Primoz Roglic will skip the individual time trial at next month’s World Championships in Innsbruck but has confirmed his participation in the road race, which features almost 5,000 metres of altitude gain.
The Slovenian took silver in the time trial in Bergen a year ago, but he has opted out of the event this time around. Roglic explained that he has been unable to train on his time trial bike in recent weeks after suffering an elbow injury at the Tour de France, where he placed fourth overall.
"I took the decision about 10 days ago because I had some problems with my elbow after the Tour. I had a stone it in after a crash, which I had removed," Roglic said in a statement released by the race organisation. "A week later it was inflamed so I had to have it opened up again. I still haven’t ridden my TT bike, so I can’t really train to get a good result. I will [only] start when I can fight for a win, so I won’t do it."
Roglic is currently at an altitude training camp in nearby Kühtai, Austria – where his LottoNL-Jumbo team trained earlier this year – and he has availed of the opportunity to sample the parcours in Innbsruck.
"I will do the road race; it will be a challenge, but I like it – it’s a really long race and a lot of things will happen for sure," Roglic said. "I’ve never really raced a World Championships [road race] for a result before and, like I said, it will be a challenge. It’s a really hard course, especially the last climb. It will be a fight to go over it when we hit it for the last time. I rode it three times today and it was tough."
A latecomer to cycling, the 28-year-old is in only his third season at WorldTour level. In 2018 alone, Roglic has won the Tour of the Basque Country, Tour de Romandie and Tour of Slovenia, as well as the final mountain stage of the Tour de France in Laruns. He acknowledged that the mountainous course in Innsbruck was to his liking.
"The parcours does suit me, but when you are going well, the parcours suits you and when you’re not, it’s not so good. So my goal is to try to prepare myself at the highest level possible and then race," Roglic said.
Roglic is set to ride the Tour of Britain from September 2-9, while many of his rivals will use the Vuelta a España or Canadian WorldTour races to fine-tune their form ahead of the Worlds road race on September 30.
"We’ll see how they finish La Vuelta coming into the Worlds," Roglic said. "For sure the course could be good for [Alejandro] Valverde and [Julian] Alaphilippe, but we’ll see. It will be a big challenge for each guy starting here."
Roglic and his fellow countryman Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) have both performed strongly at WorldTour level this year, and their haul of points has helped to ensure that Slovenia has qualified a full complement of eight riders for the Worlds. "It may be an advantage that we don't have a lot of big leaders, but if we select the eight really strong guys for us, we can focus on some goals to fight for as a whole team," Roglic said.