Primož Roglič says he’s ready to race at the Tour de France, despite crashing just two weeks ago at the Critérium du Dauphiné forcing him to abandon with injury before the final stage.
The Slovenian champion looked untouchable at the Dauphiné, winning one stage and taking time out of the other favourites whenever he could, as his Jumbo-Visma team went head to head with a very strong Team Ineos.
In a pre-Tour press conference, Roglič confirmed that he was ready to take to the start of the Tour in Nice on Saturday.
“I’m ready just like the other guys here,” Roglič said. “I’m going to do my best and we will see how it goes.”
The 2019 Vuelta a España champion heads to the Tour with one less mountain domestique however, after last year’s third overall, Stevan Kruijswijk, also crashed out of the Dauphiné. The Dutchman suffered a serious injury to his shoulder along with nasty road rash.
Kruijswijk, who would’ve been a vital rider for Roglič, has been replaced by former Norwegian champion, Amund Grøndahl Jansen with Kruijswijk set to ride the Giro d’Italia in October.
After leaving the Dauphiné, Roglič headed for a training block at altitude but only came back to full training relatively recently.
“Everything looks good. He trained well at altitude and he is now here,” said team coach, Grischa Niermann.
Although it is now confirmed that he will be on the start line in Nice on August 29, there were still doubts just a couple of days before this announcement with Roglič’s partner, Lora Klinc, saying there were still doubts over his participation.
“The most important question at the moment is whether Primož will start,” Klinc said.
“We all want that, but we are waiting for confirmation.
“The crash has grounded everything. It could have been much worse but why did it have to happen just before the start of the Tour?”
Roglič is looking to become first rider to beat the Ineos/Sky Tour dominance of the Tour since 2014. Defending champion Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) also abandoned the Dauphiné, due to back problems, but both riders are set to battle it out over a tough Tour route.
Roglič also still has some very strong riders around him, including former Giro d’Italia winner, Tom Dumoulin who managed a top-10 in the Dauphiné after Roglič abandoned.
Dumoulin, speaking in the press conference, said: “I’m happy to be here. I’m happy about how the Dauphiné went.
“I’m improving everyday. It’s a good feeling to be at Le Tour de France.”
The Tour starts in Nice on Saturday August 29 and is down as being one of the most unpredictable races in years.