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Relaxed Roglic not concerned about winning the Tour: ‘I’m happy, that’s the most important thing’

Relaxed Roglic not concerned about winning the Tour: ‘I’m happy, that’s the most important thing’

Friday, June 28, 2024 at 12:00

interview Primož Roglič is clearly feeling very comfortable starting the tour in Florence. The Slovenian looked sharp and – contrary to his nature – took a lot of time to answer a barrage of journalists’ questions. It’s clear: the 34-year-old Slovenian is ready to do battle with the younger goalkeeper over the next three weeks. “I hope we can make it a good fight together,” says the three-time Vuelta a España winner before the start.

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Primoz, what’s it like to be here just before the start, and are you ready to fight with Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard?
“It’s good to be here, and fortunately it finally feels like summer. I’m enjoying it. But I also have to say that we are not among the favorites as a team at all. We are competing against great champions. But my teammates have shown that they are strong in the last matches. We are looking forward to To have a good time in France or Italy first, sorry!

How are you after the Critérium du Dauphiné incidents and what do you expect from Jonas?
“I’m fine thanks. Although now I’m sitting comfortably in a chair and not on my bike, haha. I’m ready. I’m looking forward to the start on Saturday. All the favorites and all the riders who started the Tour have prepared themselves down to the last detail. Everyone will be ready “We hope everyone will be at their best, so we can show the race at the highest level.”

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What will it be like to face Vingegaard, who you have been somewhat of a mentor in recent years?
“He has won the last two editions. For me it will be amazing To add the tour to my list of achievements, because it is still missing. But I must say that I do not think much about my competitors. With a new team and new teammates, we have a lot of work to do. We have to discipline ourselves to put each boy in the right place for the right job. That is what I mainly care about, so that we can perform better together.

Roglic and Vinggaard at Anglero last year – Photo: Cor Vos

Do you expect a hand-to-hand fight in the coming weeks or are the teams very important? And how does your Red Bull-BORA-hansgrohe team compare against UAE and Visma | Rent a Bike?
“We all know that cycling is a team sport. The stages are two hundred kilometers long and every boy in the team has his own qualities. Unfortunately for these guys, people on TV only see the battles between the leaders in the last kilometers. There is already man to man. And then It is up to us, the leaders, to finish it in the best possible way. Sometimes that means you win, sometimes not but before that, every teammate has a chapter in that whole story and without them the best results are not possible.

As for the balance of power: We’ll see, huh? I especially hope that we can exceed our preparations. “If we succeed, we will be happy.”

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You’re 34 now. You’re as young as you feel. But do you feel like this is your last chance to win the Tour, given your age?
“It’s true what you say. I still feel like I’m 20, haha. I’m happy. Every opportunity you get in your life… First of all, to be here to experience the start on Saturday, it’s already something special. I don’t really worry about these kind of questions. But it’s true that I changed teams so I could have a chance to win the round.

But still: at the end of the day, if I look at myself and whether I win the Tour or not, there will be a new edition next year. And next year too. But it stays on day and night. It won’t change my family or myself. The facts are on the table. I am happy. I just don’t want to be able to blame myself. If I put everything into it and do my best, I can live with it. Whether this is the last tour I do, or maybe I’ll do ten more! As long as I enjoy it, I will continue to do it.”

How will the arrival of Red Bull change for you and your team?
“It’s great to be part of this big project. A big sponsor like Red Bull, who is a really big player, is a real sponsor. Game changer For the whole sport of cycling. It makes the teams stronger, which means the riders will be stronger in the end too. They raise the level of cycling even further. And in the end, that’s what’s best for all of us. But in the next three weeks, I especially hope that it gives wings to our team, haha!

Will we soon see Roglic in yellow as well? – Photo: Cor Vos