On stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) had his Steven Kruijswijk moment.
After a mechanical and a switch to a teammate’s bike, the Slovenian was desperately trying to limit his losses to Vincenzo Nibali and Richard Carapaz after their attack on the final climb of the day.
On the descent of the Civiglio, Primoz over-cooked at tight right hand turn and crashed against the guardrail. He avoided injury but by the finish line the mishaps cost him about 40 seconds to Nibali and race leader Carapaz. It didn’t damage his chances to win the Giro, but certainly gave them a dent.
It was a reminder of teammate Kruijswijk’s crash while leading the 2016 Giro d’Italia. On a descent, he flew into a snowbank, broke two ribs and disappeared off the podium. Instead it was Nibali who came back from the dead to win his second Giro in a shocking turn of events.
Luckily for Primoz, he appears to have physically survived the stage in one piece. Had he gone over the rail, it would have been an ironic moment for the former ski-jumper. However, the bad luck and complete lack of team support must be worrisome with four more days in the mountains before he can pick up time with his superiority in the time trial.
He trails Carapaz by 47 seconds and leads Nibali for a minute so no reason for panic, just concern. He has almost two minutes on everyone else on GC. It’s still his race to lose although Carapaz looks very strong and confident at the moment — his team also has Mikel Landa to lend a hand and create difficulty.
Primoz will hope that having escaped his Kruijswijk moment, his good fortune will return. Nibali would refer a nice sequel to his 2016 Giro victory.