World championships: Roche aiming for strong performance in Elite road race
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

World championships: Roche aiming for strong performance in Elite road race

by Shane Stokes at 6:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
World championships: Roche aiming for strong performance in Elite road race

Nicolas RocheIreland’s Nicolas Roche has lined out today as one of three Irish riders in the world road race championship and said that he was feeling confident that his form was good for the event.

He’s had an at-times difficult season due to injury, generally performing below the level he was at last year, but has felt strong since taking sixteenth overall in the Vuelta. His final pre-worlds event, the GP Industria & Commercio di Prato, went well as he finished eighth there.

“I have been feeling okay since the Vuelta,” he told VeloNation as he finalised his worlds preparation. “I raced last weekend in the Grand Prix Prato and I was happy enough with how I was feeling. I was a bit disappointed with the result – I didn’t want to take any risks in the rain, I was a bit worried in those last few corners and kind of lost a bit of concentration. But I was happy with my condition there.”

The Ag2r La Mondiale rider will set aside his trade team allegiances and join up with his first cousin Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) and Irish national champion Matt Brammeier (HTC Highroad) today. The course may be a little flat for Martin’s liking, but he showed strong form in the Vuelta where he won a stage and was thirteenth overall. Brammeier prepared for the worlds by riding the Tour of Britain and while he dropped out of the time trial on Wednesday due to a sore throat, he has been feeling better since then.

Last year he got clear soon after the start and was away for much of the race in an early break. This time round, his aim is to wait until near the end and battle the other nations with Roche and Martin.

Most expectations are for a big sprint today; Roche hopes otherwise. “If it is a sprint with 180 riders, I wouldn’t be happy – I am a bit nervous and there’s lots of races after this as well,” he said. “Even if I do take risks, I am never going to beat Cavendish or whoever else is there in the sprint. Doing sprints in the Grand Tours is one thing, but doing them in a one day race is very different.

“I don’t really know what to expect. The worlds has never been my big race, but why not?” he said. “I am not a fan of circuit races, but will take it as it goes and try to ride at the front and give a good performance for me, for Ireland and everyone.”

If things do break up, his battling nature and aggressive riding style could see him in the important moves.

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