Primož Roglič has confirmed that he is to leave Jumbo-Visma at the end of the season, giving the news to reporters at the start of the Giro dell’Emilia on Saturday.
“I can just definitely confirm that I will leave the team, but we want to tell all the details to where after the races that I do,” the Jumbo-Visma rider said. “So yes, first I’m here to race. I’ll be focused here and then we’ll do the next moves.”
The Slovenian has a contract that runs until the end of 2024, but speculation over his future has ramped up in recent days following reports of a proposed merger between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal Quick-Step.
Teams that the 33-year-old has been linked with include Ineos Grenadiers, Lidl-Trek, Bora-Hansgrohe, Bahrain Victorious, Israel-Premier Tech and Movistar. Any suitor would need to buy Roglič out of his current contract in order to secure his services for 2024.
In a tweet, Jumbo-Visma wrote: "After a memorable ride together, Team Jumbo-Visma grant Primoz Roglic [sic] the opportunity to pursue his ambitions elsewhere in the future. First, all focus will be on the upcoming Italian races. Gremo!"
Roglič took to the start line of the Giro dell'Emilia on Saturday, in what could be his antepenultimate race in yellow in black. He is set to ride Tre Valli Varesine and Il Lombardia over the next week, in the series of late-season Italian one-day races.
The Slovenian joined Jumbo-Visma - which was then LottoNL-Jumbo - in 2016 after coming to cycling late, having previously been a professional ski-jumper. Over the last five years he has established himself as one of the best general classification riders in the world, winning the Vuelta three times, in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and the Giro this year. Along the way, he won ten other WorldTour stage races, including Paris-Nice, Itzulia Basque Country, and the Critérium du Dauphiné.
It is understood that Roglič was interested in a move away from Jumbo in order to secure outright leadership at next year's Tour de France, a race he came so close to winning in 2020, only to be beaten by his compatriot Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates). Jumbo's Tour leader would almost certainly be two-time winner Jonas Vingegaard, so a move away might have been the only option. With Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) possibly coming on board too, Roglič's options might have slimmed.
The news is a volte-face from earlier this month, when Jumbo boss Richard Plugge insisted that Roglič was not going anywhere.
"There’s been no approach. Roglič is our king, as I’ve texted you in the past, and that’s still the case,” Plugge told GCN at the Vuelta a España.
"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?
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