Roglic and Kuss: from ski jumps and hockey to Jumbo

The leader of the Giro of 2019 and one of its main mountain gregarious have a common past in winter sports before cycling.

Primoz Roglic, first pink jersey of the Giro of 2019, did not touch a bike seriously until 21. The Slovenian, now 29, was junior world champion by teams in 2007 in ski jumps. A hard fall, "with fractured nose and ribs, brain contusion and bruised body," led him to take the bike. First as a means of recovery to stay in shape, then to turn it into your profession. In 2013 debuted with the modest Adria of his country, continental team in which he remained until 2016, season in which he settled in the structure of the Jumbo-Visma.

"Of my e as a jumper I was left with flexibility and explosiveness, two characteristics that have been very good in my change to cycling. When I realized that I was not going to perform in the jumps as one of the best, I decided to look for other motivations and as a runner I found what I wanted ", analyzes Roglic. In 2016 he made his debut in the Giro with victory in the chrono of Chianti; in 2017 he discovered the Tour and the day of the Galibier was recorded; and in 2018 he finished fourth and won a very hard Pyrenean stage in the gala round. "I have to reach the podium of a big one already, and who knows if the first place ... although I notice the pressure to be designated as the maximum favorite" .

In 2019, Roglic has conquered the three competitions in which he has registered: UAE, Tirreno and Romandía, all three of the World Tour. Only Julian Alaphilippe, with nine, carries more triumphs in the course than he, which adds eight between partial and general. The San Luca time trial confirmed his status as a rival to beat: "I do not believe that I have reached physical fullness yet, or that it deflates me in the last week: I have planned the race to the millimeter. It translates into more confidence and things are going according to plan. "

Casuality, One of the gregarious people called to defend their interests in the mountains, Sepp Kuss, an American of 24 years, also started a winter sport: hockey Ice. "I practiced it until I was 16 in my hometown of Durango, Colorado, and with the temperatures we suffered in winter, any kid loved to take the stick and go out to play." That period left him his favorite number, the 26, that he wore on his shirt, and an "important capacity for decision and coordination". "Of course, I did not like the blows" . From hockey, to mountain biking ... and to the road. Winner of the Tour of Utah in 2018, for Kuss will be "an honor to work for Roglic". Antwan Tolhoek did not change drastically from discipline, he combined as a child speed and bike skating, since his father, Patrick, was a professional and played the Tour. Since 2013 he dedicated himself completely to cycling. "We will protect the rose until Verona" .

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