Tour de Romandie winner Roglic returns to Innsbruck
From Geneva straight to Innsbruck! On Sunday Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic stood on the top step of the podium after the final stage of the Tour de Romandie in western Switzerland – just two days later, on Tuesday, the Lotto NL Jumbo pro was in Austria for a recon of the courses for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships taking place in Innsbruck-Tirol from 22 to 30 September. During his stay in Innsbruck the former professional ski jumper couldn’t resist the chance to visit the legendary Bergisel ski jump in the south of the city.
Primoz Roglic has enjoyed an outstanding start to 2018. After claiming overall victory in the Tour of the Basque Country in early April, the pro rider from team Lotto NL Jumbo secured top spot in the general classification of the Tour de Romandie on Sunday. Far from heading to the beach to celebrate and recover, there is no let-up in Roglic’s training schedule. After the recon in Tirol he will be heading to France to prepare for the Tour of Slovenia in June, which he won in 2015, and then the Tour de France in July. “I will use these days to take a closer look at the World Championships courses and some sections of the Tour de France. I rode the course of the Men Elite Road Race yesterday – the profile suits me,” says Roglic.
Outstanding talent in two sports
Roglic started road cycling just six years ago after ending his career as a professional ski jumper. He has already shown his outstanding talent in both sports. In 2007 he won the Junior World Ski Jumping Championships in Planica and claimed gold as a member of the Slovenian national ski jumping team. Ten years later he took second place in the Men Elite Individual Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen. At last year’s Tour de France the 28-year-old took victory on the stage from La Mure to Serre-Chevalier featuring some of the Tour’s most iconic climbs.
While ski jumping is about going downhill fast, at this year’s UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol Roglic can look forward to uphill gradients of up to 28% on the final climb of the day known as the Höttinger Höll. “Jumping downhill is of course easier than riding uphill – but it is also much more dangerous,” he explains with a smile. “The Höll climb will be an interesting challenge that will push all the riders to their absolute limit.” When it comes to the mental side, however, Roglic sees more similarities than differences between road cycling and ski jumping: “It’s all about believing in yourself – that is equally true for both sports.”
Back in Innsbruck
The famous Bergisel ski jump in the south of Innsbruck is a familiar sight to Roglic from his days as a pro ski jumper: “I have jumped here before. It is a great feeling to come back now as a visitor. I have also had a little bit of time to take a look around Innsbruck. The oldtown with the snow-capped mountains in the background is really beautiful.”