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Snakebit: Roglič abandons third Grand Tour in 14 months with crash injuries

Enric Mas and Juan Ayuso are now Evenepoel's closest rivals

Photo by: Sirotti

There’s no doubt that Primož Roglič is one the greatest riders in the men’s peloton over the last six years, having won the Vuelta a España three times in a row, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Tour of Romandie and Itzulia Basque Country twice, Paris-Nice, the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tirreno-Adriatico. But he is also one of the most unlucky riders on the road, and on Wednesday Roglič, sitting in second place, did not start the 17th stage of the Vuelta a España with crash injuries caused by a wreck in the final 100 metres of Tuesday’s stage. It was his third abandonment of a Grand Tour due to crash injuries in 14 months.

On Tuesday Roglič attacked with 2.8 km remaining, opening a gap on Remco Evenepoel, who almost immediately flatted. Without the knowledge that Evenepoel was safe because of the 3-kilometre rule, Roglič drove on with four others but crashed after a touch of wheels. Also safe because of the 3-kilometre rule, Roglič limped over the line, and the Vuelta judges awarded him eight seconds over the red jersey.

Misfortune stalks Roglič. Not only did he have to climb off his bike in both the 2021 and 2022 Tours de France, but he also lost last season’s Paris-Nice after more than one crash on the very last stage, dropping from first to 15th on the GC after he staggered home. In 2020 he was leading the Critérium du Dauphiné when he crashed on the penultimate stage, which he finished, but he didn’t start the next day.

With Roglič’s abandonment, Enric Mas moves up to second and Juan Ayuso, contesting his very first Grand Tour, assumes the final podium spot. Mas has finished runner-up in the Vuelta twice.