The Slovenia Times

Roglič pockets Golden Order of Merit while on fast for shoulder surgery


Cycling star Primož Roglič was honoured by President Borut Pahor on Monday with the Golden Order of Merit, one of Slovenia's highest state decorations. The three-time Vuelta winner received the honour just a few hours before submitting himself to a shoulder injury surgery.

Roglič, the first Slovenian cyclist to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey, win a three-week race, an Olympic gold medal, and one of the cycling "monuments", was decorated for his achievements, for successfully representing Slovenia in the global sports arena and for his inspiring character.

"With his story and personality he has conquered the hearts of Slovenians and became the hero of Slovenian cycling," Pahor's office wrote about the 32-year-old who started out as a ski jumper, even becoming Junior World Team event champion in 2007.

"His story is one of wishes fulfilled as a result of hard and focused work," the president's office added, speaking of how Roglič has been overcoming adversity and how he simultaneously conveys humility and sublime greatness.

Roglič, who won the Vuelta a Espana three times in a row and also has top 3 overall finishes at the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, expressed "happiness, joy and pride" at the award ceremony.

"Order is order and Golden Order is even grander," he added before departing for hospital, where he has a shoulder surgery scheduled in the afternoon.

Roglič, who has been on sick leave following a heavy crash at this year's Vuleta where he had been riding in second place overall, explained the shoulder, dislocated on several occasions, had been bugging him for a while.

"I've reached the point where I need to sort this out so I can be stronger and start preparing for new challenges in the new season. I have to respect what they tell me," Roglič told Radio Slovenija, adding the post-surgery rest period would probably take six to eight weeks.

"They fixate everything with two screws. You would think it would be stable, but it's not something I can just go and ride with the next day. I have to respect the rehabilitation time. We will definitely do everything to get me back on the bike as soon as possible," Roglič added.


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