Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) hopes to overcome his Tour de France disappointment by claiming victory in 2022.
The Slovenian abandoned the race after a wretched Stage 8, which few anticipated when he began the Tour as one of the favourites. He took second place last year and could also point to successive La Vuelta wins in 2019 and 2020 as his Grand Tour credentials.
Roglic was one of the high-profile names to suffer a big crash in the first week and he was unable to then keep up with fellow countryman and current favourite Tadej Pogacar, who now holds at least a five minute lead over all but one of the riders who remain in the general classification.
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Speaking to Cycling News, Jumbo-Visma director Merijn Zeeman said: "He’ll come back to the Tour next year.
"That’s the race where he wants to show that he’s the number one in the world. He will come back. Of course we’ll discuss it all at the end of the season and how we’ll plan it but I have no doubt that he’ll come back again."
Roglic is now preparing for his country’s involvement in the Tokyo Olympics before returning to action at the Vuelta.
"I expect that he goes to the Vuelta but we need to see how quickly he can recover and how quickly he feels energized again for training. We also need to see if his head is ready because the Vuelta is coming quicker than you think,” he said.
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"He’s such a tough guy though, both mentally and physically, so we have no doubt that he will come back. He’s incredibly popular and the fans give him so much confidence. He wants to return so he can do beautiful things for them again."
Zeeman believes the race might have followed a different path had Roglic remained in contention for longer.
"That’s the million-dollar question. On the first weekend, they were the real rivals and their level was really close to each other. I was very impressed by Pogacar’s level and it’s hard to say if Primoz could have followed but for sure he would have responded to the attacks,” he mused.
"Then it’s a case of whether Pogacar would have continued if he couldn’t drop Roglic. The race would have been very different. Pogacar wouldn’t have dropped Roglic like he did [Richard] Carapaz. That’s for sure."
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