Primoz Roglic is facing an important year in 2023, where his position as an undisputed leader at Jumbo-Visma is no longer the case, and where injuries and the rise of Jonas Vingegaard pose a relative obstacle for the Slovenian's possible ambitions.
"I start training slowly. Six weeks have passed since the surgery. Every week gets better, but it takes time," the Slovenian said in an interview with BiciPro. "On the position on the bike - he says - let's hope we don't have to change anything, but for now I really don't know. They cut me a piece of bone, put in screws that were a little too long and came out the other side, but they tell me that this way it's even more fixed. I'll only find out when I start pedaling."
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After dislocating his shoulder several times, and abandoning the Vuelta a Espana with another hard crash, Roglic decided to undergo a surgery into the off-season which has kept him off the bike for several week. Thinking of the long-term, it casts doubts over if he will feel the same way once back to racing, but believes it will prevent the incident from happening once again.
"I have an idea about my start to the season – says Roglic – but it all depends on how the recovery will go now. For me next year is a bit of a mystery. For now I've only resumed doing very small rides," he revealed. "I'll do another checkup next week and see if they'll give me the green light to really resume. My goal for now is to be able to show up on December 11 for the training camp".
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A modest goal but one that will be very important for the Slovenian. With goals still unclear for the Dutch team into 2023, Roglic does not yet have an answer on which races he will focus in the coming season. Alongside Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert, all have been mentioned as possibilities for the Giro d'Italia, however the latter has hinted that he should target the spring classics, and then the Tour de France/World Championships combination which would make the Giro a virtually declined option.
"But maybe all this is useful for something, maybe I'll be cooler (fresher, ed.) in the summer. I have to be confident. For now I'm happy with it. I have no pain," Roglic said. This season his stint at the Tour de France ended again with injuries, but he did manage to play an important support role for Jonas Vingegaard before departing.
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Throughout the winter he has and is spending time with his family and his own personal projects: "I'm still a sportsman. I always have to be ready. And then it is also in the interest of the foundation (the Primoz Roglic Fundacija, ed) that we created with my wife Laura, with which we encourage and help young athletes to lead correct lifestyles. I have to be an example."
The Slovenian is currently in 's-Hertogenbosch together with his Jumbo-Visma teammates who are having a pre-season camp, with focus on testing new material and logistics.