Giro d'Italia
Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Roglic reflects on a Giro that slipped away from him

Having started the Giro on a run of stage race success, Roglic turned from Giro favorite to being content with place on podium.

VERONA, Italy (VN) — Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), even if starting a Giro d’Italia favorite, came away thankful for third place overall behind winner Richard Carapaz (Movistar).

He closed the 2019 race in Verona on Sunday at 2:30 back overall, jumping ahead of Mikel Landa (Movistar) in the final day’s time trial.

“A lot of things happened, I had a lot of problems, and like I said, I didn’t feel great after stage 14 any more,” Roglic said.

“So at the end, with all the problems I had, it’s just a win to finish on the podium in Verona.”

In stage 14 in Como last week, Roglic and the Jumbo-Visma team fumbled a bike change that could have led to his crash while descending to the finish line.

It marked a bad second half for Roglic in the Giro. He had begun strongly with the time trial win in Bologna and five days in the leader’s pink jersey. He won the San Marino time trail. Then came the finish alongside Lake Como.

“It’s like a win for me to finish on the podium, I am super-happy. I give my 110 percent,” he continued.

“I fought every day. Finishing on the podium is really, really nice.”

He began the Giro d’Italia as the top favorite with wins in all three stage races he entered – the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Tour of Romandie. Many considered that the Slovenian rode too hard in the first part of the season and paid for it as the Giro rolled ahead.

“After the war, you can always be smart to change or to be different,” he said when asked about starting the race too hot. “I am super happy and proud of this Giro. Also, the first part of the season, with all the races I did. For sure, I learn these moments and I will try to take something out of it.”

The team lost Robert Gesink before the race began due to a crash, which gave American Sepp Kuss a chance to race, and Laurens De Plus abandoned in the first week. Roglic admitted that some things will need to be analyzed.

“We all learn some things as a whole team when we do these three-week races,” he said. “Experiences and lessons, we need to do some analysis, and then after, then for sure something I can feel better, maybe with the food, and then we can come back better.”

Roglic could go ahead from here to race the Tour de France, but it remains unknown with the team supporting Dylan Groenewegen for the sprints and Steven Kruijswijk for the overall. Last year, Roglic won a stage and placed fourth overall. Kruijswijk placed fifth.

“I am just tired. If I am honest, I didn’t feel so good any more after the short stage. It was a big fight in the end,” he continued. “First I do some holidays, then we will see.”