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Nicolas Roche takes fourth place in Giro dell’ Emilia

Irish cyclist crosses line 19 seconds behind Italian race winner Giovanni Visconti

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche at the UCI Cycling Road World Championships on September 20th, 2017 in Bergen, Norway: looking good ahead of Il Lombardia Classic. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Nicolas Roche showed strong form in advance of next weekend’s prestigious Il Lombardia Classic when he took fourth in Saturday’s Giro dell’ Emilia.

He crossed the line 19 seconds behind the Italian race winner Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), who was 12 seconds ahead of his teammate Vincenzo Nibali. Tour de France runner-up Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) took third, 15 seconds behind Visconti.

“It was a good test after the UCI World Championships and before Il Lombardia,” said Roche. “When Giovanni Visconti went, I thought he could maybe stay away. Bahrain Merida had a really strong team and they did a smart move by sending him up the road. It took a long time for teams to react and once he opened a gap, it was too late.

“I was happy with how today went. The climbs in Emilia are the climbs I enjoy, two kilometres [long] and steep, just the way I like them. I’m feeling good ahead of Il Lombardia.”

At home, Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles) took the national hill climb championships in Galway. Cliona Murray (Covey Wheelers) was best of the women, with Ethan Downey (Clann Eireann) best junior.