Primoz Roglic 'a couple of grams lighter' after flesh wound at Giro d'Italia

 Primoz Roglic at the finish of stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia
Primoz Roglic at the finish of stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was in high spirits on Thursday morning ahead of stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia, cracking jokes and quoting Rocky, but there are question marks over his fitness after another crash the previous afternoon.

The Slovenian fell alongside rivals Tao Geoghegan Hart and Geraint Thomas with 70km remaining on stage 11, getting up quickly but crossing the line with a bloodied hole in his shorts up towards his left hip.

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At the time, Roglič quipped that he had "some meat out" while Thomas himself was struck by the 'fleshy' nature of the wound. "I was surprised to see his hip really, it didn't look nice," said the race leader.

Roglič turned up to the start of stage 12 in Bra as normal, with his team director Marc Reef seemingly playing down the severity of the wound. Thomas had speculated that it would require stitches but this was not confirmed.

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"The doctor looked at it and put a bandage on it. There's some skin off but it's ok for the moment," Reef said.

"His morale is good but it always is. He's a positive guy."

That much became clear when Roglič himself spoke to the media in Bra.

"I'm a couple of grams lighter," he said, with a hearty laugh.

"We will see now on the bike, pretty soon, how it goes. I'm keeping positive and keeping smiling."

That's perhaps all that can be done in a Giro beset by crashes, illness, and bad weather. Roglič had already crashed at least three times ahead of his stage 11 fall, which saw GC rival Geoghegan Hart abandon with a broken hip. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has ripped through the bunch, taking out two of his biggest rivals, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe).


Jumbo-Visma are one of the few teams still with a full complement of eight riders, but those eight were not the first on the team sheet as they had to replace no fewer than five from the original line-up.

"You need to survive. In the end, you have to get through," Roglič said.

"It's like how Rocky [Balboa] said, it's not how much you can hit but how much you can get hit. We're still here and we go on."