Having moved from Sky to the BMC Racing Team, Nicolas Roche has spoken with enthusiasm about the move and said that he believes he will have greater personal opportunities with the squad.
Roche was speaking to The Irish Times this week at the team training camp in Denia, Spain, and said that he is already feeling at home with the American setup.
“So far, so good,” he said. “At this stage, I’ve been in the business so long that I know most people, even without being on the team. So it’s quite easy to integrate into the team and to kind of break the ice, slowly but surely.”
Roche was with Team Sky for the past two seasons and spent much of his time there riding for Tour de France champion Chris Froome and others. He did have occasional chances to chase his own results, and finished second overall in both the Abu Dhabi Tour and the Tour de Yorkshire this season.
Away from the team, he won the Irish national time trial and road race championships, although that wasn’t enough to secure selection for the Tour de France.
Likely frustrated by that and also by the lack of personal opportunities, Roche moved to the BMC Racing Team. While he will be required to ride for team leader Richie Porte in the Tour de France, he knows that he will be given his chance in other races.
“I think this team is suited perfectly to me at this time in my career,” he said. “I’ve tried many few things, from being a team leader to helping out. At this stage I have enough experience to be able to do three things.
“One, I really believe in Richie and I think I’m gonna give him as much support as I can in the major races. Two, it’s my 13th year now and have enough experience plus speak four languages, so I can have a different role in communication and helping out younger riders.
“And then finally it’s also a team where I can have a go at some races myself. At this stage of my career is important that I can also still have a bit of freedom. I’m still hungry for some results. Every time I get a chance I’ve proven I’m still competitive.”
In other news, Caroline Ryan has announced her retirement after years of top-level track racing. She took a bronze medal in the points race at the 2012 world track cycling championships, and scooped bronze in the individual pursuit at round two of the 2013 track World Cup.
She also raced to a silver medal as a pilot for Catherine Walsh at the 2009 Paracycling Track World Championships.