Primoz Roglic Q + A: Aiming for stage race success next season with Team LottoNL-Jumbo
By Luke McLaughlin, Velon Media Team , 10 Oct 2017
Primož Roglič on his way to winning Tour de France Stage 17 (PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Slovenian Primož Roglič has enjoyed a breakthrough season with Team LottoNL-Jumbo, placing third at Tour de Romandie, fourth at Tirreno-Adriatico, fifth at Tour of the Basque Country - not to mention winning Stage 17 of the Tour de France with a brilliant solo attack. Velon caught up with the former ski jumper while he was in Italy for Milano-Torino and Il Lombardia:

Velon: You've had a very successful season, but one result must stand out?

Primož Roglič: There have been a lot of really, really nice memories - and some victories. But for sure the stage on Galibier at the Tour de France [Stage 17] is a really nice memory to look back on.

You have won a stage at the Giro and a stage at the Tour. Next season, a stage at the Vuelta?

I don't think so - that can wait. I'm not really looking to make the Giro/Tour/Vuelta set at the moment. We'll have to see. We will sit down at the end of the season, and make a good plan of racing for me for next year.

Was Stage 17 your main target at the Tour?

I wanted to win more, and it was realistic that I could do it. I was unlucky on the Stage 1 time trial in Düsseldorf when I crashed. Of course it's very hard when you crash at the beginning to be in the top, to get back into contention.

Then I was fourth on the stage that Bauke [Mollema, Trek-Segafredo] won [Stage 15] - so I showed that I was strong for a win.

Everything led then to Stage 17, and I decided I will do it.

I also had some more bad luck in the time trial in Marseille on Stage 20, when I had only one gear, and had to change the bike. After 500 metres I was riding with one gear.

Celebrating that breathtaking Stage 17 win at the Tour (JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

Everything points to challenging for GC at the biggest stage races:

For sure, it's a fact that I'm not really a super strong guy for one-day races - although the harder one-day races could be interesting for me in the future. 

But I showed already that I can do really well fighting for the win in one-week races, and the next step will be to go for a good result in a three-week race.

So it could be the Giro or Tour next season?

I don't know where I'll be, but whichever race it is, I won't be going for the podium. I still need to ride the Grand Tours to get experience. 

But I want to win a one-week race or something like that. I gain something with every race I do. I learn a lot every time I'm on the bike, in the bunch, so it's all good experience.

There must be a lot of excitement at home in Slovenia about your cycling career?

It's true. We are not really a cycling country - we are more into winter sports, skiing and ski jumping. We also won the European Championships in basketball last month. 

We are really good in a lot of sports. But I feel privileged that I can write some history in Slovenian cycling, to develop cycling in Slovenia, and inspire young people to ride.

On the podium at the World Championships with Tom Dumoulin, centre, and Chris Froome, right (KT/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images)

Do you ever get bored of questions about your previous career as a ski jumper?

My friends are mostly ski jumpers so when I’m with them, we are always talking about ski jumping! I don’t mind to talk about it, but personally I’m fully focused on cycling now. I just want to be good at this.

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