Roglic wins Tour of Basque Country first stage despite wrong turn

BORA–Hansgrohe's Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic (Thomas SAMSON)
BORA–Hansgrohe's Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic (Thomas SAMSON)

Primoz Roglic started the Tour of the Basque Country in blistering fashion with a strong individual time trial performance on Monday to claim stage one victory, despite taking a wrong turn that cost him eight seconds.

The Bora–Hansgrohe rider beat out general classification contenders Remco Evenepoel, fourth, and Jonas Vingegaard, fifth, by 11 and 15 seconds respectively.

UAE Team Emirates' Jay Vine came in second, seven seconds behind Roglic, while Mattias Skjelmose of Lidl-Trek was third, 10 seconds off the Slovenian veteran.

Roglic eased concerns over his form after a below par showing in Paris-Nice in March by setting a time of 12 minutes 34 seconds on the 10-kilometre run starting and finishing in Irun.

Roglic claimed his first win with his new team despite failing to take the right turn late on and needing to go back, losing time but still prevailing.

"It's great, great to be here and (my) legs obviously were good, I felt strong, I made a bit of a mistake at the end and then I corrected it, luckily (it was) still enough," he said.

Evenepoel also had a mishap on an eventful day, crashing on a corner early on but quickly got back on his bike and on his way.

"Everything went well until 200 metres but then I went on the ground, so a bit of a silly moment, my own mistake maybe," said the Belgian.

"Of course, I was hoping to be a bit ahead today, but my crash was unlucky and this caused me to be a bit behind."

Briton Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) withdrew from the race before the time trial began after crashing during a recon run and was taken to hospital for examination.

Many of the favourites chose to compete in the first hour because of rain forecast later in the day, with the last departure scheduled for 1517 GMT.

It eventually arrived along with sleet and hail, disrupting those departing in the final stages.

Ethan Hayter trailed Roglic by one second at roughly halfway but after the bad weather arrived he had to slow significantly and ended up ninth.

Tuesday's stage two takes riders 160km from Irun to Kanbo in France, with an elevation gain of 2,300 metres.

The race should reveal the form of the top general classification cyclists ahead of the grand tours, except for Tadej Pogacar, who won the Tour of Catalonia in March and is not competing.