Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), already a stage winner twice in his first Paris-Nice outing is not one to give gifts. Even the maillot jaune and a 41 second lead over defending champion Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) were not enough and he mowed down lone escapee Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) in sight of the finish of stage 7 of Paris-Nice on Valdeblore La Colmiane to take the stage and pad his lead by another 11 seconds.
Mäder admitted he was close to tears after being denied his first professional victory after being the last survivor of the early breakaway on the 119km stage and Roglic felt some sympathy for the Swiss rider.
"At the end, I saw I can try and go for it and I went. It was a little shit situation for him [Mäder] but better for me. I'm happy about the result."
Roglic was questioned multiple times by journalists about his choice to attack for the stage win.
"We all want to win, and you need to be the strongest to do that. We work hard, not just me but the whole team from the beginning of the stage. We had some kind of control, also our guys were pulling on the climb, then I could finish the job.
"I think we all want to win and if you can do it, it's always nice. You have to take what you can. It's not for free, we work hard for it."
Pressed again about denying Mäder his maiden WorldTour victory, Roglic doubled down. "I would like to see when someone is giving the victories to me, and then I also say thanks to the other guys," he retorted.
Roglic has taken 44 victories since joining the WorldTour with Jumbo-Visma in 2016 and his insatiable desire to win has only ramped up since his first Giro d'Italia stage win in that first season.
He was fourth in his second Tour de France, in 2019, he won his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España, he repeated that feat in 2020 after finishing second in the Tour to Tadej Pogacar.
Roglic has risen from relative unknown to one of the most feared riders in the peloton and he simply enjoys winning.
"It's a nice start - we start the way we finish last year. I'm super happy about it and enjoying having fun with my first Paris-Nice."
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