Jumbo-size disaster. Roglic injures shoulder and loses big time to Pogacar

//Jumbo-size disaster. Roglic injures shoulder and loses big time to Pogacar

Jumbo-size disaster. Roglic injures shoulder and loses big time to Pogacar

It was a day of disaster for Jumbo Visma. With twenty kilometers of Roubaix cobblestone, stage five of the Tour de France guaranteed chaos and no team suffered more than the Dutch powerhouse squad.  

First, Wout van Aert and teammate Steven Kruijswijk collide and crash, both hitting the ground as the peloton raced away. Van Aert got up touching his ribs and remounts but he’s losing time fast. To make matters worse, he almost rides into the back of his team car, staying upright only thanks to his cyclocross skills. 

Then Jonas Vingegaard has a mechanical and swaps bikes with a teammate. Only the bike is several sizes too big — the seat is so high he can’t reach the pedals. Like a little kid on dad’s bike. Then he changes to his back-up bike but like Van Aert, he’s losing time fast. 

The saving grace is that Primoz Roglic, the number one rival to Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), is riding up front with the Solvenian. Yes, it’s a terrible day but as long as Roglic stays safe, it’s not a total catastrophe. That is, until Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) crashes into a protective hay bale that’s somehow slid into the race course. Down goes Roglic, dislocating his shoulder and smashing his Tour.

But wait, is there a bit of salvation coming up fast from behind? It’s Vingegaard, Van Aert and a desperate group of riders that includes Geraint Thomas, Aleksandr Vlasov, Dani Martinez, Adam Yates, Romain Bardet and Enric Mas. A hyper-motivated band of stars, all working furiously together to save their GC hopes.

Sadly, it’s bye bye Primoz. They blast past Roglic who simply can’t hold the wheels. Suddenly he’s in the fourth group on the road, behind the breakaway, Pogecar and Stuyven, and his Jumbo Visma teammates up the road.

That series of unfortunate events is made even worse by Pogacar, who sees the entire Jumbo Visma squad in deep merde and hits the gas even harder. He works with Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) to expand the time gap over the final three pave sections.

At the finish beside the old mines of Arenberg, Roglic is officially in a deep, dark hole. He can forget about becoming a Tour de France champion — he’d lost over two minutes to Pogacar. Vingegaard was still alive thanks to the massive efforts of Van Aert and company. He’s 21 seconds behind Pogacar but Jumbo Visma has lost half their one-two punch. The only bright side: Van Aert is rewarded for his furious chase by keeping the yellow jersey.

In truth, today was a disastrous one for nearly every GC contender not named Pogacar. The two-time Tour winner looked like a veteran classics expert who’d ridden a dozen Paris-Roubaix. He was always up front, hyper-focused and aggressive. He didn’t have any teammates with him but he had plenty of good fortune.

Poor Primoz Roglic must feel like he’s turning into Thibaut Pinot. His luck at the Tour de France continues to get worse and worse. A bad crash in the first week last year, a bad crash in the first week of this Tour.

Sports director Grischa Niermann summed up the bad news. “It was not the best day for us. It started with Wout’s crash. It meant the run-up to the cobbles was not optimal. Jonas was then hit from behind and had some mechanical problems. The bike change didn’t go as planned, but unfortunately, we can’t change that. After we had recovered a little from the initial setbacks, Primoz, to make matters worse, fell over a bag of hay, swirling on the road. Due to his physical discomfort, it took some time before he could continue on his way. You can’t win ’em all, but it’s clear that this is not an outcome we can be satisfied with.”

Or to short-hand that explanation:  It was truly a Jumbo-size disaster.

By |2022-07-06T14:28:51-07:00July 6th, 2022|Featured|0 Comments

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