Primoz Roglic stays humble after third Tirreno-Adriatico stage win
Primož Roglič joined Moreno Argentin and Oscar Freire as the only riders to have won three consecutive stages at Tirreno-Adriatico. However, the Jumbo-Visma rider stayed humble after winning stage 6 even as the overall victory was within reach with one day remaining.
"I'm not the king of Tirreno, I'm just Primož. But thanks for the compliment," Roglič said after his third consecutive stage win in the hilltop village of Osimo.
"I'm glad to be on that list with those riders. even if it's crazy."
Roglic beat Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) and João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) to complete his trio of stage wins. He controlled his rivals on the steep climb to the historical centre of Osimo and then kicked hard with his unmatchable power to win yet again.
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Roglič's third win and the time bonuses extended his overall lead on Almedia to 18 seconds, with Geoghegan Hart climbing up to third at 23 seconds as Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) faded.
"Winning is simple, right?" he joked when asked how he wins so often on rising finishes.
"You have to be the fastest at the end. But these are not normally sprints. You need the best legs to win and I had that final kick.
"Around here every village is on a hill and they seem to pick different hills to climb every year but when I have the legs, I can climb and so this race suits me well," he added, hinting about his first overall victory in 2019.
"We had different stage plans and Wout was going to go for it but when Wilco Kelderman crashed, we had to make sacrifices so that I had a chance to do it and secure the GC."
Roglič was not even expected to ride Tirreno-Adriatico after his long rehabilitation and slow return to training after a bone graft and shoulder surgery. However, he was ahead of his planned training schedule and Jumbo-Visma perhaps wanted to take advantage of Tadej Pogačar's absence.
"I've been racing for some season now but I don't think I started better. It's quite crazy but I'm enjoying it," Roglič said of his successful, if late, season debut.
"Life always teaches you new things and you get older and wiser. I'm just happy to be back racing and enjoying it."
Roglič will only ride the Volta a Catalunya before the Giro d'Italia in May. He is not tempted to ride Milan-San Remo and not keen to think about the Tour de France.
"I was prepared to race a stage race but riding Milan-San Remo something is different. I'm also riding Catalunya soon after and so I can't ride Milan-San Remo this year," he explained.
"This is just the start of the season. I'm just having fun and we'll see what happens in May," he said of the summer's Grand Tours.
"Let's win the Giro first and then ask what's missing from my palmares. The things I haven't achieved are interesting but let's go race by race. I need to stay focused for Sunday's final stage and then we can celebrate and think about the future."