič’s GC lead of 45 seconds was drastically reduced to 24 seconds, enough to take into the final flat stage in Madrid, where Roglič will step up to the podium for his second consecutive Spanish Grand Tour win.