History-making Roglic keeps ski-jump skills in cycling

Serre-Chevalier (France) (AFP) –


Primoz Roglic may have turned his back on ski-jumping but he showed in his stage victory celebration at the Tour de France on Wednesday that he's lost none of his old flair.

The 27-year-old Slovenian mimicked a ski-jump landing as he leapt onto the victory podium in Serre-Chevalier after claiming the Tour's Queen stage in the Alps.

The former world junior ski-jump champion also made history as the first Slovenian to win a Tour stage.

"I really feel nice, it's crazy that I'm the man who can also make cycling history in Slovenia," he said.

"Probably somehow I was really dreaming (about winning a Tour stage), that's why I started cycling. But it's one thing dreaming and another is reality."

It's not the first Grand Tour stage Roglic has won, having triumphed in a time-trial at the Giro d'Italia last year.

He's also developed into a strong all-round rider, winning the Tour of the Algarve this year, finishing third at the Tour of Romandy, fourth at Tirreno-Adriatico and fifth in the Tour of the Basque Country, where he won two stages, including another time-trial.

"I really like mountains from when I started cycling," he said.

"Then I discovered I'm a good time-trialist, but I just want to be good in everything I do."

His sudden rise has on occasions set tongues wagging, though, in particular when he won the Giro time-trial.

France Televisions accused him of riding a motorised bicycle -- a completely unfounded claim -- but Roglic brushed it off.

"For me it's just funny, I don't even comment on that stuff -- it's bullshit," he said.

"It's not a thing that should concern me or worry me."

Roglic was part of the original 33-man breakaway of the day that had become six by the time they reached the final climb of the mountainous 183km stage from La Mure to Serre-Chevalier.

He took 42 king of the mountains points over the day to close in on mountains leader Warren Barguil, although he will need to crest both of Thursday's climbs first if he is to harbour hopes of wresting the polkadot jersey from the Frenchman.

"I have 49 points (his lead). Roglic needs to get 50 points and win the stage tomorrow," said Barguil.

"I think it will be difficult."

Barguil, who also won the 13th stage on Bastille Day and has held the polkadot jersey since the ninth stage, finished fifth to move into the top 10 overall.

"It means a lot for me because I lost a lot of time in the first week not taking care in the GC," said the 25-year-old.

"Then today when I saw I could climb (well, I thought) maybe it's possible to make good GC.

"But I prefer to get the (polkadot) jersey and one (stage) win."