Roche dreaming of taking yellow jersey in Tour de France team time trial
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Roche dreaming of taking yellow jersey in Tour de France team time trial

by VeloNation Press at 10:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Irishman best placed overall of Team Saxo Tinkoff squad

Nicolas RocheNicolas Roche spent much of his life growing up in the south of France, in the same area as today’s team time trial at the Tour de France, and has written of his desire for a top performance in the test.

“I think my Saxo-Tinkoff team has a good chance to win the 25km team time trial if we get a bit of luck. But BMC, Sky, Garmin-Sharp and Movistar are also contenders,” he wrote in his Irish Independent diary.

“Indeed there are a lot of teams – even the sprinters' teams who are used to riding flat-out on the flat roads and have a lot of horsepower – who will be up there as well.”

Riding for Alberto Contador in a Tour he could win fires him up, but so too the fact that the roads are so familiar. “I know the stage by heart. I've lived in nearby Antibes for years and my parents live there too,” he stated. “I train on the roads three or four times a week when I'm home and would love to be able to stand on the podium with my team-mates as a stage winner at the Tour in my adopted home town.”

If that happened, though, it would also hand him an even bigger honour. Starting the day eleventh overall, he is best-placed of the team and therefore in a very important position in the squad’s rankings.

“It only occurred to me now that if we won the team time trial and I led the team over the line, I could go into yellow in my home town,” he explained. “I've always dreamt of winning a stage and even winning the team time trial and getting on the podium would be fabulous.”

While he accepts that other teams are bigger favourites, he refuses to rule anything out. “To lead the Tour de France and wear the yellow jersey in Nice is probably stretching it a bit much, but that's why they're called dreams.”

Contador’s Saxo Tinkoff has often been underpowered in the group test, but with new signings Roche, Roman Kreuziger and former world time trial champion Michael Rogers, the team should ride considerably better today.

Roche’s father Stephen wore the yellow jersey in the 1987 edition of the Tour, and went on to win the race overall.



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