Although Primož Roglič has yet to win a stage at this year’s Tour of Italy, and has not worn the pink shirt for a single day, it seems that he has everything under control and that he is in an excellent position to turn the race in his favor in the decisive week.
Today is the last day of the break on the Italian circuit, followed by the decisive five stages that will tell who will ride in the pink jersey on the parade of champions in Rome. There will be no hiding places among the best, all cards will have to be revealed.
“We will see how much power there is left and if there is anything to hide. Maybe it was a little specific because of the weather, which also picks up some energy. Sooner or later, the last week will show where someone belongs,” says Roglič, who attacked only once. At that time, he managed to squeeze a few seconds from Remec Evenepoel, who then resigned, so that the main competitor became the Ineos Grenadiers team.
So the race around Italy actually starts on Tuesday. The 16th stage has 5,200 meters of altitude and five categorized climbs, including the finish on Monte Bondone (1,632 m). It is a 21.4 km long slope with a height difference of 1,430 meters and an average gradient of 6.7 percent (max.: 15 percent).
The flat 17th stage to Caorlo will be the calm before the storm, as two stages follow with the uphill finish of Val di Zoldo in stage 18 and Tre Cime di Lavaredo in stage 19. On the penultimate day, there will be a mountain time trial on Svete Višarje, where Roglič will have great support from many Slovenian fans. After that stage, the winner of the 106th Tour of Italy will also be crowned.
After Tuesday’s fall, Roglič had deep cuts and it certainly wasn’t easy for him, so looking at the overall classification is very gratifying. He is only two seconds behind his main rival Geraint Thomas, but Joao Almeida is also close, who is 20 seconds behind Roglič and is also aiming for the highest.
“The mood is great, the situation and things are as they are. Everyone has their own problems. If we’re still here, everything is possible and we’ll leave smiling tomorrow to face new challenges,” said Roglič.