Primož Roglič has all but ruled out following up his recent Olympic time trial gold medal in Tokyo with a crack at the TT rainbow jersey in Flanders later this month.
"Normally I am not there," the Slovenian said as to whether he will participate in the UCI Road World Championships later this month.
"I want to finish this race [the Vuelta] first and then we look further to the future. But normally I don't participate."
Roglič currently holds a commanding lead in the red jersey, 2-30 over Movistar's Enric Mas and 2-53 over the Spaniard's Colombian team-mate Miguel Ángel López, where he is on the verge of winning a third consecutive Vuelta title.
Stage 19 also marked the Jumbo-Visma rider's 50th day spent in a Grand Tour leader's jersey.
“I was not aware that today I was allowed to put myself in a leader's jersey for the fiftieth time in a Grand Tour,” Roglič admitted. “I'm never too concerned with statistics. I like to hear it and it surprises me in a positive way. Hopefully there will be a few more days.”
He has warned, however, that the race isn't over until he crosses the line of the final time trial, having previously lost the Tour de France in a stage 21 race against the clock.
“Tomorrow's stage is anything but easy," Roglič said yesterday of today's hilly stage 20. "We will also have to remain alert in the individual time trial on Sunday. We know better than anyone that the devil of a Grand Tour is often in the tail. We will have to stay focused and do our very best to take home the red jersey.
"Hopefully, we have enough energy left in the tank to seal the last three weeks with the desired result.”
Following the Vuelta, the only other races Roglič so far has on his calendar for the remainder of the season are two one-day Italian races, the Giro dell'Emilia and Il Lombardia, taking place during the first week of October.
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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.
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