Nicolas Roche completes preparations for Tour de Suisse
Event is rider’s main race before the Tour de France
Previously the leader of the Ag2r La Mondiale squad, Nicolas Roche will likely be a super-domestique for double Tour de France winner and team leader Alberto Contador in this year’s event. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
After a long break from competition, Nicolas Roche will pin a number on once again when he begins the Tour de Suisse tomorrow week.
The event is his final main race before the Tour de France and is expected to seal his place on the Saxo Tinkoff team for the event. The line-up will be confirmed closer to the Tour, but it would be a huge surprise if Roche was overlooked.
The Irishman is in a different role this year than before. Previously the leader of the Ag2r La Mondiale squad, he will likely be a super-domestique for double Tour de France winner and team leadder Alberto Contador.
“Things have been going well in training,” Roche told The Irish Times yesterday. “I’ve been doing a couple of camps in the mountains, working hard, and everything is going to plan.”
Now recovered from the overtraining he feels was responsible for his quiet spring, he is hoping to show well in the mountains of the Swiss event.
While he would like to compete in the Irish road race championships on June 23rd, he said that decision would be taken closer to the event.
In other news, An Post Rás runner-up Connor McConvey returned to competition yesterday in the Tour of Estonia, a three-day world-ranked race held in that country. The Synergy Baku rider finished in the main bunch. The race continued yesterday evening with a three kilometre time trial where he finished seventh.
McConvey finished on precisely the same overall time as the winner Marcin Bialoblocki in the An Post Rás, but the latter won overall due to better stage placings.
Finally tickets are available for a public interview with triple Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, which will take place in Limerick on June 14th. All proceeds go to charity. For details, see the Lime Tree Theatre website.
FIXTURES: Friday - Sunday: Ras Dhún na nGall, stage one starts 7.30am in Ardara.
Saturday: Duane Delaney GP, Sundrive road. Starts 10.30am.
Sunday: Blarney Open race, starts noon at Blarney GAA club; Boyne GP, starts 11am from Kelly’s pub in Slane; West Tyrone GP, starts 10am Dromore road, Omagh.