Primoz Roglic’s (Jumbo-Visma) hopes of winning this year’s Tour de France took another major hit on stage 7 with last year’s runner-up dropped on the second category climb of Signal d'Uchon. The 31-year-old would eventually cross the line over nine minutes down on stage winner Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) and ahead of the Alps on stage 8 Roglic sits 9:11 off the yellow jersey in the overall standings.
The Slovenian was distanced by his GC rivals with just under 20km to go on the stage and was instantly left to his own devices as his remaining teammates decided to press on.
Roglic came into the stage sitting 10th overall at 1:48 off yellow and 1:40 down on race favourite and defending champion Tadej Pogacar.
A heavy crash on stage 3 left Roglic nursing major wounds on his left-hand side and he lost further time in the stage 5 time trial.
However, the time losses on stage 7 all but ended his dreams of winning this year’s race. On the final climb of Signal d'Uchon, and with the main breakaway up the road, Roglic began to slip back on the steepest 18 per cent slopes, as Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) put in two significant attacks.
"It was such a bad crash. He’s in a lot of pain," his team director Merijn Zeeman said at the finish.
"He cannot sit normally on the saddle because he also hit his butt on the ground. He’s in a difficult situation. It’s just a complete lack of energy to follow. Today that was the case. We are definitely not worried. We just look for chances and see what kind of opportunities there are. Today also the UAE team had a very hard day, they had to follow. Pogacar is by far the best but that doesn’t mean the race is over. So we continue fighting and looking for opportunities.
"We will have to make a plan for that," Zeeman said when asked what Roglic's approach would be for the rest of the race.
"If he wants to have a chance in this race he needs somehow to recover and that’s something we’ll discuss after the stage with him."
Zeeman was then asked if Roglic would abandon the race.
"Too early to say," he said " We need to discuss it with him first."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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