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Primož Roglič sat in the Tirreno-Adriatico media centre wearing five jerseys as a way to keep warm winning stage 5 to Sassotetto in extreme weather conditions.
The Jumbo-Visma rider’s win on the tough Apennine mountain finish was his second consecutive victory. He also took the leader’s blue jersey from Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) thanks to a ten-second time bonus and took the King of the Mountains jersey and points jersey.
“I’ve got a lot of layers on so I’m warm now. It was tough out there. There was a lot of wind and it was cold,” he explained.
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“The gusts were tricky, even in the valley and then on the climb too. I heard this was the only race that made it to the finish, so it went well.
“It’s crazy to win again. It was cold out there but I had some fun.”
Roglič admitted he suffered on the 12.5km climb to the finish, especially when the final effort attacks came in the final 1500 metres of the stage into the headwind.
“It was a hard day. I’m still coming back and so it was a big day for me, with a lot more climbing than yesterday,” he said.
“It’s true I suffered in the finale, when the attacks came but Wilco Kelderman was with me and we knew there was a chance for the sprint, so we pulled together.”
Roglič was a late entry to Tirreno-Adriatico. He only returned to training out on the road in early December after undoing a bone graft to repair a dislocated shoulder. He has spent several weeks at altitude but wanted to race Tirreno-Adriatico to return to racing and ride with the Jumbo-Visma teammates who will be him as he targets the Giro d’Italia.
He only shaved his legs after winning stage 4. Now he leads Kemna by four seconds with just Saturday’s hilly stage and then a flat stage on Sunday between him and overall victory.
“It’s just great uh? It’s crazy uh,” Roglič said.
“I’ve only just come back to racing and I’ve won two stages. It’s really cool. Now we’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’ve achieved more than I thought I would, but with the guys we have here, we’ll try to do our best.”