Nicolas Roche named in Team Sunweb lineup for Tour de France

It will be the Irish rider’s ninth start in the race and 21st grand tour

Irish rider Nicolas Roche of Team Sunweb in action during the eigth stage of the 83rd Tour de Suisse UCI ProTour race. Photo: EPA

Irish rider Nicolas Roche of Team Sunweb in action during the eigth stage of the 83rd Tour de Suisse UCI ProTour race. Photo: EPA

 

Nicolas Roche has been given another chance to win his first Tour de France stage after the Irishman was named in Team Sunweb’s eight-man line-up for the sport’s biggest race.

Roche, who spent two seasons with Team Sky, will turn 35 three days before the three-week epic begins in Brussels on July 6th and it will be his ninth start in the race and 21st grand tour.

But with star Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin injured, the German-based team has been forced to reassess its goals, as it no longer has a realistic shot at the yellow jersey for the overall winner.

This opens the door for Australian sprinter Michael Matthews on the flat stages and Roche, who finished 10th at last week’s Tour of Switzerland, and Dutch rider Wilco Kelderman on tougher terrain, while American Chad Haga will also fancy his chances on stage 13’s individual time trial after his stage win at the Giro d’Italia.

In a statement on the team’s website, coach Aike Visbeek said: “We have been in this situation before when we have had to change from a (general classification) goal to focusing on stage results and I am confident we can do well again.”

Dan Martin is the only other Irishman set to race in the Tour for UCI WorldTeam UAE Team Emirates.

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