Primoz Roglic may not look sartorial in the Vuelta lately, but that doesn’t hold him back.
Taunted on social media this week for looking like a cross between a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and a Lego man, the Slovenian sensation ditched its offensive vest to show off its green jersey on Wednesday – a jersey he was hopes it will be red again soon.
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Roglic took the lead for Richard Carapaz on Sunday and took over the green jersey that both the Ecuadorian and Irishman Dan Martin had previously worn.
As we know all too well, scoring in the Vuelta is about as beneficial for sprinters as it is for vegetarians in Spain – which basically makes the green jersey something that the man in red’s greatest challenger wears. But the cooler weather in this unprecedented “Vuelta del Otoño” has made riders reach for extra layers to keep themselves warm.
The problem with this is that Roglic’s sleeveless Jumbo Visma Team edition, the Slovenian national champion’s vest, conflicts with the green tunic awarded to him as the most consistent finisher of this year’s race.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Paired with his white shoes, the Celeste blue of the Bianchi logo on his black bike and the glowing glow that emanates from his adhesive tape in a criminally different shade of green – and all of this results in a mulch that makes the goat of cycling purists in to have social media.
Those humorless followers of the now outdated (and increasingly snobbish) Velominati code had a big day. Even Jonathan Vaughters – a man responsible for arguably the most terrifying jersey the pro has to offer in cycling – has put his oar in, albeit clearly ironically (not that anything about Roglic is remotely fashionable right now) .
But for the man in the spotlight, all is clearly water on the back of a duck, and Roglic is returning for the start of Stage 8 on Wednesday to make his best Phonak impression of 2006.
They might say (usually at school) that when you look at the role, you play the part – but it’s not like such a crime of fashion would have a detrimental effect on Roglic’s ability to play his part. But on the contrary. When things warmed up during the 160 km drive through the Rioja wine region in northern Spain, Roglic took off his vest and the turtle came out of its shell.
Without the blue, white, red, and yellow of the absent garment (not to mention the yellow arm warmers), Roglic actually looked quite green as he kept his powder dry and teammate Sepp Kuss an early move from Hugh Carthy on the Alto de Moncalvillo.
Carthy, the laconic Prestonian who suddenly finds himself out of the (Michael) forest as the lead EF, as Plan B, which they hope will reach the height of his Giro-winning compatriot Tao Geoghegan Hart, may have been a little overwhelmed on his The Canadian teammate’s victory 24 hours earlier – a crime his manager Vaughters could laugh at with his signature joke.
But the man who was the butt of all jokes earlier in the day soon came to after tailing Carapaz after an attack by Aleksandr Vlasov on the final two kilometers of an exciting climax.
It was Roglic, after all that subtle jumbo foreplay, who clearly shot to fill the gap on Vlasov under the kilometer-to-go banner. And when Carapaz, the race director, then attacked, Roglic showed that even after the disappointments and persistent fatigue of a long tour campaign, he still had the kick up in his locker to pull the trigger and send off his rivals and get away from his Floppy disk to remove GC contender.
On this show, the talk of Roglic, who looks like a joke in green, doesn’t matter as he’ll be back in red soon. Although, I have to say, red doesn’t half match Carapaz’s skin color and those dark blue Ineos Grenadier shorts …
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