Primoz Roglic is a three-time winner of the Vuelta a Espana and this season he was forced to abandon both his Grand Tour stints due to crashes and injuries as a consequence. However, heading into 2023 he is confident that he will still be capable of conquering a Grand Tour.
“Do I think I can still win the Tour? I don't see why not," he said in an interview with BiciPro. "At the end of my career I will draw a line and see what I have won and what not. I want to continue and I want to do it while having fun. As long as I have this spark inside to push me I will keep going."
"All depends on how the recovery will go" - Primoz Roglic back on the bike but still uncertain of upcoming months
The Slovenian has entered the Tour de France as a co-leader alongside Jonas Vingegaard, after the duo dominated the Critérium du Dauphiné. To take on Tadej Pogacar at his best was always going to be a difficult task, but one that the Dutch team succeeded in, having a massive gap opened on stage 11 as the UAE Team Emirates rider cracked at the high-altitude summit finish after a very aggressive day overall.
"One of the best days ever for me was that of the Col du Granon," Roglic admits. "It was nice to be part of the team and that action. Sharing the shower with the boys, talking about it… I already knew that my attacks on the Galibier were only meant to help Jonas [Vingegaard]. And in the end our plan went even better than we probably expected.
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However, he had to abandon the race at the end of the second week, afterwards being diagnosed with two broken vertebrae. "Then it was painful to be home while Jonas and the guys were fighting and winning the Tour, but I just couldn't go on… otherwise I would have stayed in the race," he said.
The Vuelta a Espana didn't go too different, with the Jumbo-Visma rider entering the final week in second place to Remco Evenepoel after regaining his form, but after attacking and taking time on the road on his rivals, he crashed in sight of the line in stage 16 and was forced to abandon with multiple injuries. His season ended in a street of Tomares.
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His 2023 schedule is yet to be decided, but there are meaningful rumours that he'll return to the Giro d'Italia whilst Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert ride the Tour de France. With almost 70 kilometers of time-trialing, against virtually no flat ITT kilometers at the Tour, it favours his skills.
"I competed and won in those parts, when I was a ski jumper. And then I skied. I don't know if I'll be ready for the Giro, we'll have to see how things go starting from next week's checkup. And from the programs that we will decide," he concluded.