Primoz Roglic on Tadej Pogacar's Giro challenge, decision to move to BORA and Visma departure: "Jumbo-Visma was flooded with Grand Tour riders"

Primoz Roglic has trained at altitude in Teide, Tenerife, preparing for the 2024 season. It will be a key season in his career as he moved away from the team where he's achieved the most; a new challenge awaits the Slovenian. He discusses compatriot Tadej Pogacar, his former Team Visma | Lease a Bike team and his move to BORA - hansgrohe.

According to him, the German team made a complete change to focus on Grand Tours, and that was a turn-around point in his decision to join BORA. "That made me decide to ride for this team. They have completely changed their strategy and objectives in the last two years. It's a completely different team now. I have seen how they have competed in the Grand Tours over the past two seasons. It is well armed to support me," Roglic tells in an interview with L'Équipe.

The Slovenian has had a quite few first months of the year, training on his new Specialized bikes, preparing for Paris-Nice where he'll start his season - and battle Remco Evenepoel. A formula that in the past has worked, Roglic will then race Itzulia Basque Country, and follow afterwards a traditional preparation for the Tour de France. He will be a big rival for his former team, but lead a very strong BORA - hansgrohe which should feature Jai Hindley, Daniel Martínez and Aleksandr Vlasov among others.

"I had been with the same team for quite a long time. It didn't suddenly occur to me, but especially in the last week of the Vuelta, it occurred to me that I needed a different environment," Roglic admits. This coincides with the internal clash with Jonas Vingegaard and Sepp Kuss. Dreaming of a Tour de France win, it was the decision to make for the 34-year old. "At some point you have to take the plunge, but only if all the elements are in place. Jumbo-Visma was flooded with Grand Tour riders and I have listed twenty races that I would still like to win and that are not yet on my record. So I had to change teams if my team couldn't give me those opportunities."

"I was dead serious when we said that we were at the start of the Vuelta with three leaders. We all know Sepp's qualities and we had a plan that could put him in a leading position. Afterwards he showed that he was strong enough to win and he can certainly win another Grand Tour. He will still be the same rider and he has just as much chance of winning as the rest. In our sport you always have to start over and every race is a different story," he tells.

The signal was clear. Roglic only weeks after moved away into BORA. Since, he admits his full focus on the Tour despite the tough competition, and BORA has also confirmed to have an all-in lineup to perform in France. It will make for an exciting battle, as UAE Team Emirates and Soudal - Quick-Step are also set to go all-in, whilst Team Visma | Lease a Bike will continue to have a strong team.

Roglic was also asked about Tadej Pogacar, who is doing the Giro-Tour double this summer. An exciting challenge, which Roglic talks about: "It's great that he has made this decision. He does not yet have the Giro d'Italia to his name. It might be easier for him to win than for me. We don't know all the contenders yet, but it will be difficult for anyone to beat him. He likes rain and bad weather, so this year's course should suit him perfectly."

He concludes with some interesting insight on their relationship: "In 2020 I barely knew him, but now I know he is a really nice guy and a great champion. It's hard to describe our relationship because we do the same job, come from the same country and both live in Monaco. We are also rivals. We get along great and he's a great traveling companion and he obviously has all my respect.”

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments