Primož Roglič has finally earned his redemption after this year’s Paris-Nice, considering how much of a disaster last year’s event was. His planned victory was scrapped by bad weather and fierce competition from Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco), although this year, everything went well for the Jumbo-Visma duo.
Simon Yates put a lot of gap between him and Roglic, but that was not enough to put behind the Jumbo-Visma duo. Although Yates enjoyed a 28-seconds lead, Roglic was able to close the gap thanks to teammate Wout Van Aert by finishing at 29-seconds.
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At one point, this year’s Paris-Nice course was a clear reflection of how the event unfolded last year. Roglic went from being first to the 15th position thanks to a pair of nasty crashes. Although all of that changed, thanks to Wout Van Aert, however, the Slovenian admitted that he was out of breath and at one point knew that he won’t make it to the finish line.
In a post-race interview, Roglic stated:
Again it was super hard the last one, but I have to admit this year I’m happier than last year after the stage.
I was tired from the very start. I also put on way too many clothes and cooked myself. When I took them off it was better but too late. Still, it was good enough to achieve what we came here for.
So it’s really a big thanks to my whole team and especially Wout here at the end. Half human half motor. I would say that Wout can do everything.
He’s a class rider and super strong. I always say I’m happy and proud that I can learn something from him and ride beside him.
The force is definitely strong with both Roglic and Wout Van Aert, how they took care of each other is a prime example of how teammates should be with each other and other than that, how friends take care of each other. Surely, without Van Aert’s help, Roglic could not have made it on his own.
Roglic stated after the race:
I was definitely not feeling strong enough. It was steep and I didn’t have power. I was really suffering and fighting over the climb to limit the losses.
Luckily, I knew that Wout had a super day and he was really, really a big, big help going through with me all the way to the finish.
Naturally, Wout Van Aert feels the same way as Roglic, he knew had to stay with his teammate to the finish line.
It was a scenario that I would stay as long as possible with Primož, to be the last guy to help him. We tried to control the race for as long as possible, which was quite hard on all these climbs. We never had to chase and we were always safe in the downhills which was a great job by everyone.
Everyone remembers how it went last year and it’s one of the big team goals we have this year. It’s Primož’s biggest goal of the spring; he prepared for it in Tenerife and I’m happy to be a little part of this.
Roglic lives in Monaco and since he ascends Col de Turini frequently, it did not make the race easier for him. Actually, it was a completely different experience. Stay tuned for more updates!
Featured Image Via YouTube/ Cycling Pro Net