Roglič will not win the Tour. What is Jumbo doing now?
Primoz Roglic finishes stage 7 of the Tour de France.
Four days after a heavy fall and abrasions and bruises all over his body, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) saw his hopes for the general classification go up in smoke during the 7th stage of the Tour de France, the longest in the race this year. The 31-year-old Slovenian, who led last year’s Tour until the penultimate day before handing yellow to Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates), finished Stage 7 almost four minutes behind Pogačar and most of the other prospects in the general classification.
In total, he now finds himself at 9:11 am on race leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and 5:28 am on Pogacar – not where he expected after a week of racing on this Tour.
Roglič’s strong performance in the Stage 5 time trial had given hope that the injuries he sustained in Stage 3 were not so severe as to hamper his candidacy too much. overall, but the long journey from Vierzon to Friday proved too much for Roglič to bear.
“This fall in Pontivy was very serious,” said Jumbo-Visma technical director Merijn Zeeman, according to Wielerflits. “These injuries consume a lot of energy. Miraculously, Primož was able to limit the damage in the time trial. However, such a grueling 260-kilometer drive turned out to be too good a thing. Then the body is completely empty, and unfortunately it does not come close to its normal level at all. “
Roglič was let down on the penultimate climb of the seventh stage, the Signal d’Uchon, and Jumbo-Visma did not send any riders to assist him. Zeeman later explained that the team were “prepared” for the possibility that Roglič’s injuries could put him off the overall standings.
“This morning, Primoz indicated that he was in even more pain than the previous days. After his fall we were hoping, in fact against our better judgment, that nature would be a little more favorable to him, ”said Zeeman. “It turns out that’s not the case. This is why we did not make anyone wait during the trip.
For Roglič, the big question now may be whether he will complete the Tour, with the Tokyo Olympics looming and a chance for a third straight Vuelta a España title to follow. Zeeman said the team will know more about Roglič’s status after the next two stages in the Alps.
Meanwhile, the Dutch WorldTour team is not completely left out of the GC conversation. After all, Jumbo-Visma has brought one of the strongest lineups to this race, and Zeeman said the team will continue to “look for opportunities” on the Tour even if Roglič’s hopes have been dashed.
“We still want to see what we can do with Jonas Vingegaard and Steven Kruijswijk in the standings, or possibly win another stage,” said Zeeman. “It’s also the bike. Dealing with setbacks is also part of it. One year is not the next. It has now become clear to us. “
Vingegaard, who finished second in the overall standings at Itzulia’s Basque Country earlier this season, is currently 5.18 hours behind the overall standings (and only 1h35 behind Pogacar). Kruijswijk is still 2h56 behind Vingegaard. Of course, neither of the two drivers is currently the best placed Jumbo-Visma in the general classification; this honor goes to Wout van Aert, the only rider within a minute of race leader Mathieu van der Poel. After stage 7, Van Aert is more than three minutes ahead of Pogacar.
Zeeman pointedly avoided mentioning Van Aert’s GC chances when discussing Jumbo-Visma’s altered plans following Roglič’s struggles. This isn’t much of a surprise, given that Van Aert has never finished in the top 10 of a Grand Tour and entered this race watching stage wins ahead of the Olympics – but it’s tough to ignore the fact that he was climbing with the best Tourists during several stages of the race last year. Indeed, since Friday afternoon, most bookmakers have granted the 26-year-old Belgian the third lowest odds of all the Tour riders to win everything, behind Pogacar and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) but just forward of the aforementioned Vingegaard.
For now, Jumbo-Visma is avoiding putting that kind of pressure on Van Aert, but we probably won’t have to wait long to see if the three-time cyclocross world champion is to be seen as a real threat to the overall standings. . After the longest stage of the race on Friday, the Tour heads to the Alps on Saturday, and with a series of Cat 1 climbs on the menu, the stage will certainly be another day with implications for the overall standings in a race that has seen so many GC reshuffles already.