Primoz Roglic made history for Slovenia in the men's time trial at the UCI Road World Championships as the 27-year-old claimed the silver medal. Ten year's ago, Roglic was competing at the junior ski jump world championships, winning gold. His medal-winning performance in Bergen is arguably a better result and confirms the LottoNL-Jumbo rider's decision to make the switch to cycling was the right move.
Roglic has enjoyed a season of confirmation in 2017 after a strong 2016 season that saw him win a time trial stage of the Giro d'Italia. This year, Roglic has won the Volta ao Algarve, finished fourth at Tirreno-Adriatico, won the final day time trials at Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Tour de Romandie, and won the Ster ZLM prologue. He also enjoyed a solo Tour de France stage win on his debut at the French Grand Tour.
While the favourite status for the time trial pre-race was reserved for the likes of Tom Dumoulin and Chris Froome, Roglic was a dark horse for the podium.
24th on his Worlds debut last year on the flat Doha course, Roglic explained the 2017 course was always going to be better suited to his characteristic and believed in his ability to podium.
"It was a challenge for me since the start of the season. The course suited me more than say the one from last year in Qatar, and this was an opportunity. I wanted to really go for it," Roglic said.
Finishing with the 3.4 kilometre Mount Fløyen climb, riders debated the merits of a bike change to ensure a fast ride in the finale. Roglic's decision to opt for a bike changed paid off as he rode the fastest time up Fløyen but explained Tom Dumoulin was unbeatable with or without a bike change.
"Why not? I decided two days ago to change the bike. It's of course easy to say 'we'll do a bike change' because you actually have to do it when you're tired and going full gas. In those circumstances a lot can go wrong but we trained for it and we did it well," he reflected. "I wanted to win, and I came here for that but Dumoulin did a great ride and he won by a big amount, so congratulations to him.
"We practised the bike change several times. I doubted to swap bikes because there was a risk of losing time. In the end, it didn't make the difference: Dumoulin was by far the strongest."
While a silver medal at a Worlds can be the hardest result to digest having come so close to glory, Roglic added that he was more than content with second place. With the 2018 Worlds featuring a similarly hilly course, Roglic also knows Bergen isn't his only shot at glory agianst the clock.
"From the beginning of this season, the world championship time trial was a goal for me," he said. "I knew the race would suit me. It is great to be on the podium among the worlds best GC contenders of the season. I'm very happy with my silver medal."
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