Setmana Ciclista Valencia stage winner Urkša Žigart displayed great form on today’s second stage of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, blasting to ninth place on a challenging uphill time trial stage.
The top-10 placing is the 24-year-old’s highest ever finish in a WorldTour race, with Zigart starting as the first rider from Team BikeExchange to roll down the ramp and move into the hot seat in the early stages, stopping the clock with a time of 20 minutes and 31 seconds.
The 7.3km route saw riders climb up to Estación de Montaña de Manzaneda and with 484 metres of positive altitude gain in such a short distance, it caused many large time gaps at the finish line.
Zigart remained in the hotseat for a lengthy period until Leah Thomas and then Olympic champion Annemiek van Vleuten crossed the line, with Van Vleuten’s time good enough to steal the stage victory.
Urkša Žigart – 9th place
“The course was kind of harder than expected, we thought it was going to be a tailwind, but it definitely didn’t feel like a tailwind. Mostly I am surprised about my result today because it is my best WorldTour result, so I am happy with that.
After not feeling my best yesterday, I am happy that I could turn it around today. So overall I am positively surprised.”
2021 Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta – Stage 2 ITT results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten 19:08
2. Marlen Reusser +0:20
3. Marta Cavalli +0:28
9. Urkša Žigart (Team BikeExchange) +1:23
Photo courtesy of Getty Images