After taking the race leader’s jersey at the Tour of Britain on Thursday, Primoz Roglic did not seem optimistic about his chances of taking a fourth stage race win this season despite his LottoNL-Jumbo team’s dominant ride in the team time trial and their strong collective showing in the overall standings.
Roglic said that like other riders at the British Tour – Julian Alaphilippe most notably – he is looking to build his form for the world championship in Innsbruck, where he will ride the road race, rather than the time trial – as reported last week – but he is currently some way off the fitness level that took him to fourth place overall in the Tour de France, where he won the stage to Laruns in the Pyrenees.
“I think my form is getting better day by day,” said the former ski jumper. “I’ve been on a lot of antibiotics, I wasn’t the best and I still don’t feel that great, but I’m getting better and better. Winning here is not an objective for me. Of course I woudn’t compare my form with the Tour, this is a new chapter and I still have to do a lot of work to be at my best, the Tour of Britain is just part of that.
“I’m trying to build my shape for the World’s but more for the road, I don’t think I will do the time trial, because I have had too many problems with the elbow. I couldn’t do the training [on the time trial bike] that was necessary. It’s a hard decision but I don’t think I will race [it].” Roglic added that he is unlikely to race again between the Tour of Britain and Innsbruck.
His LottoNL-Jumbo team had showed good form early on at the Tour of Britain, with Neilson Powless, Pascal Eenkhorn and Jos Van Emden able to survive the sort-outs at the end of the first three stages along with their Slovenian leader, but Roglic was certain that on his first day in the race leader’s green jersey he would face attacks from Alaphilippe, who has been on on searing form on the climbs here.
“We have raced quite a lot together this year, he’s a nice guy, I’ve finished behind him in a couple of sprints this year I think, and for sure we will have another big fight tomorrow.
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