Add to Google

Roche pins best hopes to Fleche

Posted 19 April 2010

Nicolas Roche believes that Wednesday’s Fleche Wallonne presents the best opportunity for him to make an impression in the Ardennes classics and that his condition is good enough to figure in the final shake-up.

The AG2R La Mondiale rider finished 33rd in Sunday’s Amstel Gold coming in 2:36 down on winner Philippe Gilbert and he is now focused on what can be achieved in the mid-week Belgian classic.

“I would love to get a top ten. I have never done that in a big one day classic. Fleche Wallonne is definitely the one race from the three Ardennes classics where I have the best chance of going well,” he told Irish Pro Cycling.

“The course suits me better than Amstel or Liege-Bastogne-Liege. For one it is about 50 kilometres shorter than the other two and I have done enough hard training rides to go well over the climbs,” he added.

Roche prepared for the Ardennes in the hills which lie close to his home in Varese in Italy and capped off his preparations by reconnoitring the cobbled sections which will form part of  this year’s Tour de France stage from Wanze to Arenberg.

“There is a beautiful little climb behind my apartment in Varese called Sacro Monte which a lot of pros use and I would often meet Basso and Evans on it. I do it once a week and it is one that I look forward too to benchmark my progress.

“The climb is 13 minutes on a good day and 15 minutes on a bad day. To test myself I do it four times in a row with ten minute breaks in the middle.

He explained that he trains much the same way on a routine training ride. “On a hard day’s training ride I would do four and a half hours, roughly, with 15 minutes threshold, four times with ten minutes recovery in the middle.”

Roche is hoping that his training regime will serve him well over the ten climbs featured along the 198 kilometre route to the finish on the Mur de Hoy where the average gradient of 9.3% over 1.3 kilometres is certain to slim down the peloton on all three laps of the finishing circuit.

Philip Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) will continue his Ardennes campaign after an unlucky start at Amstel Gold. The Donegal man was involved in a crash which resulted in a succession of mechanical problems.

“We had problems behind crashes. Philip had to come back three times from some mechanical problems after he was hit by a crash in the back. The entire back end of his bike was not working. It took a lot of energy to come back for the third time,” Cervelo’s Sports Director, Jean-Paul-van Poppel explained.

Garmin Transitions rider Dan Martin will also start Fleche Wallonne where he is likely to provide support for Ryder Hesjedal who is hoping to go one better than his impressive second place finish at Amstel Gold.

News Archive

More News HeadlinesLatest

McCann best placed in Olympic road race

David McCann was the best placed Irish rider in...

Nicolas Roche almost pulled off an incredible...

Roche drops valuable time in GC battle

Nicolas Roche’s hopes of breaking back into the...

Roche drops valuable time in GC battle

Nicolas Roche’s hopes of breaking back into the...

Martin 7th on stage as Roche closes on Tour’s top ten

Dan Martin has taken seventh place on the...

Roche 13th in Tour GC amid reports of course sabotage

Nicolas Roche remains 13th overall in the Tour de...

Roche 14th as David Millar salvages Garmin-Sharp’s Tour

Nicolas Roche finished strongly on the longest...

Roche slips as Martin comes up short in break

Nicolas Roche has dropped out of the top ten at...

On form Nicolas Roche climbs to ninth in Tour de France GC

Nicolas Roche has climbed one place to ninth...

© McClure Media and PR