Saturday 10 December 2016

Ireland's Nicolas Roche to leave Team Sky and join BMC

Published 01/08/2016 | 11:42

Nicolas Roche will leave Team Sky for BMC at the end of the season
Nicolas Roche will leave Team Sky for BMC at the end of the season

Reigning Irish national champion Nicolas Roche will leave Team Sky to join BMC Racing for next season, his new team have announced.

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Roche, 32, joined Team Sky in 2015 from Tinkoff. Though he served primarily as a domestique, he won stage 18 of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana and finished second overall in this year's Tour de Yorkshire while wearing the British team's colours.

This summer he secured his second Irish road race title, also winning the time trial, but was omitted from Team Sky's squad for the Tour de France.

At BMC he will join former Team Sky team-mate Richie Porte, who finished fifth in the Tour after moving to BMC in the winter.

"I'm super excited because BMC Racing Team is a team that rides with a lot of the characteristics that I like," Roche said.

"They're always up the front, riding with aggression and trying to make an exciting race. I think I'll enjoy the aggressive style of racing.

"Looking ahead to the 2017 season, my main role will be to really support Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen in their general classification ambitions, and hopefully I'll have a good go at the Vuelta a Espana."

Roche, who is in his 12th season as a professional, is the son of Stephen Roche, who won the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and world championships in 1987, and the cousin of Etixx-QuickStep rider Dan Martin.

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