The Tour de France is not an "obsession" says Roglič

The Slovenian rider said that Jumbo-Visma need to "think carefully" about their plans for the Tour

Primož Roglič
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Primož Roglič has insisted that the Tour de France is not an "obsession" of his, and that he would rather be remembered as a "fighter".

2021 saw the Jumbo-Visma rider suffer another disappointing Tour, as he was forced to pull out after a crash. However, he won 13 races this season, including the Vuelta a España and the individual time trial at the Olympics in Tokyo.

In an interview with Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, the three-time Vuelta champion said that while he would "love" to win the Tour, he doesn't "need to be remembered as the rider who won or didn't win the Tour".

The Slovenian rider memorably saw Tour victory slip through his fingers on the penultimate stage of the 2020 edition, when he was crushed by compatriot Tadej Pogačar in the final time trial. He also finished fourth in 2018, and has won three Tour stages, but pulled out of this year's race after sustaining injuries in a crash.

Roglič explained that he would like to be thought of as more than just a grand tour winner. He said: "I’d rather people think of me as the man who fought for it every time, the man who gave the best of himself every race. That's who I want to be. A fighter. The Tour is really not an obsession. So it's not a frustration that it hasn't worked yet."

After his abandonment at this year's Tour, his teammate Wout van Aert went on to win three stages,  made up of a rare trio of a mountain stage, a time trial and a bunch sprint. His teammate Jonas Vingegaard also ended up finishing second overall on general classification.

Van Aert has made his ambition to aim for the green jersey next year clear, saying that he hopes the team will support him in it.

If the Belgian were to go for green and Roglič for yellow, then it might be a tricky squad to balance for Jumbo-Visma, something the Slovenian is aware of.

Asked about it, he said: "A good question. In theory, anything is possible. We can get green and yellow - and also the polka dot jersey with Sepp Kuss - but the team has to determine what our main goal is, and then we have to have a plan that works for the two of us."

"It must be the intention that Wout and I help each other. We have to find a way so he can go for a stage win and I can try to get some time at the same time. We have to think about that carefully."

Roglič does believe he is still capable of winning the Tour, although he refused to talk about how he could beat Pogačar, the winner for the past two editions.

"That's talk for the media. What do you think?" he asked. "Should I hit him a hundred times or get it right once? It's about how strong you are."

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.