In the grand scheme of things, losing the overall victory at Paris-Nice is unlikely to haunt Primož Roglič for long, but losing a second yellow jersey at the last will only compound the number of questions the Slovenian will face in the lead up to this summer's Tour de France, where he will hope to put the demons of 2020 to bed once and for all.
"This was not the ride we had hoped for," was Roglič's reaction to crashing twice on the final stage eight, the first one having dislocated his shoulder and the second seeing him uncoupled from the peloton and losing enough time to dump him out of not only the race lead but the top 10.
"I made some mistakes today. In the first fall my left shoulder was dislocated. Then I fell again. I gave everything, but I couldn't get [back] into the first group anymore. It's a shame, but on to the next one. This is also part of the sport. We will definitely be back in the next races."
At the start of the day, Roglič says he hadn't considered the fact he would lose the race lead, having a 52-second buffer over Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and only 90km between him and the finish line after the coronavirus pandemic altered the race route.
The Slovenian is used to the ups and downs of professional sport by now, however, and a competitor as stoic as Roglič will pick himself up and dust himself off.
"I didn't really think about the overall victory slipping out of my hands. It is always a fight with yourself. If you can, you did what you had to do. I gave everything," Roglič said. "We are of course disappointed, but the world is not going to stop spinning. We now have to look ahead.
Jumbo-Visma's sports director Grischa Niermann explained Roglič wasn't helped by the commissaires not seeing his crash and therefore not letting him move through the team cars to get back to the peloton.
"We didn't manage it well today. It was a really bad day for us," Niermann admitted. "Primož crashed in the first descent and he got back quite fast and it wasn't a problem.
"But then he crashed again in the same descent on the last corner by the river at the bottom. That time he dropped his chain and took some time to get his chain back on. He got back on the bike with the last riders of the peloton but nobody saw it, the commissaires didn't see it so they made a barrage for him and that's a real pity. He made it back to 20 metres of the group and then the elastic snapped and it was over."
"It could have been a lot worse," Roglič summed up. "Luckily I will be okay in a few days, first I have to rest and get ready for the next races."
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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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