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Roglic versus Evenepoel within the Giro

Roglic and Evenepoel within the Tour of Catalonia

NOS Biking

The place the traditional spring for the boys was dominated by the battle between Mathieu van der Poel, Tadej Pogacar and Wout van Aert, two new protagonists will seem on the biking stage within the Giro d’Italia from right now: Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic.

Within the subsequent three weeks, a titanic battle is anticipated within the Tour of Italy between the younger Belgian world champion and the skilled Slovenian chief of Jumbo-Visma. How are the 2 prime favorites doing?

‘Massive mess’

Two days earlier than the beginning, the riders made time for interviews. Each Roglic and Evenepoel appeared with a face masks in entrance of the NOS digicam. The reason being identified: the corona virus has nonetheless not disappeared from the peloton.

Face masks again in Giro, the place Roglic and Evenepoel are prime favorites: ‘Grande on line casino’

Jumbo-Visma was ravaged by a corona wave within the run-up to the Giro. Robert Gesink, Tobias Foss and substitute Jos van Emden additionally turned contaminated and can’t help their chief. On the final minute, Sam Oomen needed to be flown in as a substitute.

And the dangerous luck was not over but: Jan Tratnik was hit by a van on Friday and in addition needed to cancel for the Giro.

A primary setback for Roglic, however the chief stays sober. “A grande on line casino”, that is what he calls the Giro. He launched that time period in 2019, after he fell within the chief’s pink jersey and ultimately completed third.

Roglic within the 2019 Giro: a ‘grande on line casino’

“After all we did not plan this that means,” mentioned the Slovenian. “We attempt to defend ourselves as a lot as potential, to remain wholesome within the subsequent three weeks. Luckily, we’ve got replacements and we will begin with eight.”

Evenepoel’s workforce, Soudal Fast-Step, has not (but) suffered from corona issues.

He is tremendous robust. It is as much as us to provide him a tough time on his technique to Rome.

Primoz Roglic about his competitor Remco Evenepoel

In March, Roglic and Evenepoel confronted one another for the primary time this season. After a captivating cat-and-mouse sport within the Tour of Catalonia, the victory went to Roglic, however the distinction within the last classification was solely six seconds.

Altitude programs and Liège

Each riders ready for the Giro with an altitude coaching in Tenerife. Evenepoel got here down the mountain earlier to experience Liège-Bastogne-Liège, whereas Roglic selected to coach at altitude for longer.

From the Teide, Roglic noticed that the form of his main competitor was nice. Evenepoel made an enormous impression in Liège and, after an extended solo, booked his second victory in a row within the biking monument.

Evenepoel once more solos to victory in Liège, Pogacar falls out with fractures in his hand

“That does not scare me and I wasn’t shocked,” Roglic responds. “He is tremendous robust. It is as much as us to provide him a tough time on his technique to Rome.”

After his victory in Liège, Evenepoel left with feeling for Spain to make the ultimate preparations. “It has given an enormous enhance and an enormous benefit by way of peace of thoughts. And likewise by way of self-confidence throughout the workforce,” mentioned the world champion.

Nonetheless, he additionally noticed some areas for enchancment. “I attempted to get the final additional weight off. And I did a number of extra particular exercises on the time trial bike and uphill. All of it labored out.”

Many time trial kilometers

These time trial bike exercises will certainly come in useful this Giro. The riders will experience three particular person time trials of a complete of 73 kilometers in Italy. On paper, the 2 favorites hardly differ on the time trial bike. Roglic is the Olympic champion, Evenepoel completed third on the final World Cup.

The spherical begins on Saturday in Fossacesia Marina with a time trial of 19.6 kilometers. “It’s already a day for the classification, as a result of it’s fairly lengthy. It will likely be potential to make a number of seconds or minutes distinction”, Roglic predicts.

On the penultimate day, the Giro can be determined with a time trial of 18.6 kilometers uphill, after a historically powerful third week with three extra powerful mountain phases.

“Final yr I nonetheless had some doubts whether or not I’d have the identical degree as Roglic uphill,” Evenepoel admitted at a digital press convention on Thursday. “Since Catalonia, these doubts have disappeared. I hope that within the coming weeks I can be equal to him once more on the climbs. And higher within the time trials.”

‘Good wine’

When it comes to expertise, Roglic actually has an edge over his competitor ten years youthful. The 33-year-old Roglic, three-time winner of the Vuelta, begins his twelfth Grand Tour in Fossacesia. Evenepoel, who received the Vuelta final yr, is using his third grand tour in Italy.

On the on-line press convention, Roglic in contrast himself to a bottle of excellent wine: “The older, the higher. You’re wiser, have extra expertise. We’ve got executed every thing we will and are able to go all out.”

Evenepoel and Roglic on the rostrum within the Tour of Catalonia

The 2 leaders have one factor in widespread: they appear to have labored in the direction of the beginning of the Giro in a relaxed method and wish to have enjoyable. Roglic joked that, regardless of the corona circumstances in his workforce, he nonetheless laughs behind his masks.

And when requested whether or not Evenepoel, just like the biking followers, looks like preventing, he replied with shining eyes: “No, I do not really feel prefer it”, after which shortly corrected himself: “Sure, sure. very a lot into it.”

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