Nicolas Roche of Ireland in action during the 11th stage – Besancon to Oyonnax – of the  Tour de France 2014 earlier this month. His solo move was reeled in before the line, but he earned the most aggressive rider award on the stage.   Photograph:   Nicolas Bouvy/EPA

Irishman spent most of the race riding for other

Saxo Tinkoff’s Nicolas Roche

Irish man still hungry for stage win

Last year’s winner, Britain’s Chris Froome (left), and Spain’s Alberto Contador in action during the ninth stage – between Saint-Girons and Bagnères-de-Bigorre – of last year’s Tour de France. The pair lock horns again in what promises to be one of the closest contests since Cadel Evans’ victory in 2011. Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/Getty Images

Alberto Contador looks the formbook pick after some recent eye-catching wins

Ryan Mullen (An Post Chain Reaction) comes home to win the National Cycling Championships. Photograph: Ciaran Fallon/Inpho

New Irish road race champion has his eyes on Portugal

Ryan Mullen celebrates after winning the National Road Race title in Multyfarnham yesterday. Photograph: Ciaran Fallon/Inpho.

Victory comes three days after winning National under-23 time-trial

The four victories of Sam Bennett (pictured in front) in his debut season as a professional may have marked him out as the most successful rider on his NetApp Endura team, in terms of wins, but the German squad confirmed yesterday that he would not be riding this year’s Tour de France. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Cyclist disappointed at news, having hoped his strong run would see him gain a place

Daniel Martin of the Garmin-Sharp team: fractured collarbone has healed but he is yet to resume racing Photograph: Getty Images

Irish rider to focus more on the Vuelta a España in August and September

Dan Martin of Ireland and Garmin-Sharp will be part of the strong field entered for the Elite men’s event  at the national road race championships in Multyfarnham. Photograph:  Harry Engels/Velo/Getty Images

Tinkoff-Saxo rider cites tough training and racing programme as he misses out again

Jaroslav Kulhavy  on his way to winning the Men’s Mountain Bike race at  the 2012 Olympic Games at Hadleigh Farm in  Essex. The Czech Republic rider will be in Ballhoura, Co Limerick, this weekend for the European marathon championship.  Photograph:   Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Co Limerick venue hosts European marathon championship

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