Slovenian Primoz Roglic wins his first Tour of Italy

Slovenian Primoz Roglic wins his first Tour of Italy

2023-05-28 20:15:13

Slovenian Primoz Roglic won his first Giro on Sunday after the 21st and final stage, won by Briton Mark Cavendish in the streets of Rome.

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A triumph with the taste of revenge at the foot of the Colosseum. Slovenian Primoz Roglic won his first Tour of Italy on Sunday May 28 in the streets of Rome. In the sprint, Mark Cavendish won the 21e and last stage of the Giro.

Drunk with happiness, Primoz Roglic savored a victory with redeeming value, three years after his traumatic failure in the Tour de France.

This is the fourth victory in a Grand Tour for the Jumbo-Visma rider after his three successes in the Tour of Spain. He leads by only fourteen seconds in the general classification the Briton Geraint Thomas, very worthy in the defeat and luxury fish-driver on Sunday to take his compatriot Mark Cavendish to a seventeenth victory in the Giro.

“It was super amazing”

For Roglic, 33 years, this Roman triumph has a very particular flavor, three years after having lived a nightmare in the Tour de France when, yellow jersey for eleven days, he had been overthrown by Tadej Pogacar during a tragic time trial at the eve of arrival.

The revenge is all the sweeter as he lived this time the scenario in reverse. He took power in the Giro on Saturday by robbing the Welshman Geraint Thomas of his pink jersey on a last uphill time in the frightening Monte Lussari, in front of thousands of Slovenian fans in a trance. Dont – amazing winkeye ofu fate – one of his former national junior ski jumping team-mates, Mitja Meznar, who happened to be right on the spot where he suffered a chain break and helped him get going again.

“The emotions I experienced yesterday on Monte Lussari will remain engraved for life. I will never forget. It was super incredible,” insisted Roglic.

Read also Tour of Italy: Roglic overthrows the Giro in a breathless final

Sunday, the last stage, a friendly parade on his beautiful pink bike in the postcard setting of the Eternal City, was a formality. Roglic finished warm in the peloton, sprinted by Cavendish in bright sunshine.

For the British sprinting legend too the moment was quite incredible, as he just announced, at 38 years, that he stopped his career at the end of the season. “I am incredibly happy”, mumbled the “Cav” after this 54e victory in a Grand Tour, launched by his old friend Geraint Thomas who is not in his team.

A good omen for the Tour de France

The coronation of Roglic, one of the fantastic six in cycling, is the high point of an extraordinary first part of the season. The Slovenian has simply won the three races he has contested this year, Tirreno-Adriatico, the Tour of Catalonia and the Giro.

Brilliant strokes that come to garnish an already well-filled trophy cabinet: it now has 64 victories on his professional list. He lacks little more than that of the Tour de France, which he could play this year, even if his team’s projects remain unclear in this regard.

Roglic was the big favorite of this Giro with Remco Evenepoel, before a positive Covid-19 test for the Belgian after ten days deprived the race of the announced duel.

The Giro d’Italia then got into a bit of trouble in terms of the fight for the general classification. Despite, or perhaps because of, a very difficult course, especially in the third week, the main favorites spent their time marking their pants in sometimes apocalyptic weather conditions, in the cold and in the pouring rain.

As abandonments multiplied, Roglic was not spared either. Even before the start, four of his teammates had to be replaced because of a positive test for Covid-19.

“We had to change the selection in disaster, we were already happy to be able to start at eight”, recalled Sunday its sports director, Marc Reef, praising the strength of character of its leader, still involved in two falls which notably earned him a deep gash in the hip.

Falls and injuries are an integral part of the Slovenian’s career. Cursed for a long time, he took a dazzling revenge on fate on Sunday in Rome.

With AFP

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