[Primož Roglič should ride for ‘the smartest man in cycling’, says Brian Holm
Brian Holm, the former Soudal Quick-Step sports director, believes that Primož Roglič and Rod Ellingworth would be a potential match made in heaven at Ineos Grenadiers next year.
Prior to winning the Giro dell’Emilia on Saturday afternoon, Roglič confirmed that he will leave Jumbo-Visma at the end of the current season in order to pursue a new challenge elsewhere.
Holm told Cycling Weekly that he sees the 33-year-old Slovenian being the perfect fit for a team like Ineos who are led, according to Holm, by one of the “smartest men in cycling” in deputy principal Ellingworth.
“Of course, I mean I would like to see him at Ineos,” Holm said. “They’re a good team, with good habits and a solid structure.
“I love Rod Ellingworth. For me, Rod is one of the smartest men in cycling that I’ve met. So for sure they need somebody now like Primož, because when you look at the roster now, I’m falling out of my chair, and I say to myself ‘wow, it’s going to be tough for them.'”
“For sure it’s a good team, but it’s not the Ineos or the Sky team from eight years ago,” he added. “[Tom] Pidcock of course is a legend. For me, I think he’s in the same league as guys like Van der Poel, Van Aert, Pogacar, Vingegaard. He’s so likeable to watch, I just love that kid and to see him ride. Although of course, he can’t carry the whole heritage of the great Sky team or Ineos alone.”
Around the time of the recent Vuelta a España there were reports linking Roglič with a potential move to Lidl-Trek. Other WorldTour teams were also understood to be interested in a move for the 33-year-old.
Despite his team’s attempts to play it down, Roglič being forced to put his own goals to one side in order to allow teammate Sepp Kuss the chance to win the Vuelta – his first Grand Tour victory – only fuelled discussion that he was unhappy and reports that he could potentially leave Jumbo this summer.
After eight years, we now know that his departure from the Dutch squad is imminent.
A raft of different major WorldTour teams have been linked with Roglič but according to a report from GCN, Bora-Hansgrohe and Ineos are the two most likely to secure the 2023 Giro d’Italia champion’s signature.
Ineos have notably been without a serious Grand Tour contender in recent years. Geraint Thomas finished third at the 2022 Tour de France, and narrowly missed out on Giro victory this May but the team has lacked a rider capable of matching the Welshman’s performances in recent times.
Egan Bernal won the Tour in 2019 before taking Giro victory two years later. However, the Colombian rider has understandably struggled for form after returning from a terrible training crash in early 2022.
Holm sees Roglič as the rider to reinstate Ineos at the top table in professional cycling, and to help them land further Grand Tour titles in the years ahead.