Roche has been working hard, hoping for good ride in Critérium du Dauphiné
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Roche has been working hard, hoping for good ride in Critérium du Dauphiné

by Shane Stokes at 1:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Critérium du Dauphiné
Two training camps help Irish pro to get important pre-Tour work done

Nicolas RocheCompared to 2010, Nicolas Roche has had a quiet spring but the Irishman believes that he has now got back on track and he should be set for another good Tour de France. The Ag2r La Mondiale pro will be part of his team’s lineup for the Critérium du Dauphiné, which begins tomorrow with a short prologue, and is hoping that things go well there.

“I’m happy enough with how things have been lately,” he told VeloNation this evening. “We had a training camp in La Touissure and one a few weeks before that at Montgenevre. Hopefully things are going okay now, and the bad luck is behind me. I have been doing all the training rides and doing everything to come back. I just have to be patient and see.

“This first race back might not see me get my top results, but hopefully I can do everything to try to be on form. Even for my head, it is important that I am competitive again.”

Roche had the best season of his career in 2010, riding strongly in many events and also netting seventh overall in the Vuelta a España and fifteenth in the Tour de France. He became the Ag2r La Mondiale team’s clear leader, but his momentum was disrupted by injury last autumn and some issues since.

“It’s easy to understand why things have a bit slower this year - I never had time to do anything,” he reasoned. “I was injured in November, injured in February, and hurt in March and April. The calculation is pretty easy – when you have three weeks off in November, when you only start training on the first of December and then have to take three weeks off in February, that doesn’t help. And then crashing in Fleche Wallonne didn’t help me either.

“It’s not about my training, missed form, or anything like that – it is just about not crashing and not breaking my muscles, not having tendonitis. All that is behind me now, so once I get my training back right, it should be good. I think I’ve done that, so now its just a case of being patient and letting everything to come back.”

The best possible scenario is that he rides well in the mountains in the Dauphiné, and also performs in the time trials. He’s a little hesitant to set a specified goal, though. “I will take things every day as they go. I don’t have a target, but I have high expectations anyway,” he said. “I am not sure what I can ask of myself, but I would be disappointed if I don’t perform. It is hard for me to say at this stage what I am going to be happy with, but I just need to get in the race, get stuck in there, and I’ll see in a few days what I can or can’t do. I’ll then decide what is the proper target.

“The only thing is that I am not one hundred percent sure about this week…I think I might have done my usual overtraining. I was thinking Tour, Tour, Tour, working hard towards that, but hopefully I will be good enough anyway this week. Even if I’m a bit tired, it’s fine - I have nearly another month before the Tour.”


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