Roglic, during the last Tour de France. Thibault Camus (AP)
A motorcycle maneuvered badly at the exit of a roundabout and dislodged a bale of alpaca covered in yellow and white plastic, an unforeseen obstacle on the road to Arenberg and a few kilometers from the cobblestone route.
Although in a few minutes the Tour de France peloton would pass by, no one relocated it, neither spectators nor the gendarme who controlled that area;
an oversight that was fatal for Primoz Roglic, who could not avoid the bullet or a colleague from the Bahrain squad that ran over him.
The result was a dislocated shoulder and spinal problems, back pain that became unbearable with the passing of days, to the point that he had to abandon the Tour de France a few days later.
The work, however, had been done, because it was the pepper of the race,
the runner who broke down Pogacar on the Granon ascents for his teammate Vingegaard to win.
And, as much as his participation in La Vuelta was in doubt, the Slovenian has worked really hard to be at the start in Utrecht -there will be three stages in Holland before jumping to the Basque Country-, to defend his kingdom because he has conquered the last three editions and wants to reach the record of Roberto Heras, from Bejarano, who achieved one more, albeit discontinuously.
For two weeks, Roglic did not take the bicycle, worried that the pain did not subside and on medical advice.
But he always wanted to defend his crown and this Monday, asked by the Dutch medium
As he cycled through the short but rugged mountains of Monaco, he resolved: "I'm finally back on the road."
A few minutes later, Jumbo-Visma director Merijn Zeeman said: “We are very happy that Roglic can continue to start the Vuelta after the serious injury he suffered on the Tour.
He hasn't had the best preparation, but we have great respect for how he has managed to prepare."
And he added: “We have a balanced team that can optimally support Primoz in all areas.”
Among the companions stand out Sepp Kuss, Robert Gesink and Chris Harper, capitals for the mountain stages, while Edoardo Affini and Rohan Dennis will act as escorts and riders on the flat.
With La Vuelta a toca -begins on August 19-, Ineos also confirmed its team and highlights the participation of Olympic champion Richard Carapaz (he won the 2018 Giro and was second in its last edition, in addition to being third in the Tour de France of 2021 and second in La Vuelta of 2020).
More wood for an edition in which the applicants accumulate because there will also be the winner of the Giro, Jai Hindley (from Bora-Hansgrohe, who was also second in 2020 in Italy), or the leader of the UAE João Almeida, who wants to debut in a grand lap podium.
By Quick Step will be the double world champion Julian Alaphilippe after his fall in the last Liège-Bastogne-Liège, in addition to the always powerful Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who has warned that he will attend first to the possibility of winning a stage than to the general classification .
perhaps one rung lower but by no means discarded are the veteran Nairo Quintana (from Arkéa and winner of a Vuelta and a Giro, as well as several drawers on the Tour);
Simon Yates (from Jayco and winner of La Vuelta in 2018);
and names like Enric Mas and Mikel Landa (Bahrain) -in addition to the tireless Alejandro Valverde who will contest his last Vuelta because at the end of the course he gets off his bike-, Ben O'Connor (AG2R),
López (Astana) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos).
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