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A state-of-the-art motorhome, black, with tinted windows and screen printed with the name of Primoz Roglic , has traveled the Spanish geography following the trajectory of the winner of the 2019 Tour. In his interior the parents traveled, a baby of only a couple of months and the wife of the new Slovenian hero.

The crowned corridor in the Plaza de Cibeles is a very familiar guy who needs to be wrapped in his clan to feel comfortable. Its environment ensures that the coldness and distance it shows to the media and fans is just a strategy to stay focused. In the press conferences he only admits three questions and gets up without respecting the work of the translator. Your answers are dry and full of common places.

Roglic's indolence responds to a tactic so as not to be distracted from the conquest of the marked objectives. «It is not cold, what happens is that it is a cyclist who focuses a lot on his work. It seems to me that she is a great professional. What does the press not like? But some questions offend, ”says Joxean Fernández , Matxín , director of the UAE team, where Tadej Pogacar , the other Slovenian standard, militates.

The appreciation of the coach is shared by Miha Hocevar , head of Sports of the Slovenian newspaper Delo : «Roglic is not unfriendly, what happens is that he concentrates a lot on the competition. When he is on the road he puts on the earmuffs, like the horses, and doesn't want to know anything about the rest. The journalist also highlights his healthy sports greed: «Primoz learns very fast, he has only been cycling for six years and is already rubbing shoulders with the best. He presumes he never repeats mistakes, Guadalajara's ruling will always remember him. He is very ambitious, he left ski jumping because he realized that he would never be world champion. On one occasion he said that if he had known that cycling is so hard, he would not have dedicated himself to it.

Alejandro Valverde also does not share that the new owner of the red jersey stands out for his apathy. «Roglic is a phenomenal person. In the platoon he is very correct and polite and has no problem with his teammates, ”says the world champion, interspersed yesterday on the Madrid podium between the two Slovenian idols.

Roglic already has enormous notoriety in his small but surprising country. Slovenia, a republic born after the dissolution of Yugoslavia , only has a population somewhat exceeding two million inhabitants and an extension similar to the Valencian Community, presumes to be a sports power. Stands out in basketball (European champion) skiing, soccer and cycling. Roglic (the first Slovenian to score one of the three major rounds in stages, third in the 2019 Giro and fourth in the 2018 Tour) shares prominence with Luka Doncic , Goran Dragic or Jan Oblak .

Now, the payroll of idols has joined Pogacar, who with only 20 years went on the podium in the Vuelta, won three stages (more than anyone else), before prevailing in the Tour of the Algarve of 2019 and in the Tour del Porvenir de 2018. The new talent that runs like the good and old cyclists, those who move by instinct and who climb with amazing ease. What is the secret of Slovenian success? Pogacar responds: «We are a very competitive and hardworking nation, we fight for every opportunity we have. I don't know what makes us so good, but I know we have a great nation of athletes. To me, after this Tour they will look at me differently, but I will not let the pressure eat me ».

Slovenes treasure Italian cunning, Croatian impudence and competitive Balkan craving. «I believe that his secret lies in the need to learn quickly and quickly. Being a small country that lacks major races, cyclists have to go to Italy, Austria or Norway to compete. They have to mature early and that makes them have an advantage with their contemporaries, which is what has happened with Pogacar, ”Matxin said. In Slovenia they say there is no special potion, that everything is a matter of necessity and urgent learning. They have been main actors of a Tour that has concluded with Madrid with the victory to the sprint of the Dutch Fabio Jakobsen , the sprinter of the Deceuninck-Quick Step, which was also imposed in the fourth stage.

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  • Primoz Roglic
  • Alejandro Valverde
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