Team Sky’s the limit for Nicolas Roche
‘I think going to Sky for me is a good move. I am 30, getting old but not that old. I still feel that I can still learn more’
Nicolas Roche has signed with TEam Sky for 2015. Photograph: by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
After two years of working for Alberto Contador in the Tour de France, Nicolas Roche today confirmed he had committed to doing the same for Chris Froome, yet insisted that a move to Team Sky was the best step for his career at this point in time.
The 30-year-old Irish rider conceded that he would have to put his own Tour ambitions on hold. However, he said that he would be given other opportunities and transferring to the British squad was the best way for him to improve as a rider.
“I think my role will be pretty similar to what it has been at Tinkoff Saxo,” he told The Irish Times, referring to his work for Alberto Contador in the past two seasons. “It will be working for Froome every time I am with him, and then I think I will get my chances as well in other races during the year. I am happy with that.
“I still believe that I could be even more solid on Grand Tours in the future. I have been fifth, I have been sixth [in the Vuelta a España], I have been something like six times in the top 15. I have always been there or thereabouts. I still think I can go closer.
“Obviously on the Tour I will never know as I will be doing my work there, but for example in the Vuelta I still feel I can be close to the podium again.”
Roche’s time with Tinkoff Saxo has seen him make improvements in some areas, with his stage win and fifth overall in last year’s Vuelta a España, plus overall success in this year’s Route du Sud showing his progress. However, he believes that he has more in the tank, and that becoming part of the British team is the best way to unlock his potential.
“I think going to Sky for me is a good move. I am 30, getting old but not that old. I still feel that I can still learn more,” he said. “I feel that I haven’t reached my limit and I am convinced that a team like Sky will help me develop even more as a rider.
“I also want to get some fresh thinking. I think it is the right moment now for me to go there. I think I have accumulated a lot of experience over the past 10 years. I think now it is really important to go into those details. I am convinced that Sky is the perfect team for that.”
He will join compatriot Philip Deignan on the team, making his debut early next year.