Primoz Roglic successfully convinced non-believers that stage 16 was just a fluke and that he's not written off from the battle for Maglia Rosa. The Slovenian climber attacked with help of his fellow comrade Sepp Kuss from the bottom of Col and managed to distance another major GC competitor - Joao Almeida. It was a great sign for days to come, but will that be enough to dethrone Geraint Thomas?
"Getting time on Thomas is of course the goal," Marc Reef told Eurosport after Thursday's ride. “We will keep trying attacks like this. Thomas has shown that he is very strong and in good shape, but only a moment of weakness is needed to break him. We will fight for that.”
The Jumbo-Visma team manager acknowledged the day after the Monte Bondone stage that Roglic's data were not even that bad. “But the other two were just stronger. Now it appears that Primoz continues his curve of imporvement. He rode very well thanks to a strong team and especially Sepp Kuss. He was very important on the steep climb, but especially the part after that. It's nice to see us get some time on Almeida and pass him in the standings."
“INEOS Grenadiers ran a tight pace on the climbs all day, but we were able to take over on the steep part and let Sepp set the pace. Primoz was then able to place another attack and Sepp was even able to come back. We also knew the descent well. We take back time, but the mental aspect is also very important. After few tough weeks, we can look forward to tomorrow with great confidence.”
UAE Team Emirates remain upbeat despite first sign of weakness from Joao Almeida: "He didn't lose that much to his two competitors"
“Primoz is one of the strongest riders in the race, he has shown that. We could go for it today and we went for it. He put the rest under pressure and then it only takes a weak moment. We have to fight for that and that gives us a lot of motivation for tomorrow and for the time trial,” says Reef.
In the general classification, Roglic has now moved up to second place, 29 seconds behind Geraint Thomas. Almeida has dropped to third place and is now 10 seconds behind Roglic.
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