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Aérogramme Podcast with La Course en Tête: Vuelta a España Week 1

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After the first rest day, nine days total of racing, the Vuelta appears to be a two-horse race between defending champion Primož Roglič and Movistar’s Enric Mas. It may very well only be some piece of misfortune—a crash or illness—that can derail Roglič at this point.

But ever since Alejandro Valverde crashed out earlier in the race, his teammates Enric Mas and Miguel Angel López have stepped up, playing off each other quite well along the way to stay right in the race. With a late-race TT looming, however, they’ll need more than a few seconds to fend off Roglič and win their team’s home grand tour.

With plenty of stages still remaining, anything could happen, but which riders still have a realistic chance at wearing the red jersey after the final stage? These days, Roglič and Tadej Pogačar appear to be a given to win a grand tour if they’re on the  start line. But with racing shifting to a state of less control by a single team, there are opportunities for individuals and other teams.

We discuss the chances of the top riders in GC, including Adam Yates, Egan Bernal, Jack Haig, López, Mas and of course Roglič. Could Australian rider Jack Haig be a sleeper choice to win the race? Sophie Smith weighs in on her compatriot.

Additionally, we touch on the state of Ineos Grenadiers as a grand tour powerhouse after the team has once again gone in with multiple potential contenders but are now just hoping to get on the podium. There appear to be plenty of promising young riders coming up the ranks, but the top end riders have been falling flat despite their talent. Are expectations just too inflated after an extremely dominant decade?

Listen to the episode for the full discussion and be sure to tune in every week during the Vuelta!

Aérogramme is presented by the Belgian Waffle Ride.

To read more long-form features, visit lacourseentete.com