LA VUELTA A ESPAÑA - STAGE 1 LESSONS OF RESISTANCE
History will recall that this very special Vuelta 2020 started in the very heart of autumn... With a real autumn climate. A threatening sky and a swirling wind, often powerful, awaited the riders on the roads of Navarre. After more than 150 km covered from the start at a steady pace, the Col d'Arrate had to be climbed to its summit.
Guillaume, 1st Frenchman
As the climb approached, the Cofidis team focused on protecting its leader Guillaume Martin. Although Pierre-Luc Périchon had a fall, he was able to quickly regain his place in the peloton. Luckily, he only got some minor bruises.
As they approached the pass and as the pace of the race intensified, all the riders made sure that Guillaume was well placed. On the final climb, the leader of the Cofidis team stayed with the best riders for a long time, then in the Valverde group, before conceding 1:08 to the winner of the day, Primoz Roglic.
Eighteenth at the finish line and 1st Frenchman, Guillaume, thus confirms that he will be reliable as soon as the road rises, with an objective number 1: stage victory. The riders know that the difficulties have just begun. The battle resumes tomorrow on the twisty roads of Navarre. While there will be two 3rd category passes during the 151 km, the riders will then have to climb the San Miguel de Aratar pass (1st category) before descending to the finish in Lexunberri.
Guillaume MARTIN: "It was a very intense stage on the whimsical roads of the Basque Country. I suffered quite a bit on the final climb and I was a bit short of time to stay at the front of the race. Afterwards, I know that this is only the first stage. Of course, I'm a little bit behind the favourites but it's not a disaster. It was a first start and we will see how my form will evolve in the next few days."
Christian GUIBERTEAU, sports director: "It should be remembered that during the first stage of a Grand Tour, you can lose everything. It's important to reassure ourselves collectively and the team has made every effort to do so. There was very good collective work throughout the day. José and Victor accompanied Guillaume at the end. Guillaume did not miss much to finish in the first group. This give us lots of hope for the rest of the race."