Jumbo-Visma have just became the first team to complete a Grand Tour grand slam, but could they be about to lose one of their lynchpins?
Three-time Vuelta a España winner and current Giro d'Italia champion Primož Roglič is at the centre of rumours linking him with a move away from Jumbo-Visma, the team he has competed for since 2016.
The reason given is that Roglič, soon to be 34, wants to be guaranteed a shot at winning the Tour de France in 2024, and with Jonas Vingegaard the reigning two-time champion, he would not be afforded full support at Jumbo.
Ineos Grenadiers previously expressed an interested in the Slovenian in 2022, and rumours in recent week have linked him with the British team, Movistar and the peloton's new money bags, Lidl-Trek.
It was reported by Escape Collective at the end of August that Lidl-Trek had enquired about Roglič's signature, but that drew a sharp response from Jumbo-Visma who alleged that the story was "complete bulls**t".
The team's boss Richard Plugge informed GCN at the Vuelta a España that no rivals had called with an offer for Roglič, and nor would they countenance any such move.
"Roglič is our king and the king is difficult to let go.” Plugge said. "He has won every GC race he’s started this year apart from this one and he has won 15 races this year. Why would I consider letting him go?
"That’s a really difficult discussion but if teams are interested and there are rumours then maybe one day he is knocking on my door, but not yet.
"If you compare him to football, he’s a goalscorer who scores the most goals for our team, together with Jonas [Vingegaard]. If he leaves then we miss a lot of goals and we have to find someone who scores more goals and there’s not many people who can do that."
Sources close to Roglič also played down the possibility of him leaving when speaking with Cycling Weekly, but the himself hasn't exactly put the topic to bed.
Asked in the podium press conference following stage 20 of the Vuelta, Roglič responded to a question about his future by declaring that Jumbo was the best team in the world.
In an interview with GCN and Flobikes, he said that the rumours "are good things for me. It means someone wants me and that means I'm good." He responded "no, not really" when asked if people should read anything into the ongoing stories.
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