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Vincent Hogan: 'It will never happen that everybody is clean. People cheat in every walk of life'

Nicolas Roche has to fight an uneasy war to reach the pinnacle of his sport

Published 15/06/2010 | 05:00

It can't be easy committing your dreams to a sport so widely seen as the devil's playground. In professional cycling, even good men get their spirit soured by the sense of existing in a world where history is perpetually stamped with asterisks. Nicolas Roche sighs as the conversation takes its inevitable turn.

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Always, always interviews seem to involve a kind of dilatory process. Cynicism gets suspended briefly as you talk about fitness and form and plans for Le Tour until, finally, you arrive at the same, awkward junction.

He has gone from a training camp with his team at the La Toussuire ski station in the Alps to fourth place in the GP Canton d'Argovie and, now, a powerfully impressive start to the Tour de Suisse. He is feeling healthy and tingling with optimism. The hamstring tear has cleared and opportunity begins to crowd his mind again.

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