Nicolas Roche given green light for Vuelta a España

Fifth-place finish in Arctic Race of Norway ensures he makes BMC Racing Team’s selection

Nicolas Roche’s push to secure a slot at the Vuelta a España has paid off, with his BMC Racing Team confirming him as amongst its eight-rider selection on Monday.

Roche rode strongly in the Arctic Race of Norway and finished fifth overall on Sunday; he had said before that race that he felt a good performance there would help him secure a place in the Vuelta, and so it proved.

“I’m looking forward to racing at the Vuelta a España again,” he said.

“This will be my eighth edition of the race and I always enjoy racing it. I also have a lot of good memories from this race and I have always gone well here.”

Roche previously finished fifth and sixth overall in the Vuelta. He also won stages in 2013 and 2015, wearing the race leader’s jersey in the former. It is his favourite event of the season. It begins on August 25 th.

Meanwhile in France, Michael O'Loughlin dropped from sixth to 37th overall in the Tour de l'Avenir on Monday.

He was part of the Irish squad which finished 13th in the 20.2 kilometre team time trial in Orléans. He, Matthew Teggart, Daragh O'Mahony, Daire Feeley, Eddie Dunbar and Mark Downey conceded 45 seconds to the winners Denmark.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling