Interview - Primoz Roglic: I just want to be as good as possible
Jan 31 2018 02:01 pm CET

Interview - Primoz Roglic: I just want to be as good as possible
Interview - Primoz Roglic: I just want to be as good as possible
Photo of Primoz Roglic © Mary Cárdenas / CyclingPub.com

The 2017 season was one of many successes for LottoNL-Jumbo's Primoz Roglic. Ahead of what will hopefully be an equally good 2018, the Slovenian took a moment of his time to talk to CyclingPub.com.

Roglic, 28, has a rather unusual background. Having started his career in ski-jumping, he only took up cycling in 2012 at the age of 22. Nevertheless, he did not need much time to confirm that this was the right decision, as he has impressed both in time trials and climbing stages. Since making the move, he has won a stage in both the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, and aims to add to his palmares in 2018.

CyclingPub met Roglic at a hotel at the Spanish Costa Blanca, LottoNL-Jumbo's usual choice for its winter training camps.

How do you look back on your 2017 season and the stage win in the Tour de France?

I think it was a really good season for me. I did a lot of nice things. In the end I was really happy with it. When you win a stage for the first time, especially in the Tour de France, it's something you'll remember for the rest of your life. And the World Championships, to get a medal is always nice.

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Primoz Roglic, LottoNL-Jumbo (Spain, 2018)

You renewed at LottoNL-Jumbo. What made you decide to do so?

Why change if here I have a really good time? I think we made big steps forward together and I believe we can still do more things. So from my side it was clear that I would like to continue some more years.

So you like the equipment as well?

For sure. All of us - the team, the staff and the management - know that if you want to be at the top you have to work together and put something extra. That includes training, but also equipment, the bikes. You need to develop all the time. We are always one step ahead to avoid being caught.

After a few years you should know the Dutch cycling culture quite well. How do you fit in there?

I really like it. It's more of a cycling nation than Slovenia, which is still more of a winter sports country; we have history there. But cycling is also developing in Slovenia now, so a lot of people are getting to know it better and I'm just happy to make some history for cycling in Slovenia.

Do you think you can play a role there, having moved from ski-jumping to cycling?

For sure, I think it's a really interesting move. Nobody in the world did it before me. For me, I'm a cyclist now and I really want to focus on that. But for sure I had a really nice past in ski-jumping. I am thankful for that and I learned a lot. Now my main focus is cycling and I just want to be as good as possible and have a nice career in cycling as well.

Is there something you can still apply from what you learned then, even if they are such different sports?

It's like in every sport. You want to be as good as you can and you have to put in all of your time. Physically it's completely different. But when I was a ski-jumper, although I never had a bike in my life, we did a lot of things like flexibility, explosivity, strength, power balance and acrobatics. Some things I still use, like coordination. I may have some advantages compared to other cyclists. I have five or six years behind me now in cycling and I'm getting better and better, just enjoying.

Isn't it in a way surprising that you became this kind of cyclist, a climber and time trialist? You would think that as a ski-jumper you're very explosive so maybe sprinting would have made more sense.

That's true. But on the other hand, all ski-jumpers are really skinny. I was very skinny when I started. When you're a sprinter it's not just a fraction of a second like in ski-jumping either. You still have to do at least 20, 30 seconds. It's different. I'm just not really a sprinter. I can do longer sprints but my body is different. Time trials and hard stages are really good for me.

About 2018 then. Do you already know a bit more about your plans for the season?

I know my race programme quite well. It will be similar to last year. I start here with the Valenciana and then the Strade Bianchi and Tirreno-Adriatico, Basque Country, Romandie, and then probably the Tour of Slovenia and the Tour de France. That will be the first part of my season.

What do you think about the course of the Tour de France?

It's quite hard to say now because I didn't look at it closely yet. But there will certainly be really hard stages for those that go for the GC. Also some really nice stages. I will look for stage wins again so I have quite a lot of challenges ahead of me. I'm looking forward to preparing myself again and race the Tour. It's really nice to win in the biggest race. I will focus on that.

Last year you did very well in one-week races like the Tirreno (4th), Basque Country (5th) and Romandie (3rd). Is this something you plan to focus on even more?

Yes, for sure. I want to take things one step at a time. First win those one-week races and then start focusing maybe more on three weeks as well. I think it's something I need to do.

What would you really like to happen in 2018?

Like we mentioned before; I would really like to win one of these one-week races and get really good results in the Tour, win some stages there. I would also want to ride really well in a monument like Lombardia at the end of the season. That suits me a lot. And then the World Championships time trial and road race, probably.

Did you already study the time trial a bit?

Not really. I have to take advantage because it will be pretty close to Slovenia, in Innsbruck. Just five hours driving. I heard that the time trial won't be very flat and that the road race will be very hard as well. So it will be quite a challenge.

By Jonathan Roorda
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PRIMOž ROGLIC
TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO





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