Roche to lead Irish team in world championships
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Friday, September 03, 2010

Roche to lead Irish team in world championships

by Shane Stokes at 6:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
McCann and Brammeier to support his bid for a medal

Nicolas RocheIn form Irish rider Nicolas Roche has been confirmed as heading a three-man Irish team at next month’s world road race championships in Geelong, Australia.

Cycling Ireland this morning announced that the 26 year old will head the trio in the Elite men’s event, which takes place exactly one month from today. Roche will be joined by the experienced rider David McCann plus the Irish road race champion Matt Brammeier in the 259.9 kilometre race. He will be the designated team leader, with the other two riding in support of him in order to ensure he is as fresh as possible for the finale.

McCann will also ride the Elite time trial, one year after finishing tenth.

Roche has had an excellent season, with the peak being his fifteenth place in the Tour de France. He was also third in the GP dell’Insubria, fourth in the GP Canton d’Argovie, fifth overall in the Volta a Catalunya, eighth in the Cláscia San Sebastián and eleventh in Paris-Nice. He has picked up numerous top-ten placings on stages, including sixth, eighth and tenth this week in the Vuelta a España, and is currently eleventh overall in the latter event.

He was named yesterday by the likely Italian team leader Filippo Pozzato as being one of the favourites for the world’s road race, which will favour a rider who can both climb and who has a strong finish.

“The worlds can sometimes be a lottery and not always the strongest rider wins,” said Cycling Ireland’s High Performance director Phil Leigh today. “Nicholas is riding better this year than in any of his previous seasons as a pro and if he can get his preparation right, he can be right there in the final mix.”

Roche is using the Vuelta as preparation, while the other two riders will compete in different races prior to flying out to Australian.

“McCann, who finished an excellent 10th in the World Time Trial Championship last year, is aiming to finish higher this year and is preparing by riding the 10 day Tour of China,” Leigh continued. “National track champion Brammeier is fine-tuning his preparation via a series of UCI 1.1 races in Belgium, a track camp and the 8 day Tour of Britain.”

The Tour of China runs from September 11-20, while the Tour of Britain begins on the same day and ends on the 18th.

McCann is racing with the Giant Asia team this season and has clocked up ten victories, including the Tour of the Philippines, the Tour of Taiwan and the Jelajah Malaysia.

Brammeier was born in Liverpool but declared for Ireland in 2009. He competes with the An Post Grand Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team.

Roche’s first cousin Daniel Martin is in excellent form, winning three races last month. He took a stage plus the overall classification in the ProTour-ranked Tour of Poland, and then raced to victory in the 1.HC Tre Valli Varesine. He was the strongest rider in the finale of the GP Ouest France in Plouay but was caught with one kilometre to go.

While he would be an automatic choice, he decided not to compete in the worlds this year as he feels the course does not suit him as well as the Tour of Lombardy, his main end-of-season goal. He wants to remain as fresh as possible for the latter event, particularly after finishing eighth in his debut there last year.


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Team Ireland selections for the World Road Championships in Geelong, Melbourne:


Elite Men’s TT – Thursday 30th September

1. David McCann

Elite Men’s RR – Sunday 3rd October

1. Nicholas Roche
2. David McCann
3. Matt Brammeier

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