Primoz Roglic won the 17th stage of the Tour de France with a solo move over the Galibier Pass and a hair-raising descent to Serre-Chevalier. The Slovenian rider, arriving 1-13 minutes ahead of the Chris Froome yellow jersey group, gave Team LottoNL-Jumbo its first win of the 2017 Tour.
Roglic notched his sixth win of the season and helped the team to its 17th.
“This is unbelievable, incredible,” Roglic said. “Winning this stage, over the Galibier… I have no words for it. At this moment, I do not realise what I have just achieved. That will come later and maybe then I will realise what a big win this is.
“The plan was to attack on the Galibier and go full-gas in the descent. I made plans for this stage earlier on. It is extra special that my girlfriend and my family are here today. Everywhere, I saw Slovenian flags today. It was amazing.”
“This is magnificent,” Sportive Director Merijn Zeeman said. “I’m speechless. Last year, he joins the team and now he wins a mountain stage in the Tour de France.
“We got some blows to the head the past days with losing Bennett and Gesink, but this is just fantastic.”
“He was in the front all day and in the final 28 kilometres his chasers only came five or ten seconds closer,” Nico Verhoeven explained Roglic’s strong ride. “He is very good rider, but we knew that already.
“For the team and for Primoz, this is amazing. If you win a stage in the Tour de France, your Tour is a success, but if you win a stage over these big cols in the Alps, that is just superb.”
Roglic began as a ski jumper at a high level and competed in the national team. A heavy fall put an end to that career, but opened the door to cycling during his rehabilitation. Roglic joined Team LottoNL-Jumbo in 2016.
According to Zeeman, Roglic completed the fast metamorphosis from ski jumper to cyclist at WorldTour-lever because of a number of factors.
“He wants it badly and has an enormous drive. Besides that, there are a lot of good people in the team that worked with him. He has a huge drive and absorbs everything. He is a fantastic guy to work with.”