Bora-Hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk has said that one of his top reasons for signing Primož Roglič for 2024 and beyond is his belief that the Slovenian star continues to be a leading candidate to win the Tour de France.
In what is by far the biggest rider transfer story to date for the 2024 season, Denk confirmed in a lengthy press conference on Friday that Roglič would be leaving Jumbo-Visma to join Bora-Hansgrohe at the end of the year and also provided some details of the backstory of what would have been a most unlikely team switch for 2024 as little as a month ago.
Denk explained that the 2023 Giro d’Italia winner had “not been happy” at Jumbo-Visma’s strategy in the final week of the recently completed Vuelta a España, won by Roglič’s teammate Sepp Kuss. He also hinted strongly that when combined with Jumbo-Visma’s ongoing focus on Jonas Vingegaard for the Tour de France – which Roglič also wants to target– the chance for Bora to make an offer to Roglič suddenly became a viable option. That was despite the 33-year-old having a contract with Jumbo until 2025.
However, the main focus of the press conference was, logically, not so much on the plotline that had brought Roglič to sign for Bora-Hansgrohe as the new contract itself and his options on winning the Tour with the German team. “After the departure of Peter Sagan, it’s the next milestone for us,” Denk said, referring to the last superstar to race for the German team.
Regarding the Tour de France, Denk said that winning cycling’s top race was a personal dream and that signing Roglič represented “the chance to work with one of the biggest contenders.”
“We are realistic as well, he’s not the only contender. [To win] we’ll need luck, a super-strong team and an outstanding performance from Roglič.
“But it’s already a nice feeling for me to be a real contender, and hopefully this will give the whole team, not just the riders an extra push. It’s inspiring.”
In an introductory speech where he confirmed the news, Denk called Roglič “one of the best riders in the world. He won more or less every race he did of the 2023 season and we’re looking forward a lot to this. I’m also proud Primož took the decision to sign with us, and I think it’s a big boost for our whole team, for the riders, for the staff.”
Up until the Vuelta a España this September, Roglič had enjoyed an unbroken run of victories in all of his races in 2023, including the Giro d’Italia, the Volta a Catalunya and…