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Cycling: Tricky Tour situation for Red Bull: “It’s getting more complicated”

Cycling: Tricky Tour situation for Red Bull: “It’s getting more complicated”
Cycling: Tricky Tour situation for Red Bull: “It’s getting more complicated”

The Tour is looking good for the Red Bull racing team: the first overall victory for the German team will probably have to wait. The competition is currently too strong. On top of that, an important driver is out.

Primoz Roglic, wearing flip-flops and a short-sleeved shirt, shuffled through a hotel in the north of the city of Orléans on the rest day of the Tour de France. The Slovenian seemed completely relaxed, and even accepted the loss of his important helper Alexander Vlasov stoically after the initial shock. “It’s a big loss for our team,” said the 34-year-old. “But ultimately we can’t change it. It is what it is.”

Vlasov had left shortly before with a broken ankle. He broke his ankle in a serious fall on the gravel stage on Sunday and will be missing from Roglic’s important stages in the mountains. “Ideally, we want to win the Tour with Primoz. And it is not Primoz who broke his foot, but Alex. The goal remains the same. The path to get there will be much more complicated,” said sports director Rolf Aldag.

The cycling team from Raubling in Bavaria has already realized after nine stages of the Tour that the overall victory in the three-week national tour would probably be a surprise. Before the season, Red Bull signed Roglic. The goal was clear from the start: the experienced professional should win the first Tour victory in the team’s history.

Think: “Glad we’re still in the game”

But the three-time Tour stage winner is currently the furthest away from that from the circle of the fabulous four around Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel and himself. The three-time Vuelta winner, who narrowly missed out on winning the Tour in 2020, is in fourth place in the overall standings, 1:36 minutes behind fellow countryman Pogacar, just under a minute behind time trial world champion Evenepoel and 21 seconds behind defending champion Vingegaard. “It is the reality at the moment. It is what it is,” said Roglic, recalling the Rhenish commandment “et kütt wie et kütt”.

His team boss was more explicit about the result: “We are happy that we are still in the game. But it would of course be nice if we were a few seconds behind,” said Ralph Denk before the rest day. “I wouldn’t say that we have to or should give up. The podium is definitely possible. Maybe even more.”

The biggest challenges are still to come in the third week with the tough mountain stages. The three other candidates for the overall ranking could have created a good basis for a place on the podium on the tough gravel stage. But in the end Roglic crossed the finish line at the same time as the group of favorites.

On Tuesday, Roglic and Co. will be racing on the tenth stage. From Orléans, it is more than 187 kilometers to Saint-Amand-Montrond. This is where the sprinters will once again be in the spotlight.

Source: Stern

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