Primoz Roglic is one of the riders who has in the last few years suffered the most with crashes, but he is confident that he will still be able to fight for top results despite his consistent string of injuries that pledged his latter half of 2022.
"I'm looking forward to get back on the bike as soon as possible, but I don't want to get ahead of myself," Roglic said in an interview with Radio Slovenia. "I want to be absolutely sure and pick the right moment. That moment is coming. My injuries accumulated over the years. My crucial problem was lack of time to heal them properly and regenerate. During the season there are only short breaks during races and I'm always motivated to get a result at next one. We are always rushing from one race to another."
The Slovenian dislocated his shoulder on several occasions, most recently at the Tour de France when he crashed on stage five. He suffered two broken vertebrae aswell which forced him to abandon the race. At the Vuelta a Espana he had a phenomenal comeback, but was forced to abandon the race inside the final week due to a harsh crash in sight of the line on stage 16.
"I am asking myself when and where it is realistic to be in contention. When I get to a race I want to be sure and self confident. Let's first wait for my shoulder to heal and then focus on races," he continued. There is still no plan for 2023, however there are hints that he may target the Giro d'Italia, as both Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert set sights on a Tour de France return.
As for Roglic he underwent a shoulder surgery that should prevent it from further dislocating, which has also seen him take considerable time off the bike. "A good side of current situation is to get a really good rest after last season which for me ended at the beginning of September. Now my resting period is almost over and I have to slowly get back into training. Looking forward to new challenges," he said.
"I wasn't thinking about anything at the time," he said of the Tour de France crash. "I just needed to fix my shoulder as quickly as possible, get back on the bike and cross the finish line as fast as possible. All these things can only happen if you are there in the heat of the moment. Apparently I am always there in the mix year after year. I can not explain why it happened to me again. But it's a past now. I'm looking forward."
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"In some cases for myself in other for the team. I was there to race and not only on that stage. My problem was not the shoulder, it had been dislocated like 30 times before, my problem were 2 broken small bones in my back," the 33-year old admitted. "It caused me so much pain that at some point I had to regretfully leave the Tour which was by far the most successful for my team."
Jumbo-Visma has the collective force to go on to dominate the 2023 season, and Roglic will be part of that plan, wherever he decides to focus on. "I believe one day I will be on the right place at the right time. I broke some so called curses in France this year in first half of the season. Hoping to break some more. When I am on a start line I'm there to race," he continued.
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He was asked regarding his ability to hide the pain, to which the three-time Vuelta winner responded: "It's a useful skill in cycling, yes. But on the other hand that skill costs me a lot sometimes. I am always saying I'm OK, I can race. But in the end I have to accept the truth about an injury. Many times I would recover much faster if I quit earlier."
"You can bluff, but not to the end. In the end everybody is at their limits. Then it's a matter of how much you can squeeze out from yourself in a tough situation," he added. Spectacularly, Roglic went on to race at a high level for several days following two broken vertebrae at the Tour, before it became clear that he was suffering from heavy injuries.
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"I think a feature of the biggest champions is that they don't lose a lot of time when they suffer. When you can limit your loss on a bad day, you are doing the biggest job in cycling. For me it's easy to race for a win when I feel good legs but the catch is to lose only 15 or 30 second when you already suffer two climbs before the finish. On a bad day I'm hardly waiting for the finish line for the last 50 km," he concluded.