"It’s also not just him in the team" - Jai Hindley to support Primoz Roglic at Tour de France but ready to step up

Jai Hindley won the Giro d'Italia in 2022 and has since found his consistency also outside of Grand Tours. In 2023 he put on a strong run to finish fourth at the Criterium du Dauphiné, seventh at the Tour de France with a stage win and spell in the yellow jersey. This year he finished third at Tirreno-Adriatico but has since been far from his best level.

“I’m been pretty cooked and tired... The Dauphiné had lots of ups and downs but in general, for the team, it was really good," Hindley said in an interview with Daniel Benson. "For me, it wasn’t the best but not too bad either. I think if I compare it to last year, I wasn’t on the same level but that’s also not a bad thing. I was in much better form at the Dauphiné last year. In the final week of the Tour last year I probably missed that last bit of form. The timing could be better for me this year."

The Australian is hopeful of a strong result at the Tour. His words do not express the best run-up to the race and although he support Primoz Roglic to success at the Dauphiné, he only managed a 20th spot in the overall classification. Still a long way off the form necessary to fight for the podium such as last year. But the 28-year old, who has recently signed a new contract with BORA - hansgrohe, is happy in the team.

“To be honest I just feel really good in the team. It feels like a second family for me," he admits. "I think it’s a sweet team to be a part of. With Red Bull coming on board, I think that the team will really develop a lot. We’ll get better and better, so for me, I was just really keen to stay on the team.”

At the Tour he will team up with Roglic and Aleksandr Vlasov in the fight for the overall classification. Whilst all eyes are on the Slovenian and his pursuit of the yellow jersey, the German team has three weapons for the overall classification and it would be unwise to sacrifice any early on.

“It’s pretty good. He’s clearly in some really good form at the moment and that’s a good relationship," Hindley said of the winner of the Dauphiné. "It’s also not just him in the team, it’s also Aleks Vlasov, who will probably go to the Tour as a more protected rider as well. We’ve got a pretty sick team."

“The best possible scenario is that me, Aleks and Primož are all there with the best form possible and then we have multiple cards to play when it comes down to the finales," he explains. "I think we’ve got one of the best teams that we’ve ever sent in terms of the GC. So it’s quite exciting for the team. We have a really strong team, and we go to the Tour with complete focus for the GC and guys to support GC riders.” But Hindley knows of the big challenge ahead, specially with UAE Team Emirates and Team Visma | Lease a Bike confirming very strong lineup with over a week left for the Grand Depart.

“For sure, you’ve got a really strong start list, with one of the best this year, and Vingegaard going. UAE have a ridiculously strong team and Pogačar coming off the back of a win at the Giro. He’ll be super confident and ready to go. Remco Evenepoel isn’t to be discarded and there’s always other riders. I’m sure that INEOS will come with a super strong team as well. I think it will be a good race. It’s going to be a cracker, mate,” he concluded.

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