Aldag critiques Zeeman and Plugge's actions: "They try to keep Roglic on their side" Cycling

Aldag critiques Zeeman and Plugge's actions: "They try to keep Roglic on their side"

Aldag critiques Zeeman and Plugge's actions: "They try to keep Roglic on their side"

"I'm not here to put socks on centipedes," with this memorable quote, BORA-hansgrohe rider Jai Hindley let the press know before his first Tour de France last year that he is ready to make his mark, a sentiment that now seems to have spread across the rest of the team. Winning the Tour with newcomer Primoz Roglic is the goal, and that doesn't include making friends with the competition.

To win the Tour de France, they must outpace Visma | Lease a Bike (Jonas Vingegaard) and UAE-Team Emirates (Tadej Pogacar), who have won the last four editions. And director Ralph Denk, sporting manager Rolf Aldag, and certainly Roglic are all in for this. Aldag, unapologetically: "We want to beat Jonas and Tadej. We haven't won the Tour, but that's where we want to be."

"Currently, we're flying a bit under the radar, but this allows us to start thinking outside the box," states Aldag, who spoke with fire in his eyes and voice on press day in Mallorca. "We're on an upward trend, while Visma | Lease a Bike is either staying the same or has even diminished a bit... next year they won’t have Wout van Aert and Nathan Van Hooydonck, which could be felt, for example, in that gravel stage. We can take advantage of this by feeding chaos. Like we saw in that Roubaix stage with Vingegaard, that was pure panic. They do everything according to their plan, but there's also a weakness in that."

It's clear: BORA-hansgrohe is ready to challenge Visma | Lease a Bike with Roglic. "They have shown that they can deal with problems, but we feel that we are getting better and gaining confidence. We believe in our capabilities and know that we don’t have to copy them, despite history showing that they have done many things right," says Aldag.

The German also indirectly advises the competing team to stop trying to appease Roglic. Richard Plugge and Merijn Zeeman naturally continue to shower compliments here and there, but Aldag sees a double meaning in it. "They try to keep Primoz on their side by giving him a lot of compliments. That's history now, Primoz is with us. And Visma, UAE, and INEOS are our opponents. There's a lot of respect, but we're not going to build friendships," he states clearly.

Aldag critiques Zeeman and Plugge's actions: "They try to keep Roglic on their side"

It's very important that Marc Lamberts came with Roglic to BORA-hansgrohe

"The experience Primoz gained at Jumbo-Visma, he has now brought to us. And that was exactly what we were looking for because we share the same goal: winning the Tour. Primoz shares this form of leadership with us in a very positive way," Aldag asserts. "Additionally, it's important that Primoz's coach, Marc Lamberts, came with him. He knows his history."

CEO Denk agrees with this. "It's very good not to completely change things." Roglic himself shares this view. "Not just in terms of training, but Marc also brings a lot of knowledge and information. This makes the transition easier, and I feel more at home with the team. I've been working with him for a long time, so I'm very happy about that," says the Slovenian about his and the Belgian's move.

Naturally, Roglic himself was also thoroughly questioned about his background with the (now) major competitor. "After so many years at Jumbo-Visma, I knew everyone there, but this new story gives me new motivation. It's true that I know the tactics of Jumbo-Visma, but to say that I'm bringing something from there... we'll see. They have shown that they can win the Tour and thus are the best team, but we just have to try to seize our opportunities. Jonas Vingegaard has few weaknesses, but that doesn't change our goal: we just have to finish ahead of him," Roglic remains more reserved about the rivalry than his superiors at BORA-hansgrohe.

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