Primož Roglič quietly defiant on Tour de France hopes despite uphill challenges

TROYES FRANCE JULY 07 Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Red Bull BORA hansgrohe prior to the 111th Tour de France 2024 Stage 9 a 199km stage from Troyes to Troyes UCIWT on July 07 2024 in Troyes France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Primož Roglič of Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

“Can I have some water please? I don’t just always drink Red Bull now,” Primož Roglič asked his press staff, with a quiet grin to show he was joking about his Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe team’s latest sponsor. And that was just one of the several moments of gentle humour in a Tour de France rest day press conference where reading the key protagonist’s underlying mood music was, to say the least, not straightforward.

On the plus side, Roglič is currently running fourth overall at 1:36. That’s the worst position of all the top four pre-race favourites, his detractors will point out. But on the other hand, it also means the Slovenian star is in his best position overall on a first Tour rest day since he was in yellow on stage 9 back in 2020, coming out of the Pyrenees.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.