FACT No. 1: A former ski jumper becomes a world-class cyclist
Before starting his cycling career, Primož Roglič was devoted to ski jumping. In 2006, his team won the silver medal at the junior world cup in ski jumping in Kranj and a year later, they even became world champions in Italy. He finally said goodbye to ski jumping in 2012, although he could have had ended his ski jumping career back in 2007, when he experienced a bad fall in Planica, which was the largest ski flying hill in the world at the time. Even though he broke his nose and suffered a concussion, he persisted with ski jumping for another four years, gathering experience which would also benefit him in cycling.
Back in 2012, he was already tackling cycling hills as a recreational cyclist. Soon, he soon proved to have an incredible talent for road cycling.
He entered the world of cycling by joining the KK Radenska cycling club and later on with KK Adria Mobil, the organiser of the Tour of Slovenia cycling race. He then switched teams and joined Team Jumbo – Visma, a UCI WorldTour team, the jersey of which he has been wearing as he has been leading the pack at this year's Giro d'Italia. But it was Bogdan Fink, the so called “father of the Tour of Slovenia cycling race and the KK Adria Mobil cycling club that saw his talent that could put him among the top cyclists in the world. This sports phenomenon was also noticed by the scouts of the Dutch team, to which he belongs today.
Although his cycling career began not long ago, Roglič has already celebrated several victories, the most resounding of which is undoubtedly La Vuelta a España 2019, making him the first Slovenian to have clinched an overall win at all three Grand Tours. He challenged the cycling world’s elite in the Giro d'Italia 2019 by reaching an overall third place, while winning the race in Spain proved that he is not a one-hit wonder; in fact, he is currently the hottest name in the cycling community. His ascent was foretold by his stage victories in previous seasons, at Tour de France (in 2017 and 2018) and at Giro d'Italia (in 2016). Roglič also boasts two wins at the Tour of Slovenia (in 2015 and 2018). In September 2017, he won a silver medal in the men’s time trial at the World Cycling Championships in Bergen, Norway.
Slovenian Tour de France 2020
Slovenians are bound never to forget the 2020 Tour de France, as it wrote a new chapter in Slovenian cycling history. Primož Roglič came to the race as one of the favourites and donned the yellow jersey after the first week. However, in the penultimate stage – the time-trial – Tadej Pogačar, another outstanding young Slovenian cyclist who “exploded” on the Tour and was literally glued to Roglič the whole time, managed to "undress" him. Pogačar thus became the somewhat surprising overall winner of the Tour and the first Slovenian to do so, but Roglič still managed to be at the exceptional Pog’s side on the Champs Elysées winner's podium.
In addition to the exceptional pair, which overcame the world’s cycling elite, there were three other Slovenians on the Tour: Luka Mezgec, who was second in two stages, Matej Mohorič and Jan Polanc.