Cyclist Roche claims national double

Cyclist Roche claims national double
Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche landed the elite national road race championship for the second time in his career last weekend.

The Team Sky man secured the road title on Sunday in Kilcullen, having already claimed the time trial crown he on Thursday night. He won’t be taking part in the Tour de France which starts this weekend, but will compete in the Tour Poland afterwards.

“This victory is something that I really, really wanted for a long time,” he said afterwards. “So many times in the past I’ve tried to get it and it hasn’t worked out but it’s been an unbelievable few days here.”

Roche was watched on by his grandmother and a large group of family. “Everybody was here today. I’d say there was easily 20 of the family here including aunties, uncles and cousins and there were loads of friends on the course too so it was nice to be able to celebrate with them at the finish.”

Meanwhile his cousin Dan Martin is relishing the challenge of this weekend’s Tour de France. “I think the top ten is very realistic now, looking at how I am climbing,” the 29 year old told CyclingTips.

“But that still involves getting to the finish in one piece and healthy. I think as long as I can get through the race well then it is possible. We have a really strong team to be able to do that.

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