The Slovenia Times

Roglič wins Tour dress rehearsal

Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič. Photo: Bora-Hansgrohe

Slovenian rider Primož Roglič (Bora Hansgrohe) clung on in a turbulent last stage to win the Critérium du Dauphiné, a classic one-week race, by just eight seconds on 9 June ahead of the American Matteo Jorgenson (Visma-Lease a Bike).

This is the second Critérium du Dauphiné win for the 34-year-old Roglič after he won two years ago, and the first major race to his name since he switched teams last year.

It comes nine weeks after he was injured in a horror crash at Tour of Basque Country and less than a month before he faces the world's best riders at the Tour de France.

While the victory bodes well for the Tour, where his compatriot Tadej Pogačar will be the favourite to win, Roglič had a far from perfect race.

He crashed twice and after the second crash he complained about pain in the shoulder on which he had surgery last year.

And while winning the demanding mountainous stage on Saturday and finishing third in the time trial, he struggled to defend his significant lead in the final stage, a 160-kilometre stretch from Thones to Plateau des Glieres

Jorgenson, who ran away along with eventual stage winner Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech), came within a whisker of clinching the general classification, while Roglič came in sixth in the stage, 48 seconds behind.

"It was quite crazy to be able to win the Dauphiné with everything that happened in between, it's beautiful," said Roglič.

"Definitely it's something we need with the team... It was crazy with all these crashes and everything coming, a lot of things happening that we don't want to but this is part of cycling and in the end a lot of mountains this year."

While the Dauphiné is considered the ultimate test for the Tour de France, which starts on 29 June, Roglič did not dwell on that.

"The Dauphiné is not the same as the Tour. I'm going to enjoy the moment first, you don't get to win such races every day."

Roglič now has 21 victories at multi-day races to his name, of which ten at one-week tests.


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