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.
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 Championship 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.
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.