Primoz Roglic had an excellent start to the Vuelta a España on Tuesday by hitting a double hit.
The Slovenian from Jumbo-Visma finished the work of his team after the ascent of the Alto de Arrate.
"The team has shown to be very strong again", beamed Roglic.
"They have learned perfect work throughout the stage. It is great that I can reward them with a stage victory for that."
Roglic could be especially grateful to teammate Sepp Kuss.
After Jumbo-Visma had given the refugees little space throughout the stage, the American ensured that the favorites group was considerably thinned on the final climb.
"We have some 'crazy guys' in the team, like Sepp", Roglic laughed.
"This is a great start. I am very happy with this victory."
Summary Vuelta stage 1: Roglic wins, Dumoulin hands in
'Wear the leader's jersey with pride'
For Roglic it is a familiar feeling to be allowed to put on a leader's jersey.
In last year's Tour of Spain, he took the red after the tenth stage, only to then not give it up.
In the Tour de France he lost the yellow on the penultimate day to Tadej Pogacar.
"Whether I want to keep the red for the entire Vuelta? I look at it from day to day and especially want to enjoy it. In any case, I will wear the leader's jersey with a lot of pride. Hopefully we can still offer the people at home a lot more. "
Roglic shares the headmanship at Jumbo-Visma with Tom Dumoulin in the Vuelta, but showed in the opening stage that he has better legs than the Dutchman.
Dumoulin lost a minute and is currently sixteenth.
See also: View the rankings of the Vuelta with Dumoulin in sixteen