Primož Roglič confirms he will not race the Tour, is all in on La Vuelta

The Giro champion will not play a supporting role in teammate Jonas Vingegaard's title defence.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 19.06.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
More from Jonny +

Primož Roglič has confirmed he will not race the 2023 Tour de France and turn his focus to August’s La Vuelta a España.

Despite his resilient Giro d’Italia victory in May and Jumbo-Visma’s Tour de France squad being reshaped a number of times already due to injuries, Roglič will not line up at the Tour for the first time since 2019. Last year, he played a pivotal role in wrestling the yellow jersey off the shoulders of his compatriot Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), with Jonas Vingegaard then carrying the race lead to Paris to secure a first overall Tour victory for the Jumbo-Visma formation.

“My next race should be the Vuelta,” Roglič told a press conference in Slovenia, having been in (non-racing) attendance at the recent Tour of Slovenia to celebrate his Giro victory in his home country.

Asked about whether his Italian Grand Tour win taken in the mountain time trial closed the circle on his Tour de France loss on similar terrain in 2020, Roglič returned the question in his textbook, nonplussed style.

“For sure, that is the way it finished this time and last time. I said I’m always trying to be my best and maybe that means first or second, it doesn’t really matter. But you have to always be focused … and still enjoying it.”

Roglič’s non-participation suggests that either Jumbo-Visma are confident they don’t need the Slovenian to beat Pogačar this year, or that their rider needs more than four weeks off between Grand Tours and perhaps don’t expect his form to be better than any of the other seven riders going to France in support of Vingegaard.

Instead, the Jumbo-Visma squad will be as follows, barring any other forced alterations: Wilco Kelderman (fresh off a fourth-place overall finish at the Tour de Suisse), Sepp Kuss, and Tiesj Benoot will be the backbone of the team’s climbing support; Nathan Van Hooydonck, Dylan van Baarle, and Christophe Laporte will provide assistance on flatter terrain. Wout van Aert, meanwhile, will once again be useful everywhere, and tie in domestique duties to hoovering up stage wins, with the caveat that he may need to leave the race early due to the birth of his second child.

Roglič, meanwhile will turn his gaze to what would be a fourth Vuelta a España red jersey, which would equal Roberto Heras’ record for the most overall titles won by a rider.

Kate Wagner contributed reporting from Slovenia.

What did you think of this story?