Ireland's Nicolas Roche finished 10th in the one-day Paris-Camembert in France yesterday, after a very aggressive display in the fourth round of the French Cup series, writes Gerard Cromwell.
Roche went clear with three others on the third last climb, the Cote de la Huniere, with 25km to go, but the quartet were caught five kilometres later on the descent and a large group went clear.
Continuous attacking by Roche on the final two climbs brought him across to the leaders, but five riders had already escaped to form a new breakaway group.
"Sebastien Minard rode flat out for the final three kilometres to the finish for me, and we were closing fast on the leaders, but I didn't quite have have the legs after all the attacking and blew up in the last 50 metres," said Roche afterwards.
Roche's group finished just four seconds behind winner Sandy Casar of Francaise de Jeux.
"The legs felt great today," said Roche afterwards. "I'm happy enough. It was a long enough race, around 120km, and I was pretty active during the whole race. I was competitive and able to attack and the legs are starting to come back, so hopefully, I can get a good result soon."
Roche's next outing for his Ag2r La Mondiale squad will be at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, followed by the Fleche Wallone on Wednesday.
BARRY KING yesterday shocked in-form Sam Barry in the all-Irish clash on the Thailand ITF Men's Futures circuit.
King (26) progressed to the second round on a 6-4 5-7 6-2 scoreline.
However, he faces a stiff task to make the quarter-finals, with the No 2 seed, Japan's Hiroki Moriya, his next opponent.
Elsewhere, King's Davis Cup team-mates Conor Niland and James McGee advanced in their respective tournaments.
Limerick's Niland, the No 8 seed,overpowered Treat Conrad Huey of the Philippines 6-2 6-4 in the first round of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Athens.
McGee, the qualifying No 4 seed, clinched a place in the main draw of the ITF Men's Futures event in Angers, France, with a 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 win over No 9 seed, New Zealand's Sebastian Lavie.
Amir Khan has accused Sky broadcasters of a lack of support ahead of Saturday's WBA light-welterweight title defence against Northern Ireland's Paul McCloskey.
Saturday's fight at the MEN Arena was originally scheduled to be shown on Sky Box Office, but will now be broadcast only by minor pay-per-view channel Primetime.
"I really thought coming back home now after the last 15 months where I haven't fought in England I'd have someone supporting it," said Khan.
"Things happen for a reason and as long as the fight's going to be shown, that's the main thing for my fans."