Add to Google

Roche undertakes Tour recon

Posted 13 April 2010

Nicholas Roche may well be preparing for the Ardennes Classics this week but he is doing so with one eye on the Tour de France.

The AG2R La Mondiale rider will spend Wednesday and Thursday reconnoitering four of the seven cobbled sections which will form part of the Tour’s 213 kilometre stage three from Wanze to Arenberg.

The stage promises to be the one of the highlights of the first week of the race and Roche is leaving nothing to chance as he pins his hopes on being selected to ride the Tour for the second time.
This year is the first year since 2004 and only the fifth occasion since 1982 that the Tour has featured a stage over the cobbles and the riders facing this year’s challenge will negotiate seven separate sections totaling 13.2 kilometres.

The first three sections covering 2.2 kilometres will be encountered in Belgium before the race returns home to France where four sections covering 11 kilometres await the peloton.
Although the stage finish is located at the entrance to the notorious Arenberg ‘Trench’ it promises to be no less exciting than Paris-Roubaix with the Haveluy sector coming with just ten kilometers to go.

Roche told Irish Pro Cycling that he decided to make use of the fact that his AG2R La Mondiale team were competing in the Grand Prix de Denain in Northern France on Thursday to inspect the cobbled sections.

“I am staying with the team for the Grand Prix de Denain, although I’m not riding the race. I have been taking a break from racing for the past two weeks and this was a perfect opportunity to have a look at the cobbled sections for the Tour stage,” he said.

“The team is racing 25 kilometres away from where the cobbled sections are located so it was handy for me to stay with the team, to train here for the Ardennes and to get an idea of what lies in store for the Tour.

“That’s not to say that I will be riding the Tour for certain. The team policy is not to give any indication on that until the last week of June, although it is not like last year when I had no idea if I was going to be riding or not.

“This year I have a better idea. I should be going but there is often a difference between what you think will happen and what actually happens, so until it is officially confirmed I will just continue to prepare to give myself the best opportunity.”

Roche is also planning to scout the Tour’s Alpine stages once the Dauphine Libere finishes in mid June, especially the finish at Morzine-Avoriaz which hosts the first mountain top finish of this year’s Tour.

“The Dauphine finishes in Chambery so I will stay on for a few days to take a look at two or three of the stages taking place in that region. I want to take a look at the finish to Avoriaz and will also look at the stage from Chambery to Gap, and I will probably continue on down to Sisteron.”

“The Tour de France is such a big thing that you have to approach it this way. You have to do these things if you want to improve every chance you have to compete in it,” he said.

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