"Kept our fingers crossed that Rodriguez would win the sprint" - Rolf Aldag recalls helplessness watching Primoz Roglic crack in dramatic conclusion to Dauphine

As has become the typical Primoz Roglic fashion, the drama went all the way to the very last pedal strokes at the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine. In the end, the Slovenian just about held on, but for a while things were very much in the balance.

"The last 5 kilometres of the race were of course very interesting," recalls BORA - hansgrohe sports director Rolf Aldag, who saw the action from the team car, in conversation with the team's official website in a post-race reflection. "In the car behind the peloton, our information is often limited to the announcements from Radio Tour. We can still pass on details to the riders, try to motivate and encourage them. But in the actual finale, we are only witnesses to what happens."

In the end, despite Aldag's helplessness, he needn't have worried as his team leader managed his efforts well and held onto the Maillot Jaune by just 8 seconds from Matteo Jorgenson. "In this case, it wasn't necessary to give Primoz much route information. We knew that the last 2.5 kilometres would be easier: a short descent, taking the momentum," Aldag recalls. "So we kept our fingers crossed that Carlos Rodriguez would win the sprint against Matteo Jorgensen and make a 4 second time bonus difference in our favour. And if you calmly count to eight, 8 seconds can be a long time."

After securing the win at the Dauphine, for Roglic all attentions now turn towards the upcoming Tour de France. "You don't win the Dauphiné every day. Like the Tour de Suisse or Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice, it is a very important race. In this respect, a victory is always good for motivation and morale in the team," Aldag assesses, optimistic despite the final stage concerns. "For us, however, the fact that this great success confirms our path towards the Tour de France is almost more important. It's important that we don't have to question everything just before the Tour. We now know exactly where we stand.”

"In terms of the cornerstones, we're there and don't need to worry too much. Staying healthy is super important. Staying on the bike is super important. We're still focussing on the details. Improving details is always possible and should never be taken too lightly. The first thing after the Dauphiné is to recover," Aldag concerns. "Even if we want to continue our upward trend, we now need to take a breath and let a few days pass so that all the riders are mentally and physically fresh again."

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