The Slovenian rider won the Giro 2023 which ended on Sunday, in the streets of Rome, ignoring the damage.
The new king of the Giro d’Italia is Slovenian. Primoz Roglic won the 2023 edition of the Giro on Sunday May 28, celebrating his fourth coronation on a grand tour after his three successes in the Vuelta (2019, 2020, 2021). Discreet during the first two weeks, the rider of the Jumbo-Visma reversed the general classification during the penultimate stage, Saturday, which he largely dominated. The perfect shot for anyone who only wore the pink jersey on the last day, in the streets of Rome.
“It’s incredible. The public gave me wings. I was flying”, raved the latter facing the camera, his son on his knees. Yet the ex-ski jumper has not gone far from one of these cold disappointments that stick to his skin. In the ascent of Monte Lussari, his mad rush to victory was thwarted by a chain jump that forced him to dismount. Enough to bring back the painful memory of another time trial, that of the Planche des Belles filles, when he had lost the Tour de France 2020 when he was in the yellow jersey the day before the finish.
But, this time, there was no livid face, nor a tossing helmet. Despite his reputation as an unlucky runner, the Slovenian resumed his forward march and finished in a cannonball. He had to take 26 seconds from his main opponent, Geraint Thomas, and did much better, relegating him to 40 seconds, and the rest of the competition beyond. “To be honest Primoz deserves it. He had a mechanical problem and he still smashed me”recognized the Briton, fair play.
“It’s Primoz, he’s used to always coming back stronger”commented his faithful mountain lieutenant, Sepp Kuss, relieved after the climb “stressful” of its leader. The American was there when his teammate sank on the 2020 Tour, when he had abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné the same year when he was the leader before the last stage. He had fallen a week before him on the Vuelta 2022, when Roglic was fighting with Remco Evenepoel to climb to the top step of the podium.
On this Giro, fate was not more lenient with regard to “Rogla”. It is with a revamped team that he presented himself on the starting line at Fossacesia Marina. Scheduled to surround the Slovenian, Tobias Foss, Robert Gesink and Jos van Emden were all caught up with Covid-19 at the last minute while Jan Tratnik suffered an accident in training on the eve of the against. – inaugural watch. Whether Rohan Dennis, Michel Hessmann, Thomas Gloag or Sam Oomen, none of these four riders who accompanied Roglic had been prepared to take three weeks of racing at this time of his season.
A profitable strategy
Primoz Roglic himself did not give the impression of being imperial, showing himself to be weaker than the competition in the first two laps. During the first part of the race, many people wondered if his underperformance was not linked to contamination by the coronavirus. “He told me he had Covid on Friday (12th stage), so I said to him, ‘Keep away from me, then'”, had also entrusted Geraint Thomas at Cyclingnews on May 13.
Covid or not, the Slovenian advanced masked, never rushing to relieve Thomas, Armirail or Leknessund of the pink jersey. He was singled out, like the other leaders, for the wait-and-see attitude shown by all those who had ambitions in the general classification. “We knew he was waiting for the big moment. Of course, there was a risk of waiting that long”, recognized Sepp Kuss. Despite the hazards, Roglic remained faithful to his plan, betting very big on the last time trial. Koen Bouwman, another teammate, for example explained that he had recognized Monte Lussari several times, running and walking up it, in addition to a new recognition, by bike, the morning of the event.
After failing when he tried to master the Giro (but also the Tour de France) from start to finish, the 33-year-old rider reviewed his plans and bet everything on the third week. Without the responsibility of managing the peloton, he shunned the full light and shone in an itchy role. On the 18th stage, he deliberately placed himself at the back of the peloton to suggest a failure, before placing a violent attack in the final, which only Geraint Thomas was able to follow. It’s as if he had voluntarily got rid of the sign that had been stuck to him before the start of the Giro (and even more after the abandonment of Remco Evenepoel) to better satisfy his objectives.
Source: France TV Info