Attacking Roglic takes back time on day before Giro time trial

Attacking Roglic takes back time on day before Giro time trial

Primoz Roglic has put pressure on his rivals in the eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia. In a stage characterised by several steep climbs, the Slovenian broke away on the final climb. His attack got him 14 seconds on the likes of Remco Evenepoel.

Thirteen riders were in the breakaway during the fast early stages. The group's lead grew to several minutes, signalling that the peloton had little interest in the day's victory. Irishman Ben Healy proved to be the strongest rider in the breakaway.

Behind the lead group, Team Jumbo-Visma took the initiative. Michel Hessmann, making his grand tour debut, got to the front of the peloton on one of the climbs and accelerated. Then it was up to Koen Bouwman. The Dutchman ensured the peloton was thinned out and made the move that enabled Roglic to execute his plans. With Sepp Kuss among the better riders, the Slovenian felt at his best on the gradients of up to 15 per cent.

Moments later, Roglic caused a stir. The 33-year-old rider attacked from the group of favourites and initially only had Rosette riders Andreas Leknessund and Lennard Kämna on his wheel, with Evenepoel not far behind. After the duo was dropped, Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart joined Roglic just before the summit of the final climb. The trio rode to the finish at Fossombrone. There, the gap to Evenepoel and the others was 14 seconds.

"I had good legs today"

Primoz Roglic

"It was a good day”, Roglic said of the eighth stage. "I had good legs today. Luckily I was able to use those good legs to gain some time on some of my rivals. I have to take the opportunities that come my way. As soon as I get the chance, I want to make the race hard. I think I did that today. My focus is good, and I am happy with my shape. The competition is also strong. They showed that today. They say the time trial tomorrow will be flat. That will be good for the legs”, Roglic said with a wink.

Sports director Marc Reef: "We already had the feeling that Primoz was in good shape for several days. But in the last two mountain stages, he didn’t get any good opportunities, so his good form was not directly reflected in the results. But today, it did. We wanted to take the initiative and put pressure on the competition. We are happy we managed to do that. Thanks to a strong riding by Michel and the presence of Koen and Sepp, Primoz made the difference on the final climb. He is one of the best on a course like this”, the sports director said.

"It promises to be a good battle"

Marc Reef

"For tomorrow's time trial, we will concentrate on ourselves”, Reef said. "We have no influence on the competition’s performance. Today Primoz confirmed his excellent shape. So we look forward to tomorrow with confidence. It is good that we were able to gain time on some strong riders. Today's stage showed that many riders are in good shape. It promises to be a good battle over the next two weeks.”

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