The first three stages of the Vuelta have taken place in the Netherlands before a rest day yesterday enabling travel back to Spain.
It has seen the return to the winners circle for one rider and three different holders of the leaders red jersey. Its been a strong start.
Friday evening saw the opening team time trial, a Vuelta staple, with Jumbo avoiding any paddling pool run off (sorry Primoz!) to get the win.
In the final straight they were even lucid and clear thinking enough to push home rider Robert Gesink, in the twilight of the evening as well as his career, into the front.
First rider home from the winning team gets the overall lead and there was barely a dry eye in the house as he took to the podium.
Gesink has years of experience in riding for others and sacrificing his own chances to ensure his team wins. This was a fitting tribute.
Stage 2 was another run off in front of enormous crowds despite being an obvious sprint.
It wasn’t an obvious winner. Irishman Sam Bennett has had a torrid couple of years. My last memory of him is from the 2021 Gent-Wevelgem classic where in the space of 400 metres he went from most likely winner to out of the back being sick at the roadside.
He has had it tough.
A return to Bora-Hansgrohe has taken time to yield results but you could see the relief spread over his face as he realised he had won. Another fitting moment!
The red jersey moved to another Jumbo rider in Mike Teunissen.
The third stage saw the jersey change again. Jumbo continued to dominate with Edoardo Affini getting his day in red.
Bennett showed the previous day was no fluke by flying into Breda to win two in a row.
With todays stage having over 2300 metres of climbing I wouldn’t be better on him making it a hat-trick!
Let the first full week begin !
|7||8||▲1||HAYTER Ethan||INEOS Grenadiers||0:13|
|8||7||▼1||CARAPAZ Richard||INEOS Grenadiers||,,|
|9||10||▲1||RODRÍGUEZ Carlos||INEOS Grenadiers||,,|
|10||9||▼1||SIVAKOV Pavel||INEOS Grenadiers||,,|