Saturday 23 September 2017

Nicolas Roche set to join Contador team

Nicolas Roche appears to be on the verge of leaving the Ag2r la Mondiale team he has been with since 2009.

Roche is in the final year of his contract with the French team and has just finished his most successful Tour de France, finishing in 12th place overall.

UCI rules state that no contract announcements can be made until August 1, but the 28-year-old Irishman, who is in London ahead of Saturday's Olympic road race event, has been linked with the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team, whose team leader is former Tour winner Alberto Contador.

"After eight years in a French team, he is definitely interested in considering offers from teams from elsewhere," said his agent Andrew McQuaid. "A contract hasn't been signed as that can't be done until August 1, but he has pretty much decided where he will go."

golf

Newly crowned Irish Girls champion Jessica Carty and international Chloe Ryan flattered to deceive in the European Ladies' Amateur Championship first round in Slovenia yesterday.

Both Carty and Ryan made positive starts to their bids to follow in the footsteps of Lisa Maguire as champion of Europe, but then went through bad patches to lie well off the pace.

Carty bogeyed five of her last seven holes to return a 76, 10 strokes off the pace. Ryan finished with a three-over-par 74.

Leading the way after round one are the Czech Republic's Katerina Ruzickova, Spaniard Andrea Amoros and Swede Johanna Bjork on five-under.

tennis

IRELAND'S James Cluskey marked his first visit to Kazakhstan with an opening-round doubles success in the ATP Challenger Tour event in Astana yesterday.

In 30-degree-plus temperatures and in windy conditions, Cluskey and France's Fabrice Martin put Kazakhstan's Alexey Kedryuk and Russia's Sergei Krotiouk to the sword on a 6-3 7-6 (7/1) scoreline.

They would have clinched a quarter-final place more comfortably but for a controversial call.

"We were cruising at 6-3 5-4 up and on match point when the umpire made a bad overrule on our serve, and then we were suddenly in a tie- break" Cluskey said.

Today, No 4 seeds Cluskey and Martin take on unseeded Belarusian duo Yaraslau Shyla and Dzmitry Zhyrmont.

Irish Independent

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