A tear ran down his cheek at the end. We have always seen him as one of the most easy-going, relaxed riders in the bunch, in his unmistakable “whatever will be will be” sort of attitude, but this time emotions got the better of him.

The embrace of his rival João Almeida, followed by that of all his teammates (some were even more moved than he was) and the entire Jumbo-Visma staff did bring eventually bring out couple of tears.

And it is just normal to be so, because Primož Roglič has conquered Mount Lussari, winning a few steps from his native Slovenia, surrounded and propelled by thousands of compatriots, and going on to take the Maglia Rosa by sheer force. He beat Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) by 40 seconds wiih “only” 26 to recover, enough to win – still unofficially, given tomorrow’s catwalk in Rome – the Giro d’Italia 2023.

Primož has achieved the most important success of his career in the exact same manner in which he had lost it back in 2020, as on the slopes of the Planche des Belles Filles, his fellow countryman Tadej Pogačar had unbelievably snatched the yellow jersey from him on the final uphill time trial, despite the 57-second margin with which Roglič had started that stage. But he never turned it into a shock, he never saw ghosts, and this time destiny decided to give him back what he had taken from him.

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