Friday 17 November 2017

Roche hopeful of Contador win

Nicolas Roche is determined to deny Team Sky another Tour de France victory
Nicolas Roche is determined to deny Team Sky another Tour de France victory

Ireland's Nicolas Roche is hoping to play his part in defeating Chris Froome at this year's Tour de France.

Roche, son of former Tour winner Stephen Roche, will line-up in a support role behind Froome's main rival for the yellow jersey, Alberto Contador of Spain. Although the recent form book suggests Froome is a runaway favourite ahead of the two-time Tour winner - returning to the event this year after a doping ban - Roche is confident Contador can win.

"I definitely hope so," the Team Saxo-Tinkoff rider said. "Everyone on the team is thinking that way, we're all here with that purpose."

He added: "We know it's going to be a very difficult task because Team Sky are so well structured, they've been doing it for two years now where they just keep rolling and doing whatever they want in a race, imposing their own tactics.

"It will be a hard task for us to find the right tactics to unbalance them but I do believe Contador can beat Froome. It won't be easy which is why there is the excitement there is. I think everyone is looking for a great battle, and it is going to be a battle for sure."

To break the often metronomic pace Team Sky are renowned for creating at the front of the peloton, Roche believes Saxo-Tinkoff must counter with waves of attacks.

"How to break their rhythm exactly I don't know yet, but for sure it's not by staying behind them," he said.

"Sooner or later you have to attack. It's the only solution. There's no point staying behind into the final kilometre and then watching Froome accelerate away.

"I think Froome is a bit stronger than Alberto in the time-trial, so for sure it's going to have to come from true attacks."

Press Association

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