Casually, Slovenia, this small state of 2 million inhabitants stuck between Italy and Croatia, has offered itself two of the three great Tours in this very special year 2020. After Tadej Pogacar (UEA Team Emirates), surprise winner of the Tour de France in September, it was Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) his unfortunate runner-up on the Champs-Elysées podium who won the Vuelta in Madrid this Sunday. The last stage was won in the sprint by the German Pascal Ackermann (Bora). Roglic managed the double after his coronation here in 2019. For the record, the Giro was won by the Briton of Ineos Tao Geoghegan Hart.
Slovenia, which has been talked about a lot on the roads of the Tour de France, wins two great Tours, which must be the envy of French cycling. Even if with David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) winner of two stages and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) named best climber, the French also shone on the Spanish roads.
The last French victory in a Grand Tour dates back to 1989
The last time a Frenchman won a Grand Tour was in 1989 with Laurent Fignon’s victory on the Giro a few weeks before his memorable defeat against the American Greg LeMond (8 seconds behind) on the Champs- Elysées. In Spain, we have to go back even further and to 1984 to find the last French victory thanks to Eric Caritoux the year Fignon won his second Tour.
And it is not necessary to insist on the fact that the Tour de France has been waiting for a French winner since 1985 and the last coronation (out of 5 victories) of Bernard Hinault. 1985 is the last year in which France also won two Grand Tours since the Badger, that summer, had also won the Giro.
In Madrid in any case, Primoz Roglic has overcome bad luck. Only about fifty days ago, the Slovenian had lost the Tour de France the day before the arrival in Paris in an anthology time trial on the Planches des Belles Filles in front of his young compatriot Tadej Pogacar.
Already winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège the day after the Tour, the dark Slovenian managed to regain mental strength to once again hook the Vuelta to his list of achievements. “I never doubted that I could win, slips the Slovenian. Whatever race I want to win, I am a competitor. Last year was special. It’s always different when you win something for the first time, but doing it a second time is a great success. It’s a great season for me. “
This performance will not fail to raise questions but as there is, until proof to the contrary, no element in this direction, its success remains undeniable: “I am a guy who wants to run, confides Roglic. My second place in the Tour de France, I had to accept it, move forward, but it was already a great success. We had a great Tour de France with the team, I couldn’t dream of running so well for three weeks. Coming to the Vuelta, I had just won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and I was going to try to win a three-week race. I’m super proud of this season, of everything we’ve done. In the past four months, I have only been home for ten days. It was a really big boulder, and I’m grateful for the support I got. “
Roglic can now go home and measure his popularity in the country to take a breath. In 2021, he will of course be one of the favorites on the Tour de France, perhaps still THE favorite: “Next season? I don’t know, he said. It’s already good to end the season this way. I’m going to take a big break and then think about next year. There are still a lot of things that I haven’t achieved and I’m motivated to do it. “
Froome picked up the 2011 Vuelta trophy
In addition, Christopher Froome, who was running his last race at Ineos Grenadiers, was able to wave the trophy of the Vuelta 2011. The four-time winner of the Tour de France was declared the winner after the downgrading of Cobo Acebo. Froome, 98th of the Vuelta 2020, joined Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr