Roglic wins second Dauphine, sets sights on Pogacar at Tour de France. GETTY IMAGES

The Slovenian held off Matteo Jorgenson's attack in the final stage on Sunday to win the French race by eight seconds, a crucial test before the Grand Boucle, the main target of the season. The race's other star, Remco Evenepoel, faded to seventh overall.

Primoz Roglic opened his account with Bora-Hansgrohe, his new team this season after leaving Visma. The Slovenian won by just eight seconds on Sunday. He had to fight harder than expected in the Criterium Dauphine, the last test before the Tour de France and one of the most important races on the calendar.

He did so by staying strong until the final day, when an attack by American Matteo Jorgenson (Visma) put him on the ropes. Jorgenson then overtook him. On Sunday, in the final stage of the race, a mountainous 160-kilometre route from Thones to the Plateau des Glieres, Roglic had to dig deep to withstand the attack of Matteo Jorgenson. Jorgenson crossed the line alongside the winner, Spanish rider Carlos Rodriguez of Ineos.

Roglic started the race 1:2 ahead of Jorgenson and made good use of his advantage. "After everything that happened, the crash (on Thursday) and everything that followed, to win the Dauphine is unbelievable. It's unbelievable," said Roglic. "I heard all the gaps all the time. It was close. However, in the end I am happy for the team.  It's definitely something we needed as a team to win the Dauphine."

Roglic and his team, Bora, dominated the race despite the ambition of Matteo Jorgenson (Visma). GETTY IMAGES
Roglic and his team, Bora, dominated the race despite the ambition of Matteo Jorgenson (Visma). GETTY IMAGES

Roglic has now won the prestigious French race twice after his victory in 2022. At 34 years of age, he remains one of the most important riders in the international peloton, less than two weeks before the start of the Tour de France. Roglic and bad luck are a story. He crashed at the Tour of the Basque Country in April, alongside Vingegaard and Evenepoel himself, but he seems to have made an excellent recovery. He crashed again in the Dauphine. 

It was last Thursday's stage. He was involved in the mass crash that took out half the peloton. The rain and the speed brought Roglic and Evenepoel down again. The Belgian won the race's time trial, but then faded and couldn't keep up with the Slovenian. 

Roglic had already suffered a crash in 2020 when he crashed out of the race on the final day. He was badly bruised and the team decided to take him off the Dauphine, even though he was in a position to win. His current team-mate at Bora, Colombian Daniel Felipe Martinez, won that year.

Jorgenson, 24, who had already won Paris-Nice earlier in the season, pushed the Slovenian to the end, but had to settle for second place overall. Completing the podium, 36 seconds behind Roglic, was Canadian Derek Gee. He became the first rider from his country to reach the podium on a Dauphine.

Ineos' Rodriguez took the first stage win of his career in Sunday's criterium and moved up to fourth overall.  The Spaniard is one of the most promising young riders to emerge from the international peloton.

In 2023, he won a stage at the Tour de France and finished in the top five overall. He will be one of the Ineos leaders at this year's Tour de France, alongside Colombian Egan Bernal, who has been preparing hard for the French race.

Italian Lorenzo Fortunato took the polka dot jersey on the final day as the best climber of the race with 40 points. Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who also crashed on Thursday in his first race since breaking his collarbone in the Tour of the Basque Country in March, is now preparing for the Tour, where he will be riding as leader of Soudal.

In 2023, the French race was too long for him and he lost all his chances after a bad day. However, he put in impressive performances and was in the breakaways almost every day. This year, his ambitions are much higher. Vingegaard, winner of the last two editions of the Tour de France, will be his main rival. However, the Dane's condition is uncertain.

The Grand Boucle starts on 29 June and there are no more elite races until then. Once again it will be all against Pogacar. The Slovenian is the main favourite and everyone will be hoping the Giro d'Italia winner has an off day.