'It's hard to accept': Jumbo-Visma mourn Primož Roglič's Tour de France abandon

Team-mate Sepp Kuss expects 'mentally strong' Roglič to bounce back

Primož Roglič
(Image credit: Getty)

Jumbo-Visma are trying to look on the bright side after Primož Roglič was forced to abandon the Tour de France 2021 through injury.

While the Dutch squad set off from Brest determined to bump the Slovenian up from the second in 2020 to the top step on the final podium this year, his crash on stage three left him bandaged up like an Egytian mummy, he had joked, and while he fought through the stage five time trial his injuries got the better of him when the race entered the mountains, losing half an hour on stage eight and climbing off the next morning.

"Yeah, it's been tough, we haven't had so much luck," Sepp Kuss, the only Jumbo-Visma rider who hasn't crashed in this year's Tour so far, told Cycling Weekly. "But that's how it can be in the Tour. 

"We miss Primož. But for him it's [for the] best, and we recognise it too that it's better for him to go home and rest and recover."

>>> Geraint Thomas says Tour de France collapse is 'tough on the head'

Roglič has already proven his mental resilience, bouncing back from the shock of last year's French Grand Tour to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège and his second Vuelta a España.

"It's true. He's really strong mentally and he's realistic and has a lot of humility," Kuss continued. "But for someone that's seen first-hand how hard he's worked, it's hard to accept sometimes. 

"Because, like every single rider in the peloton, you put in a lot of work just to make it to the Tour. But in sports, there's always another chance."

Roglič will be back, no doubt, Wout van Aert currently sits second on GC, 1-48 behind the yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar, but will likely lose more time in the mountains, while the 24-year-old Jonas Vingegaard sits fifth overall, five minutes in arrears. The young Dane has had a breakthrough season and will now have the chance to fight for the top five in his debut Tour.

"We have to look on the bright side, we still have Wout and Jonas up there. And Jonas especially is riding really strong in his first Tour. So that's exciting," Kuss concluded. "And then for the rest of us, we can look for different opportunities."

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.