Roglic forces competition to follow in Giro d'Italia and moves up in classification
Primoz Roglic has bounced back from a lesser day on Tuesday in the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia. The Slovenian and his teammate Sepp Kuss made a late breakaway during a stage with over four thousand metres of climbing. This allowed them to gain time on some of their rivals.
Kuss took the initiative on the Coi, allowing Roglic to launch an attack. João Almeida struggled on the steep sections and had to let the others go. Roglic then took the lead, and only Geraint Thomas could follow. At the finish line, the duo was 21 seconds ahead of Almeida, with the Slovenian Team Jumbo-Visma leader now in second place.
"The climb of the Coi is just right for Primoz. We can be satisfied with the time he gained today. On days like today, you can only compete with the best if you are one hundred percent. Luckily Primoz is in good shape. We look forward to tomorrow's queen stage, where we can try something as a team for the last time in this Giro. Saturday's time trial will be a man-to-man battle", Kuss said.
"That's how we know Primoz. Hopefully, he can continue in this vein over the next few days", Michel Hessmann added. The young German (21) is still not feeling tired in the third week of his first grand tour. "It's going well. I'm surprised I'm still riding so fresh in the last week. Today, as a team, we did everything possible to put Primoz in a good position. In the end, I was lucky to be able to slow down towards the finish. This allowed me to save some energy for tomorrow, another very tough stage."
"Maybe Thomas will have a lesser day in the coming two stages"
Sports director Marc Reef was pleased with the result of the first of two Dolomite stages. "Primoz reacted very well today to his lesser day on Tuesday. Today Almeida had to give in to Primoz's attack. He seems to have had a bad day. Maybe Thomas, who could follow today, will have the same problem in the next two days. With the five riders his team has left in the race, they can control the race up to a certain point. When the real battle starts, they, too, will be struggling. Maybe we can take advantage of one of their weak moments", the sports director said.