Fri 31/08/2018

Primož Roglič will not race the Individual Time Trial

Rising star of the world cycling scene, and one of the pre-race favorites for the Individual Time Trial at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol, Lotto NL-Jumbo rider Primož Roglič has revealed that he will be focusing on the Road Race this year.

Roglič, currently at a high-altitude training camp in Kühtai (2020m above sea level) near Innsbruck, where his Lotto NL-Jumbo team colleagues were on a training camp earlier this year, confirmed his decision in an interview with the organisers, saying: “I took the decision about ten days ago because I had some problems with my elbow after the Tour [de France]. I had a stone in it after a crash, which I had removed. A week later it was inflamed so I had to have it opened up again. I still haven’t ridden my TT bike, so I can’t really train to get a good result. I will [only] start when I can fight for a win, so I won’t do it.”
The 28-year-old Slovenian, who finished fourth at this year’s Tour de France said that he would concentrate his efforts on the Elite Men’s Road Race instead: “I will do the Road Race; it will be a challenge but I like it – it’s a really long race and a lot of things will happen for sure. I’ve never really raced a World Championships [Road Race] for a result before and, like I said it will be a challenge. It’s a really hard course, especially the last climb. It will be a fight to go over it when we hit it for the last time. I rode it three times today and it was tough.”
Roglič has won the ‘Queen’ stage at the Tour de France for the past two years and a key stage at this year’s Giro d’Italia. Asked whether he felt this gave him an edge over his rivals, he responded: “Yes I think so, especially for myself because I know I can ride hard and be really good. This gives me mental confidence, as well as the training. The truth is we are all starting from zero, from the same place, so you have to always prove yourself, again and again.”
Roglič acknowledged the strength of his main rivals saying: “We’ll see how they finish La Vuelta coming into the Worlds. For sure the course could be good for [Alejandro] Valverde and [Julian] Alaphilippe, but we’ll see. It will be a big challenge for each guy starting here.”

Slovenia will field eight riders, the maximum allowed in a team for the Men’s Elite Road Race, which Roglič, agreed would help his chances: “It may be an advantage that we don't have a lot of big leaders, but if we select the eight really strong guys for us, we can focus on some goals to fight for as a whole team.”
Roglič is excited by the prospect of lots of Slovenian supporters being at the event and anticipates a great spectacle, on good, wide roads, with big crowds cheering the riders: “Of course it is an advantage it is quite close to Slovenia this time, and we are on fire with the results for all our guys – so what can I say? Come and cheer for us and we’ll do our best.”
Roglič finished: “The parcours does suit me, but when you are going well, the parcours suits you and when you’re not, it’s not so good. So my goal is to try to prepare myself at the highest level possible and then race.”

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