'I try to feel the vibes': Primož Roglič playful and joyful after Tour of Basque Country stage one win

The Slovenian maintained his 100 percent record in individual time trials in Spain

Primoz Roglic
(Image credit: Getty)

Little Lev Roglič smiled, jumped up and down, wagged his tongue, and waved his arms in the air. A minute later, he was back, this time cradling flowers and his tongue stubbornly still sticking out.

Beside him, his father Primož seemed caught up in the moment, too. He let out a roar, he too jumped up and down, and he too smiled a genuine smile of happiness.

The Slovenian superstar had only won stage one of the Tour of the Basque Country - even he said "it's a good start, but just a start" - but it was hard to escape the feeling of how elated and relaxed the Jumbo-Visma man was.

For a man who can sometimes appear quite monotone and difficult to interpret, here surrounded by his family and in a region he loves, was the Primož we've been told about who lives at home.

"It's crazy," he laughed about sharing the podium with his son. "Now you can see that at home I am also so excited, teaching him how to feel the moment."

Immersion, and thriving off it, was on the 32-year-old's mind as he rode the opening day 7.5km time trial around the town of Hondarribia in 9-48. "I was already happy here because of the people in the presentation yesterday," he said.

"They like me, I like them, and it's a great atmosphere here always. I try to enjoy it, feel the emotions, those feelings, the vibes I can get from the people."

He was a half-a-second off Remco Evenepoel at the intermediate check point, but overturned his narrow deficit on the cobbled climb in the final kilometre to beat the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider by five seconds.

Even despite the short distance, and the possibility of gaining or losing time across each of the subsequent hilly five stages, Roglič committed fully on a technical descent through a housing estate.

Or did he? "I don't think I took risks," he queried the question, smiling. "I watched it quite good I thought. I did quite a few laps on it [before the stage] and I did a good descent."

At March's Paris-Nice, that he won, he finished second in the time trial to Wout van Aert. A perennial winner doesn't settle for second best, and it was on his mind. 

"I went too slow in Paris-Nice with all the corners and it cost me a bit," he reflected. "Today I wanted to be more decisive on the corners. Of course, not taking risks because the race is long, but at the end it's a good result. We can enjoy the moment."

Evenepoel sits five seconds adrift on GC, with the Ineos Grenadiers pair of Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates 18 seconds further back. Recent Volta a Catalunya winner Sergio Higuita of Bora-Hansgrohe is a massive 45 seconds in arrears.

In a six-stage race, already it looks like a battle between Roglič and Evenepoel. "It's not just him, eh," Roglič retorted. "You have a whole bunch of super-strong guys here. 

>>> Five things to look out for at Tour of the Basque Country 2022

"Tomorrow is the longest stage, it's difficult, and it's hardest at the end. We will see. I am not worried about it. It's just today, tomorrow, and I will see how far I will go. 

"It's always super-hard to win, so I am happy for every win, but it doesn't mean anything yet. It's five seconds. Tomorrow is a new day."

He promised to go back to the team's hotel to celebrate, informed that out of all eight individual time trials he has ridden in Spain, he has won all of them. He laughed again. "Let it last as long as possible, eh!"

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