Although he finished the three-week Tour de France last Sunday, Nicolas Roche is already back in action again tomorrow when he lines out in the Clasica San Sebastian race in northern Spain. The Tinkoff Saxo rider has a strong history in the event, netting fifth last year and eighth in 2010.
He rode solidly in the Tour, helping team-mates Rafal Majka and Michael Rogers to a total of three stage wins. He also picked up the most aggressive rider award on stage 11. While he appeared fatigued at times after earlier riding the Giro d'Italia, he is hoping to perform well in the hilly Classic this weekend; after that, his programme for August will be finalised by his team.
Also riding tomorrow will be Roche's first cousin Dan Martin. The Garmin Sharp rider fractured his collarbone in the Giro d'Italia and while he returned to racing in the National Road Race Championships in June, he and his Garmin Sharp team decided that he would not do the Tour de France. He will instead target the Vuelta a Espana and World Championships but, before those races, will aim for a strong ride in San Sebastian.
A third Irish professional, Sky's Philip Deignan, is due to ride the Tour of Poland. It starts on Monday. Deignan is also scheduled to ride the Vuelta a Espana, his second Grand Tour this season after the Giro d'Italia.
Meanwhile other Irish internationals are in action in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Michael Hutchinson and Marcus Christie competed in the individual time trial yesterday and took a solid 12th and 13th place respectively out of 56 riders.
They were over four minutes behind the English winner Alex Dowsett, who usually races with the Movistar WorldTour team.
At home, many of the country’s top domestic riders and several international competitors will compete in the Suir Valley Three Day this weekend. The well-organised race will begin tomorrow with a 116km race from Clonmel to Cahir.
Sunday’s road race stage runs 92 kilometres and starts and ends in Clonmel, while a criterium will be held in Clonmel on Sunday evening. There will also be a women’s invitational criterium plus an A4 senior event. The race will conclude on Monday with a 112km race starting in Clonmel, scaling the Vee and finishing on the first category Nire climb.
Finally the push towards Ireland's first indoor velodrome has taken an important step forward with the announcement that a contract has been inked between the National Sports Campus Development Authority and Tobin Consulting Engineers to bring the project to the planning stage.
The project has secured investment from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and it is hoped that planning will be completed by the year's end for what would be the national Velodrome and Badminton Centre.