Mitja Meznar was at the right place at the right time when the Primoz Roglic dropped his chain on the decisive individual mountain time trial at the 2023 Giro d’Italia.
A man in a red t-shirt and a Jumbo-Visma mechanic were running to help Roglic resume his hunt for the pink jersey. They both gave the Slovenian a big push that eventually helped him win stage 20 and the overall.
After the time trial, it turned out that the helping hand came from Mitja Meznar, who won the Junior World Ski jumping Championship title in 2007 alongside Roglic.
“When I saw Primoz strugle with his bike, I said to myself. Not again. It was all happening very fast, I just instinctively wanted to help,” Mitja Meznar said.
The incident brought back memories to the Tour de France 2020, when Roglic was leading the race ahead of the penultimate stage – an uphill individual time trial to La Planche de Belles Filles. Tadej Pogacar stunned the cycling world with an incredible performance that saw him steal the yellow jersey from Roglic, one day before the arrival in Paris.
“The fact that I was there was just a total coincidence. Being at the right place at the right time. Me and my buddy were looking for a place to cheer. We separated for about 200 meters, and there I was. Total coincidence. I am sure that whoever would be there would do the same. And I am sure that Primox would have won even without me being there,” Meznar continued.
Primoz Roglic claimed the Giro with a 14 second advantage ahead of Geraint Thomas who came in second.