‘Every pedal stroke like a knife in the back’

Primoz Roglic revealed that he finished third on a brutal Stage 7 of the Tour de France despite being in excruciating back pain.

Roglic crashed heavily on Stage 5 when colliding with a stray hay bale, dislocating his shoulder which he had to put back in himself while sat on the roadside.

And the after-effects of that fall have been keenly felt by the Slovenian, as he documented following the climb up to La Planche des Belles Filles.

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Roglic said: “To give you an idea, every pedal stroke I give when I’m seated is like a knife in the back.

“The first objective was to survive this stage and then try to recover.

“I can really be satisfied with the result, I’m even very happy.

“But the last 200m was really hard, I had to fight to get to the top. It was very, very steep. But I’m happy.”

Roglic confirmed that he will look to carry on in the Tour despite his suffering, in the hope his injury can improve.

He said: “I’m here to fight not cry. The pain after my fall is no excuse and I refuse to throw in the towel. I will continue to hang on and fight no matter what is coming.

“I should recover a little more each day. I was especially worried the first days after the fall because, in my experience, the next day and the day after, you never know what to expect.

“I’m really taking it day by day.”

Jumbo-Visma boss Richard Plugge paid tribute to Roglic’s determination after the punishing stage up to La Planche.

“Primoz is a warrior,” Plugge said.

“That’s why I’m not completely surprised by his result, even though he has back pain.

“He is the fighter of our team.”

Tadej Pogacar came out on top in the race’s first mountain-top finish of 2022, with Jonas Vingegaard just behind him on the line ahead of teammate Roglic.

Stream the Tour de France live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

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