Bradley Wiggins believes Primoz Roglic’s mindset is unparalleled after the Slovenian bounced back from crashing out of the Tour de France earlier this month to claim individual time trial gold at Tokyo 2020.
Roglic took Olympic gold by more than a minute on Wednesday, with Tom Dumoulin winning silver and Rohan Dennis the bronze as pre-race favourite Filippo Ganna of Italy missed out on the podium.
For 31-year-old Roglic, a two-time Vuelta champion, it was another high after a difficult low, having abandoned the Tour de Frajce following two heavy falls.
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Roglic also suffered Tour heartbreak last year when he was beaten at the death by compatriot Tadej Pogacar, and he admitted it was a “beautiful” moment to get the gold medal around his neck in Tokyo.
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He said: “It’s super nice. It’s beautiful, this thing is quite heavy actually! I didn’t know it, but for me it’s just incredibly nice after all the hard things that happened in the last moments to me.
It’s paid off, all the work we’ve put in, from my side, from the family’s side, from the people all around me. I managed to win the gold medal and be an Olympic champion.
“It’s super hard when the things are not going the way you’d like. At the end, I work hard, I always try to keep believing and that still it’s me, it’s Primoz, everything is always possible every day and I just went out, had nothing to lose, and from kilometre zero I managed to do the job. I am super pleased with that.
“In cycling it’s stupid to compare all these things. Everything is super hard to win, even your home race behind your house. Every achievement is special, this one for sure, for me, is super special and I’m really happy.”
Roglic quickly brushed off the disappointment of last year’s near-miss in the Tour de France to win the Liege–Bastogne–Liege race a fortnight after his second-place finish behind Pogacar.
This perseverance prompted Eurosport presenter Orla Chennaoui to recall a discussion with Richard Plugge at the start of 2021, in which the Jumbo Visma team manager said Roglic had a remarkable ability to bounce back.
Wiggins said that mentality is “reflected in the way he rides” before adding: “He just keeps going and going and going. I’ve never seen an athlete like it really, his mindset, he’s someone who can compete all-year round.
“He’s phenomenal, he really is. Last year when we go back to when he lost the Tour de France in the last stage, we questioned whether he’d come back from that and that sort of humiliation. He did a week later, winning Liege–Bastogne–Liege, then he won the Vuelta last season, he’s come back, crashed out of this year’s Tour de France but kept his head, trained well, and now he’s an Olympic champion.
“His mindset is phenomenal, and you need that mindset if you’re also going to jump off a ski ramp.”
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