Roglic set for second successive Vuelta win and bury Tour de France misery

Béjar (Spain) (AFP) –

Advertising

Slovenia's Primoz Roglic is set to win the Vuelta a Espana for the second year in succession, and bury his Tour de France heartbreak, after finishing the final competitive stage on top of the overall standings on Saturday.

Roglic came under intense pressure from Ineos leader Richard Carapaz on the final climb with the Colombian set for the runner-up position, 24sec adrift after the 17th stage won by Frenchman David Gaudu.

British rider Hugh Carthy of the American team Education First is in third position 47 seconds off the leading pace.

Jumbo all-rounder Roglic took the Vuelta overall lead on stage one and was in a struggle with Carapaz for the leader's red jersey all the way with the Ecuadorian taking the lead for five stages.

Roglic still needs to complete Sunday's 139km parade to Madrid where the 2020 edition will almost certainly end in a mass sprint.

The victory comes after Roglic's late meltdown at the Tour de France, where he lost the lead on the penultimate day with his compatriot Tadej Pogacar winning the race.

In the closing kilometres of Saturday's stage, there was a feeling that Roglic was in danger of suffering a similar fate.

With three kilometres to go, Carapaz attacked, peeling away from Roglic and Carthy and wheeling away up the steep slopes of the final climb that ended at 1965m altitude on a cold misty mountaintop finish.

The stage itself was won by French rider Gaudu of the Groupama-FDJ team, the 24-year-old's second stage win of this Vuelta.