Primoz Roglic has won his first Giro d'Italia and shaken off the old ghosts of the 2020 Tour de France, when he lost the yellow jersey to Tadej Pogacar in the final time trial. This time, it was he who snatched the maglia rosa from Geraint Thomas in similar circumstances.
It is the Slovenian's fourth major stage race after the three Vueltas a España he won between 2020 and 2022. He only has the Tour de France left to complete the triplet. It is complicated to achieve it but, seen what has been seen, nothing can be ruled out with the talented rider of Jumbo-Visma.
In this article we want to take a closer look at Roglic's triumph and for that we give you the 5 keys that have given him the victory ahead of his rivals in the Giro d'Italia 2023.
THE 5 KEYS THAT HAVE GIVEN ROGLIC THE TURNING POINT.
1. The abandonment of Remco Evenepoel.
Before the Giro ALL the specialized press was talking about a Remco-Roglic duel for the corsa rosa. No name was close to fight for the win. The Belgian won the first 2 time trials and when he retired for Covid he was first overall with a lead close to a minute. It's cycling fiction to know whether or not Primoz would have ended up winning without Remco's virus, but there's no doubt that his abandonment didn't hurt him.
Michel Wuyts - "I am convinced that Remco had won this Giro d'Italia. I don't say 'could have won', but 'had won'"
2. Joao Almeida is not yet ready.
In the first high mountain stage where there was a battle between the leaders of the race Joao Almeida attacked and did some damage to Roglic on Monte Bondone, who lost 25 seconds to him and Thomas. That day the Portuguese rider proved to be at another level with respect to the rest of the participants, but from then on he was always a step behind his two veteran rivals. He was ready for the podium, as he proved, but not for anything else.
"Hopefully this is just the beginning" - Joao Almeida secures first Grand Tour podium finish at the Giro d'Italia
3. INEOS, the train, Tao and Thomas.
Geraint Thomas has been the great rival of Primoz Roglic in the Giro d'Italia 2023 (not in vain he ended up beating him by just 14 seconds). The question on every fan's mind is whether INEOS Grenadiers' strategy was the right one. First of all, the abandonment of Tao Geoghegan Hart, which obviously hurt them when he was close to the Slovenian in the general classification.
However, they didn't take advantage of having Laurens de Plus and Thimen Arensman in the top 10 (that's how they finished in the standings). They acted as 2 more gregarious, it didn't matter if they could be a risk for Primoz. They used their classic INEOS 'train' strategy and it almost worked, but Geraint couldn't handle Roglic in the final time trial. Looking back, a little attack from Arensman could have changed things. Or not. We'll never know...
"Was that the reason G was sweating so much?" - Philippe Gilbert questions Thomas's use of Giro d'Italia skinsuit in decisive stage 20 time-trial
4. The king of the 'pancartazo'.
I am one of those who believe that if Jumbo-Visma had avoided the arrival of a breakaway Roglic could have won a stage in line and would have arrived more comfortably to the final time trial. In any case, his ability to 'pancartazo', that is, to sprint in the last meters of a stage to catch a few seconds, hurt Thomas in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the run-up to the time trial. The face of the Welshman, who thought he had left him behind, when he passed him on the finish line and took a few seconds off him was a poem that predicted what would happen on Monte Lussari.
Addy Engels talks about Primoz Roglic's Monte Lussari ITT: “When he had a problem with his bike I thought it was over"
5. Champion mind and legs.
Losing the 2020 Tour de France on the Planche de Belle Filles to a then-young and unfancied Tadej Pogacar would have sunk many a career, not so Primoz Roglic's. Since then, he has won four grand tours: 3 Vuelta a España and the 2023 Giro d'Italia.
You have to have great mental fortitude to be able to win a grand tour in the same way as the loser. Concentrated from the first second, recovering from a chain start, Roglic always believed he could win. He had the legs for it, we knew that. He also had a privileged head.