Primož Roglič dodges Giro d’Italia scare: ‘I’m still here’
Routine stage turns to mayhem for Jumbo-Visma: 'On a day when you think it is going to be smooth, it is chaos again.'
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Primož Roglič avoided the worse-case scenario in Wednesday’s high-speed crash that took out Tao Geoghegan Hart, but he will have some fresh bumps and bruises as he faces the decisive back half of the Giro d’Italia.
The Jumbo-Visma captain was among several riders who crashed Wednesday in a pileup on a damp roads just under 70km to go. Roglič arrived to the line with heavy gashes to his left hip and leg.
“As you can see, I have some meat out,” he told CyclingProNet at the line. “I’m still here.”
Roglič was joking at the start line Thursday that he was “a bit lighter after losing some meat.”
“We will see pretty soon on the bike how it goes. We have to keep it positive and keep smiling,” Roglič said Thursday. “I need to survive. You have to get through. We are still here and we go on.”
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Jumbo-Visma counted their lucky stars to see Roglič surviving the stage that saw several riders crash after a rider slipped out on a damp corner on a descent.
Roglič immediately swapped bikes with teammate Koen Bouwman, and it wasn’t until the finish line that it was obvious how lucky Roglič had been.
“At first glance, it seems to end without serious consequences. It is unfortunate that Primož was involved in this crash today, but we are lucky that he is not seriously injured,” said Jumbo-Visma sport director Addy Engels. “On a day when you think it is going to be smooth, it is chaos again.”
Roglič finished the stage still in second place, just two seconds behind pink jersey Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers). Geoghegan Hart crashed out of third place overall at five seconds back with a broken hip that will require surgery.
“Suddenly something happened with far-reaching consequences,” Engels said. “Riders are crashing all the time in this Giro, which has resulted in numerous withdrawals. We’re doing everything we can to stay healthy and in one piece, but we can’t completely control bad luck. Today’s events will certainly affect the rest of the Giro. We will have to see how to deal with it.”
Former Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart has abandoned after a crash, which also saw the maglia rosa, Geraint Thomas come down along with Primož Roglič & others. A few km’s down the road, Oscar Rodriguez crashed & has also abandoned. Wishing Tao & Oscar well🤞 #Giro
— Hannah Walker (@spannawalker) May 17, 2023
Bouwman, who is one of Roglič’s important wingmen, is designated to stay with Roglič at every moment and have his bike on the ready to swap out with the team captain.
As he’s already done in this Giro on a few occasions, Bouwman gave Roglič his bike after having a close-up view of the aftermath of the crash.
“It didn’t look good. I immediately gave Primož my bike so he could continue on his way,” Bouwman said. “Then I saw Hart lying on the ground. I asked him if there was anything I could do. He quickly said that it was all over for him. It is very unfortunate that someone literally falls out of the Giro. It was another hectic day. We’ve had too much of that this Giro.”