Primoz Roglic has become the latest overall contender to confirm that he will compete in the 2019 Giro d’Italia. He will lead a strong Jumbo-Visma squad at the corsa rosa before supporting Steven Kruijswijk at the Tour de France in July.
The Slovenian has ridden the Giro on one previous occasion, winning the Chianti time trial in 2016, his first season at WorldTour level. He finished 58th overall in what was his Grand Tour debut but will return to the Giro in 2019 with ambitions of final overall victory.
Roglic confirmed his Giro participation during the 2019 Jumbo-Visma team presentation in Veghel, the Netherlands on Friday.
“As soon as we know the starting list, there will undoubtedly be four or five riders who can win the pink jersey. We believe Primoz can do the same,” said Jumbo-Visma directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman. “This influences our entire organisation. On all possible levels we will do everything in our power to support him in the best way we can.”
Roglic placed 4th overall at the 2018 Tour, winning the final mountain stage to Laruns after forcing the pace on the Col d’Aubisque and then continuing his onslaught on the descent to the finish. Roglic also won the Tour of the Basque Country, Tour de Romandie and Tour of Slovenia in a sparkling 2018 campaign.
Jumbo-Visma have also announced some of the riders set to accompany Roglic on the 2019 Giro, including Robert Gesink, Laurens De Plus and Antwan Tolhoek. Paul Martens is slated to perform the role of road captain in Italy.
The 2019 Giro gets underway in Bologna on May 11 with a short uphill time trial to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca, the finishing climb of the Giro dell’Emilia. A longer uphill time trial to San Marino features on stage 9, while the race concludes in Verona on June 2 with a 15km time trial.
The lack of time trialling miles on the route of the Tour played a part in persuading Jumbo-Visma to deploy Roglic at the Giro and designate Kruijswijk as team leader in July. Kruijswijk placed 5th overall at the 2018 Tour and is targeting a podium finish this time out.
“I think that the Tour de France’s course suits me well this year,” Kruijswijk said. “I’m now looking to take the last step, to get on the podium of a grand tour. That’s what I want to go for next year. For me, the podium is the ultimate goal.”