Roglič raises Giro trophy in Rome
Primož Roglič raised the Giro d'Italia 2023 trophy in Rome on 28 May after securing the victory in the time trial up the Monte Lussari just across the Slovenian border in the penultimate stage to take the pink jersey away from Brit Geraint Thomas.
This is the fourth Grand Tour title for the 33-year-old ski-jumper-turned-cyclist, after he previously won La Vuelta three times. Together with the double Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar, the Slovenian riders have now claimed victories of all three most iconic races in the sport.
Roglič proved his ability to maintain motivation and persistence under difficult circumstances when he lost the chain on the steepest part of the climb up the Monte Lussari, but fixed it and a former ski jumping teammate of his happened to be right where he needed him and he helped him back on and Roglič powered on like there was no tommorrow.
This allowed him to enjoy the last stage of the 106th Giro d'Italia around Rome on a pink bike, flanked by his teammates, who wore pink gloves and socks to celebrate his victory.
As there is an unwritten rule that the leader is not to be attacked on the last stage, the Slovenian Jumbo Visma rider kept his 14-second gap on Thomas, an Ineos Grenadiers rider, having distanced him by 40 seconds on the Monte Lussari the day before.
Asked if he now realises what it means to win the Giro, after all the tension and drama of the penultimate stage, Roglič said: "Not really. I'm enjoying the moment, I'm trying to enjoy all the emotions, and everything that happened yesterday. At the end, it's always nice to win."
The Giro victory is a reward for everything he has experienced in his career, which has been marked by ups and downs, dramatic plot twists and injuries. "Every win is special and I'm just grateful to be able to achieve this one, and it'll stay in my memories for the rest of my life," he said.
Thomas confirmed his second place overall, while Portugal's Joao Almeida, riding for UAE Team Emirates, came in third, a minute and 15 seconds behind Roglič. The Portuguese bagged the white jersey of the best young rider.
The purple points jersey went to Italy's Jonathan Milan, riding for Bahrain Victorious, and the king of the mountains blue jersey to Thibaut Pinot, a French rider who is a member of Groupama-FDJ. Bahrain Victorious were crowned the top team of this year's Giro.
This is the 74th win in Roglič's career and his first Giro win following his third place at the Italian Grand Tour in 2019. To boot, Roglič is an Olympic time trial champion and has won a long list of top-tier stage races. He also took second overall in the 2020 Tour de France.
The winner of the final stage of the Giro was Brit Mark Cavendish, an Astana Qazaqstan rider who will retire at the end of the season.