Roglic dreaming of Tour de France yellow and spoiling Martin's party

LottoNL-Jumbo rider avoiding pressure like the plague in Tour debut

He has won three of the last four time trials he's raced, and on Saturday Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) takes to the start of his first Tour de France with the dream of pulling on the yellow jersey.

The 27-year-old, who only joined the WorldTour ranks in 2016, is one of the leading contenders for the 14-kilometre time trial through the streets of Dusseldorf, but he will need to beat world time trial champion Tony Martin, Richie Porte, Stefan Kung and a number of other strong time triallists if he is to pull on the first maillot jaune of this year's race. "So far so good, and I'm just waiting for the start on Saturday. It's a big objective for me and I know that I can do a good time trial," Roglic told Cyclingnews.

The Slovenian, shy and with a quiet disposition, is looking to avoid pressure ahead of Saturday's Grand Départ and let his legs do the talking. Based on his current form, however, he has to be considered one of the favourites, having won individual tests at Ster ZLM, the Tour de Romandie and the Vuelta a País Vasco.

"I don't think I'm a main favourite because I don't want to put too much pressure on my shoulders with the result," he said. "My main concern is to do a good job and do everything perfect. If I do that, then I'm happy and if some guys are faster and I'm fifth I'll still be happy.

"I've dreamed about the yellow jersey," he admitted as a smile crept across his face, "but I need to be realistic and take it step-by-step. I've not seen the course yet but I'll look on Saturday. I don't really like the really flat courses and maybe would like some hills but the distance makes no difference. It can be shorter, it can be longer, but if it's shorter then you suffer for less time."

With the German media starting to gather around Roglic, the inevitable questioning turned to the matter of Tony Martin, who starts as the public's hot favourite as he races the Tour on home roads.

When asked if he can beat Martin, the Lotto-NL rider said: "I hope so, if you ask me directly, but, like I said, I just need to do my job."

The Tour is longer than 14-kilometres and Roglic is a potential candidate for a strong GC ride. His experience in Grand Tours is limited to last year's Giro d'Italia, where he rode for others and finished outside the top 50. However, his stock has risen in week-long races and he is certainly no slouch in the mountains.

LottoNL have stated that their ambitions are to target stages this year but, with a time trial and one summit finish in the first week, Roglic could find himself towards the top of the standings when the race reaches its first rest day.

"We start with Saturday," he said, "and then I want to take it day-by-day. It's my first Tour de France and I don't want too much pressure on me."

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