Primož Roglič back in training but unlikely to be 100% at Ardennes Classics

Bora-Hansgrohe team boss gives an update on his star rider's recovery from injury and race plans

Clock09:17, Thursday 11th April 2024
Primož Roglič was leading Itzulia Basque Country until the serious crash on stage 4

© Getty Images

Primož Roglič was leading Itzulia Basque Country until the serious crash on stage 4

Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe) has returned to training following his involvement in a high-speed crash at the Itzulia Basque Country last week. The Slovenian was among several riders who came down on a descent with 36km to go on stage 4 last Thursday, with Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike), Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) among those taken to hospital and requiring surgery.

Roglič luckily escaped without any fractures or an immediate need for serious medical attention but he was only able to return to the home trainer on Tuesday, leaving a major question mark over his planned participation in the Ardennes Classics.

The trio of races that make up the Ardennes start this Sunday with Amstel Gold Race, followed by La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with the series spread across a week of racing. Roglič will not participate in Amstel Gold Race this weekend and the team will monitor his recovery before making a call on La Flèche Wallonne.

“He’s back on the indoor trainer. Tuesday was his first day and it’s step-by-step. The crash and the injuries were serious,” team boss Ralph Denk told GCN in an interview this week.

“It’s not decided yet with the Ardennes because on the rollers, looking forward to the Ardennes, is being very optimistic. They’re on the schedule, with Flèche and Liège, but we’re realistic. With a break of a week, maybe we’ll have a Primož who isn’t at 100 per cent for those races.”

Read more: Full medical bulletin from the horror crash at Itzulia Basque Country

Roglič’s race schedule was already light compared to some of his Tour de France rivals, with just three week-long stage races and the Ardennes on his initial programme. With missing days at the end of Itzulia Basque Country, the temptation might have been to find another source of competition in the months leading up to the Tour, but Denk was keen to stick to the plan, rather than alter his star rider’s course.

“In modern cycling, you don’t need any stage races to prepare. Look to Mathieu van der Poel,” he said.

“I think we’ll stick to the plan and if we have to remove some races, then we’ll remove them.”

Roglič has made an instant impression at Bora-Hansgrohe since joining the team at the start of the year from Visma-Lease a Bike. After a subdued 10th overall in Paris-Nice in which he blew hot and cold, the veteran came back to win the individual time trial on stage 1 of the Itzulia Basque Country.

Read more: Itzulia Basque Country: Primož Roglič lays down marker with stage 1 ITT win

His first victory in Bora colours ensured he wore the leader’s jersey in Spain, before his untimely crash and departure from the race. Denk hailed the TT win as a sign of progress ahead of the greater challenges that will come during the summer.

“For us, it was super important because it was the first individual time trial that he did for us, and with all the equipment change. We were very confident that we could give him a very fast package but it wasn’t race-proven," Denk said.

"The result, which included the mistake on the route, showed that our equipment is super fast and that our aerodynamic guys and our partners like Specialized and Sportful did a fantastic job."

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