Power data released by Jumbo-Visma shows how their rider Primož Roglič improved from his near-miss at the Giro d'Italia to come good in September and win his first ever Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España.
At the Giro, Roglič looked imperious in the early stages, especially the opening stage one time trial, which saw him take the maglia rosa. However, Roglič went on to falter in the third week, with Movistar's Richard Carapaz pouncing to take the overall victory.
The Slovenian would have his revenge at the Spanish team's home Grand Tour, though, holding off world champion Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana to win by more than two minutes.
Jumbo-Visma have now shared their rider's power data with Dutch newspaper AD (opens in new tab), which reveals the story behind Roglič's contrasting fortune at the two Grand Tours he raced in 2019.
On the hilly stage four of the Giro, Roglič finished only two seconds down on stage winner Carapaz, averaging 6.65 watts per kilogram (w/kg) on the uphill finish line. However, on stage 14 Roglič averaged only 5.65w/kg as Carapaz stormed into the stage lead with another stage win, and Roglič finishing nearly two minutes back, now trailing the Ecuadorian in the overall classification by seven seconds.
Roglič then put up similarly disappointing numbers on the Mortirolo on stage 16, where he lost two minutes to Carapaz, with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) also leapfrogging him into second place.
However, Roglič's Vuelta numbers show a much more consistent three weeks of racing. On stage seven, the Slovenian stole a march on the other GC contenders alongside Valverde, with the world champion pipping Roglič to the stage win but both riders stamping their authority on the race.
A similar effort followed on stage 13's intimidating Los Machucos, where Roglič once again ceded the stage win, this time to his young compatriot Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), but crucially took 30 seconds out of his GC rivals to cement his race lead. On Los Machucos, Roglič averages 6.30w/kg during the climb, which took him nearly 23 minutes to complete.
His performances on testing climbs for the rest of the race rarely dipped below 5.7w/kg, with only his effort on the final summit finish climb on stage 20 dipping to an average of 5.4w/kg, although on the last 3.75km of the climb he averaged 6.11w/kg to seal the overall victory.
The data also shows Roglič lost minimal weight during both Grand Tour campaigns, losing 1kg at the Giro, going from 65kg to 64, and only losing 0.5kg at the Vuelta, from 64.5kg to 64kg. This aligns with Jumbo-Visma's nutrition strategy to stabilise their riders' weight during Grand Tours.
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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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