Bora-Hansgrohe have confirmed they will target the 2024 Tour de France with Primož Roglič as their sole leader, while Jai Hindley and Aleksandr Vlasov have been selected in key supporting roles.
Roglič’s arrival at Bora-Hansgrohe has elevated the team’s ambitions for July, with overall victory the ultimate goal. The Slovenian’s season and that of his new team will thus focus massively on the Tour.
“I aim to be at my highest level for the Tour de France,” Roglič told reporters during the team’s media day in Mallorca on Wednesday.
Roglič will only start his 2024 season in March after an altitude camp. The early part of the season will be about Roglič and his new teammates learning from each other and creating a well-oiled squad for the Tour.
“For me it’s definitely quite a big change, eh… There are completely different colours,” Roglič joked of his move from Jumbo-Visma to Bora-Hansgrohe.
“There are new guys, new stuff, and new challenges ahead. After all these years with Jumbo-Visma team, joining Bora-Hansgrohe is a super welcome step for me. I’m looking forward to training more with everyone, to meet and speak to everyone and then we’ll see out on the road how we go.
“I’m excited for the new things we do together, we’ll push each other and try to create great memories and great stories together.”
Roglič finished second in the 2020 Tour de France, losing the yellow jersey in heartbreaking fashion on the penultimate day to his compatriot Tadej Pogačar. The 34-year-old has won the Vuelta a España on three occasion and he added the Giro d’Italia in 2023. Only the Tour remains to be won, and Roglič’s Grand Tour experience gives him the conviction he can win the race in Nice on July 21.
“I’m confident. It’s about executing it,” he said. “We shouldn’t be afraid, then the result is what it is, we can only do our best, then we can all be happy.”
Asked how he can beat former teammate Jonas Vingegaard, Roglič said: “There’s not much you have to do, you just have to be better than him. You can talk a lot, but at end of day you just have to finish ahead.”
Bora-Hansgrohe performance manager Rolf Aldag spelled out the strategy and rider long list.
He confirmed that Roglič and the team has still to decide if he will ride Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico and he hinted at a limited race programme, due to the Tour de France being the biggest, ultimate goal.
“We’ll have a single leader strategy: Roglič. But you have to have tactical options too,” Aldag said of the decision to field both Hindley and Vlasov at the Tour rather than send one of them to lead at the Giro.
“We cannot fool the world by saying we have six leaders. We have a common goal. But we will give opportunities to Jai and Alex too in other races.
“We’re underdogs but we were in the 2022 Giro too, but we celebrated the win. Are we expected to control the race? Not really, so we can do something out of the box.”
Aldag suggested that the 2022 Giro winner Hindley and Vlasov would be joined by Matteo Sobrero in the Tour line-up, while Nico Denz and Danny van Poppel are in contention to ride for Roglič on the flat.
The participation of Daníel Martínez and Lennard Kämna will depend on how they recover from their exertions at the Giro d’Italia in May.
“For the Tour, we have a long list, a combination of climbing support and different tactical opportunities. It’s a hectic and stressful start, so we have to be ready,” said Aldag, who added that new arrival Sam Welsford would chase sprint victories at the Giro.
“We also have major Giro ambitions, with Daní Martínez and there’s also Sam Welsford. There are perhaps eight sprints and that can take pressure off the team early. We have multiple goals in 2024.”