Jumbo-Visma is okay with racing within the shadow of Remco Evenepoel for now

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TARRAGONA, Spain (VN) — Punctures right here, crashes there, and a bit time misplaced within the first mountain summit of the Vuelta a España; issues haven’t gone good for Jumbo-Visma within the wild and rollicking opening levels.

At the very least Tuesday everybody made it to the road in a single piece, properly nearly. That’s one thing.

“It may have been so much worse than it was,” stated Jumbo-Visma sport director Merijn Zeeman. “Circumstances have been harmful [in the team time trial] and we nonetheless received everybody by. The Vuelta may be very lengthy, so we need to get by this primary block in good condition.”

Tuesday’s finale did have one unhealthy spot. Wilco Kelderman crashed, misplaced greater than three minutes, and tumbled out of the top-10, from ninth to thirty eighth.

“This lack of time is a giant disappointment,” stated sport director Marc Reef. “However fortunately he was capable of proceed. Primož and Jonas completed safely and with out shedding any time. The group saved them out of the wind all day. The main focus is now on tomorrow.”

By no means a uninteresting second on the Vuelta.

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Primož Roglič crashed in stage 2, Jonas Vingegaard punctured early within the group time trial, and Sepp Kuss was swamped when he tried to drop everybody on residence roads in Andorra.

That’s in sharp distinction to the Tour de France, when issues nearly went good for Vingegaard as he stormed to his second straight yellow jersey.

The bunch roared in for a comparatively routine bunch kick Tuesday, the primary day issues went to script since this Vuelta began, apart from the Kelderman crash. On the group’s “bigs” remained protected.

Vingegaard settles into fourth, Roglič climbed to eighth, and Kuss is as much as thirteenth, all inside 49 seconds of Evenepoel.

Kuss, racing his three grand tour of this yr, surged clear on his “residence roads” of Andorra the place he’s primarily based throughout the racing season.

Monday’s skirmish was all about testing legs and seeing the place everybody stands going into the subsequent main take a look at Thursday on the Cat. 1 summit at Pico del Buitre at Javalambre.

“I needed to check Primoz and Jonas’ rivals with my assault,” Kuss stated of Monday’s ending fireworks. “It provides us confidence that Jonas and Primoz have been among the many finest on the end. That’s excellent news for the approaching levels.”

After three wild and nearly weird levels, the peloton tapped alongside in Tuesday’s transition stage to Tarragona. It was simply what the physician ordered.

A muted begin, no less than by Jumbo-Visma requirements

Jonas Vingegaard
Vingegaard was second Monday and doesn’t thoughts not having the lead proper now. (Picture: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Pictures)

Jumbo-Visma’s been a bit muted thus far within the marquee showdown with Remco Evenepoel, no less than by Jumbo-Visma requirements.

The defending champion put the primary factors on the board with a stage win Monday in Andorra, and snags the purple chief’s jersey he received final yr so emphatically as Belgium’s first grand tour winner in 4 many years.

“We misplaced a little bit of time within the time trial stage, however that received’t matter on the finish of three weeks,” Zeeman stated. “Remco is trying good and he has a powerful group. And there are others can be sturdy. There are riders who’re coming into the race with brisker legs than a few of our guys.”

All eyes have been on Evenepoel to see if he may match Vingegaard within the mountains, and it was the Belgian who ended up turning the screws.

The primary climbing stage doesn’t reveal the complete story, except somebody is clearly struggling, such is the case of Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), who stated he felt “legless” in Andorra.

Having Evenepoel and Soudal Fast-Step in purple this early is simply high-quality for Vingegaard, who returns to the Vuelta for the primary time since he received back-to-back yellow jerseys.

“It was an excellent take a look at, in comparison with the Tour de France, I believe I can nonetheless enhance,” Vingegaard stated at Tuesday’s begin. “For us it’s perhaps higher that [Evenepoel] has the jersey. Now they’ve the stress to hold it.

“I didn’t have my finest day, however it’s all a part of the sport,” Vingegaard stated. “You may’t have the very best legs on daily basis. That is without doubt one of the the reason why I can dwell with second place.”

Vingegaard doesn’t have a selection proper now. Evenepoel is firmly in purple and exhibits no intention of letting it go, no less than till Thursday’s subsequent climbing stage.

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