From the lady who has seen the best of times Luis Ocana to the innocent child asking for his autograph to an unconditional fan from Ljubljana who crosses half of Europe to see his idol. Everyone wants a hug, a photo. It is what it must be, along with one cousin roglic (Trbovlje, 33 years old) that across generations, transcends boundaries. After his emotional triumph in the past, nobody wanted to miss the Slovenian’s return to the competition Italy spins, which took place in Return to Burgos. There, Roglic stayed true to his 100 percent effectiveness, which he’s still maintaining this season He won everything he ran: Tirreno-Adriatico, Volta a Catalunya, Giro and the Burgos circuit mentioned above. The race was a final test before the Slovene’s big goal in the final leg of the calendar, a Back to Spain in which he strives for balance Roberto Heras with four wins and which he talked about AS.
“Again, are you ready for the next battle?”
—Yes, of course, I’m always prepared (smile).
-For some days of launch Your fifth participation in the Vuelta, how are you?
-I’m excited. It’s nice to be racing again and not just training, so I’m looking forward to the start and the next few days.
-In the Lagos de Covadonga has won a memorable stage of the 2021 Vuelta. He has fond memories of Asturias, where the race returns this year with Angliru. How do you see this increase?
“It would be nice to finish like I did up in Covadonga.” I’ve uploaded the Angliru before (He was fifth on the day Hugh Carthy took the win). I’ve had some issues so I’m hoping to get to the top a little easier this year, but I’m really looking forward to it.
—Between Angliru, Tourmalet and other difficult climbs on this Tour’s route, which one will be the decisive one?
—You mentioned these two as the most famous and biggest, but the battle for the overall standings starts from day one, with the team time trial and also the mountains of week one. The most important thing is simply consistency. Being good from start to finish will be crucial.
—We have a spectacular participation in this edition of the Spanish round with cyclists like Evenepoel, Thomas, Almeida, Carapaz, Ayuso, Vlasov … And of course his partner and Reigning Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard. Will you have the “enemy at home”?
—Sweet sorrows for us (smile). Of course we are here to do our best with the whole team. If we’re both at the top it would be even better, but like I said, it’s not just us. There will be a lot of people who are in great shape and of course we will try to do our best with what we have.
– Juan Ayuso was on the podium last year at the age of 19, becoming the youngest rider in La Vuelta history to ever pit. Do you see him fighting for the general?
—In any case, he has shown that he is on the rise year after year. He’s a little boy, but very talented. We too will be up to the competition.
—He will start with a chance to clinch his fourth Vuelta title, which would put him level with Roberto Heras on the winners’ list. Is it an additional motivation to achieve this record?
-It would be funny. First of all, I have to get there to start. Second: go all the way (refers to last year when he retired due to a bad crash at the end of stage 16). And finally I have to be able to win but like I said the first thing I have to do is focus on taking steps in the beginning and we’ll see how it goes.
—As he told AS last May, the Giro d’Italia was the most emotional win of his career. Do you see yourself in better shape today than you did then?
“We will see.” In the end you have to be the strongest among the guys riding with you and you also need a bit of luck. But right now I’m happy, I’m healthy, so my goal is to continue like this.
—As for Evenepoel, he was your biggest rival last year and this season in races like the Volta a Catalunya. how do you see him
—Anyway, he just won two top races, the Clásica de San Sebastián, and became world time trial champion. So I’m sure he’ll be super strong right from the start in Barcelona.
Was it important for your confidence? beat him in Catalonia or does it not matter?
“I’m sure he was happy.” I wanted to win in Catalonia to add to my record and it went well in the end. I like strong competitions because they push you to become an even better rider and I can’t wait to compete in the Vuelta this year and fight again.
– Once again he is here in Spain, where he is an idol for many. Do you feel the affection of the Spanish fans every time you come to a competition?
-Yes and I like it. I’m trying to enjoy it and I’m sure we’ll be able to do that again this week.
“Thank you for your time and good luck for the rest of the season.”