Roche back training, will start racing in Volta ao Algarve
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Roche back training, will start racing in Volta ao Algarve

by Shane Stokes at 8:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Volta ao Algarve, Injury
Irish rider over knee problem

Nicolas RocheHaving been hampered by a knee injury since last month, Nicolas Roche will finally start racing in the upcoming Volta ao Algarve.

The 26 year old Irishman was due to start the Etoile de Besseges on Wednesday but was sidelined from the bike due to the niggling knee problem, which cropped up at the Ag2r La Mondiale training camp in mid-January.

He was assessed this week and given the green light to resume training today. He will aim to build form in advance of the Volta ao Algarve start on February 16th. It begins with a 157.5 kilometre race from Estádio Algarve to Albufeira, features several undulating stages plus one uphill finish, and concludes with a 17.2 individual time trial from Lagoa to Portimão.

The combination of stages enables competing riders to test various aspects of their form.

A strong lineup is scheduled for the race, with nine ProTour teams amongst those confirmed as taking part. The list of competing riders is expected to include Peter Velits and Tony Martin (HTC Highroad), Philippe Gilbert and André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Sylvain Chavanel and Gerald Ciolek (Quick Step), Luis Leon Sánchez (Rabobank), Andreas Klöden, Sergiou Paulinho and Manuel Cardoso (RadioShack), Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Simon Gerrans, Michael Barry, Steve Cummings and Greg Henderson (Team Sky), Ryder Hesjedal (Team Garmin-Cervélo), Riccardo Ricco (Vacansoleil), Fabian Wegmann (Leopard Trek). Other teams are Cajan Rural, Cofidis, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, UnitedHealthCare, Barbot-Efapel, CC Tavira, LA-Paredes Rota dos Móveis and Onda-Boavista.

Roche had an excellent 2010 season, netting seventh in the Vuelta a España and 15th in the Tour de France, as well as third in the GP dell'Insubria-Lugano, third and fourth on stages of Paris-Nice, fourth in the GP Canton d’Argovie, fifth in the Volta a Catalunya and eighth in the Clasica San Sebastian.

His main goals for 2011 are again the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. He is likely to again target a strong ride in Paris-Nice, a race won by his father Stephen in 1981.


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