Friday 21 July 2017

Roche to leave Sky set-up and link up with Porte at BMC

Nicolas Roche will leave Team Sky at the end of the year to join the American-registered, Swiss-backed BMC squad. Photo: Getty Images
Nicolas Roche will leave Team Sky at the end of the year to join the American-registered, Swiss-backed BMC squad. Photo: Getty Images

Gerard Cromwell

Nicolas Roche will leave Team Sky at the end of the year to join the American-registered, Swiss-backed BMC squad.

After two years with Sky, during which he took a stage victory at the Vuelta a Espana and helped Chris Froome win the 2015 Tour de France, the move to BMC should see Roche ride in support of former Sky team-mate Richie Porte at the Tour de France next year and may give the recently crowned national road and time trial champion more freedom to target his own races for the rest of the 2017 season.

"I think my role will be more or less to support Richie and Tejay van Garderen at the Tour and then ride more aggressively, like I used to do in the past, in other races," Roche said.

Aggression

"BMC is a team that rides with a lot of the characteristics that I like. 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, and I'm looking forward to being able to go on the attack again."

As well as Porte, who finished fifth in this year's Tour, Roche has ridden alongside several others of his new team in the past and began his career sharing a room with BMC's Amael Moinard at Cofidis.

"I know a lot of riders on the team. I've a good few friends there so I'm not going into a team where I'm going to be completely lost," he said. "I'm quite looking forward to riding alongside Amael who is one of my good friends in the peloton."

Roche, who finished ninth in the San Sebastian Classic in Spain last Saturday, will fly out to Rio deliberately late on Wednesday to partner cousin Dan Martin on the Irish team for the Olympic road race on Saturday.

"It's very urban in Rio so I thought I'd spend a few extra days at home so that I could train here before flying out.

"Like a lot of athletes, I'm a bit worried a bit about the Zika virus. Hopefully we have taken all the right precautions but the less time you spend there the less chance you have of getting caught out.

"San Sebastian was good for the head. I'm feeling more ready for this Olympics than I did in other years and I want to do well."

Irish Independent

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