Primož Roglič keeps the dream alive: ‘I don’t see why I can’t still win the Tour de France’
Jumbo-Visma star unsure if he'll be recovered from shoulder surgery in time for Giro d'Italia, faces leadership battle for Tour de France.
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Primož Roglič is keeping the Tour de France dream alive as he comes off the back of a season sunk by injury and leaving his GC standing in question.
“I don’t see why not,” Roglič said when asked by Bici.pro if he could still win the Tour.
“At the end of my career, I will draw a line and see what I have won and what not. I want to continue and I want to do it while having fun. As long as I have this spark inside to push me I will keep going.”
Roglič may need to wait for his next opportunity to win the Tour de France after he suffered his worst year of grand tour racing in 2022.
The 33-year-old crashed and abandoned the Tour before his teammate Jonas Vingegaard went on to win Jumbo-Visma its coveted maillot jaune. He then crashed out of the Vuelta a España while locked in a heated GC battle with Remco Evenepoel as the grand tour scene reshaped in front of him.
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With the rise of Vingegaard and the imminent arrival of new signing Wilco Kelderman, Roglič’s place in the Jumbo-Visma GC hierarchy is in question, and his wider standing in the grand tour spectrum is in doubt.
The Slovenian crashed out of his past two Tours and was derailed by Tadej Pogačar the year before that.
The meteoric trajectory of Vuelta foe Evenepoel and imminent return of Egan Bernal could see Roglič elbowed out of place by a new generation of classification racers.
A recent shoulder surgery further muddies the water as Roglič scrambles to both regain fitness and earn marquee leadership roles for 2022. Roglič told Bici he only fully regained mobility in his shoulder after bone was grafted into the dislocation-prone joint.
“For me, next year is a bit of a mystery. For now, I’ve only resumed doing very short rides. I’ll do another checkup next week and see if they’ll give me the green light to really resume,” he said.
“My goal for now is to be able to show up on December 11 for the training camp.”
‘I don’t know if I’ll be ready for the Giro’
The recently revealed 2023 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France routes point toward Roglič being sent to the TT-heavy Italian race with Vingegaard going to defend his yellow jersey in France.
Although the back end of the Giro tracks toward Slovenia, Roglič isn’t guaranteeing he will be racing toward familiar roads next May.
“I competed and won in those parts when I was a ski jumper,” he said. “But I don’t know if I’ll be ready for the Giro, we’ll have to see how things go starting from next week’s checkup. Then we’ll decide the race programs.”
For now, Roglič is maintaining his typical stoicism in the face of the uncertainty.
“Maybe all this is useful for something – maybe I’ll be fresher in the summer. I have to be confident,” he said. “For now I’m happy. I have no pain. I couldn’t swim, I couldn’t sleep …”