Nicolas Roche

Nicolas Roche
Nicolas Roche
Personal information
Full name Nicolas Roche
Born July 3, 1984 (1984-07-03) (age 27)
Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 70 kg (150 lb)
Team information
Current team Ag2r-La Mondiale
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Amateur team(s)

Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club
OCC Antibes
OCCV Draguignan
SC Nice
VC La Pomme Marseille
Cofidis (stagiaire)
Professional team(s)
Crédit Agricole
Ag2r-La Mondiale
Major wins
MaillotIrlanda.PNG Irish National Road Race Championship (2009)
MaillotIrlanda.PNG Irish National Time Trial Championship (2007)
Infobox last updated on
Sept. 12, 2010

Nicolas Roche (born 3 July 1984) is an Irish professional road bicycle racer. He has twice been national champion and has numerous top ten finishes in Grand Tour stages. He represented Ireland at the 2008 Olympics and at the UCI World Championships in 2008 (dnf), 2009 (dnf), 2010 (97th) & 2011 (51st).


Early life

Roche, who was born in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, is the son of former cycling champion Stephen Roche and his former wife, Lydia, nephew of former cycling professional Lawrence Roche and cousin of 2008 Irish road champion Daniel Martin. Roche was educated at Blackrock College, a private school in Dublin.


Early Years

He turned professional at the end of 2004, one of the youngest Pro-Tour racers.[1] Roche was told by French officials to choose between nationalities. As his father is Irish and his mother French, Roche had dual nationality as an amateur. In March 2005, Roche declared for France.[2] The loss of Roche was a blow to Irish cycling,[3] as he had won the 2002 Junior Tour of Ireland[4] and finished third in the 2004 Irish road championship.[5] However the UCI and Cycling Ireland said Roche could keep his dual nationality.[6]

During his first two years, he was often a domestique, but he did get good results, mostly in French Cup races. His first win as a professional was a stage in the Tour de l'Avenir.[7][8] He wore the yellow jersey for two days and finished 10th. He was in major breakaway in the 2006 world championship in Salzburg, Austria.[9] Soon after, he signed a two-year contract with Crédit Agricole on the back of his many good results this season.

In 2007, Roche rode the Giro d'Italia. In June, he won his first élite national title, the time trial in Dungarvan.[10] He came fourth in the road championship. Due to injury, Roche withdrew from the Tour of Ireland and missed the world championship.

Roche had planned 2008 for the Giro d'Italia but organizers RCS did not invite his team. He finished 6th in the Tour Ivoirien de la Paix, 15th in Clásica Internacional de Alcobendas in Spain and won a stage[11] in GP Internacional Paredes Rota dos Móveis in Portugal. He also improved his sprint. After finishing 7th of the Tour de Wallonie, he placed 64th in the Beijing Olympic road race, teaming with compatriot Philip Deignan, and was picked for his first Vuelta a España. Roche had good performances in the Vuelta, nearly winning Stage 18 into Las Rozas, was outsprinted by Imanol Erviti after a 17-man breakaway. Roche had three top-10 and ten top-20 stage finishes.

Roche along with Deignan and Roger Aiken made up the Irish team for the 2008 World Championship in Varese. Roche was in an early crash and retired.


Roche in 2009

Roche signed a two-year contract with Ag2r-La Mondiale following the end of Crédit Agricole.

After winning the Irish National Road Race Championship for the first time in June 2009, it was announced that Roche had been selected by Ag2r to ride his first Tour de France the following month. He had a fine debut Tour, finishing in 23rd place overall & twice narrowly missing out on a stage win when finishing 2nd on Stage 14 & 4th on Stage 16.

He was UCI World Ranked 144th at the end of the 2009 season with 15 pts, which helped Ireland to 16th place in the team rankings.


In the 2010 Tour de France he was chosen as the leader of the Ag2r-La Mondiale team and during the race he wrote articles for the Irish Independent newspaper. Roche finished 7th on stage 10 to Gap, as he and Remi Pauriol broke off the front of the peloton in the closing stages, with Roche's efforts moving him up to 13th on the overall standings.[12] On Stage 15 Roche suffered a flat tyre with 6 km to go on to the summit of the Port de Bales. Despite Roche being leader of AG2R, team-mate John Gadret refused give him his front wheel. As a result, Roche had to wait for the neutral service car, losing time to the race leaders. Amazingly, Gadret then attacked himself. Roche lost around three to five minutes to his main rivals on the stage, and dropped to 17th overall.

If John Gadret is found dead in his hotel room in the morning, I will probably be the primary suspect.

—Nicolas Roche following Stage 15, [13]

Roche finished 13th on Stage 16,[14] and 12th on Stage 17, up the Col Du Tormalet.[15] Roche finished 53rd in the ITT Stage 19, leaving him 15 overall. Roche ended the Tour in 15th place, 16 minutes and 59 seconds behind winner Alberto Contador.

In September, Roche led AG2R at the Vuelta a España. He finished 6th on Stage 3, rising to 25th overall.[16] Roche finished 8th the next day, on Stage 4, and moved up to 11th.[17] He rose to 7th overall after finishing 15th on Stage 8,[18] before dropping down a place to 8th the next day. Roche came 14th on Stage 11, dropping to 9th overall (2 minutes 30 second behind leader Igor Anton)[19] He rose to 5th overall by finishing 5th on Stage 14, as Anton crashed out.[20] Roche lost 5th place to Peter Velits on Stage 15, but regained it on Stage 16. He then dropped to 8th after the ITT Stage 17. He rose a place to 7th on Stage 19, and maintained his position in the penultimate stage 20 (finishing 6th on the stage). He finished the Vuelta 7th overall (5 minutes and 5 seconds behind winner Vincenzo Nibali), and 9th in the points classification. Roche's 7th place was the best in a Grand Tour by an Irishman since 1988. The performance lifted him to 32nd in the year end UCI World Rankings with 148 pts. This helped Ireland to 17th place in the team rankings (254 pts).

Roche was part of the 3 man Irish team at the 2010 World Championships in December.


Roche's season was hampered by injuries and crashes, particularly by one in the Critérium du Dauphiné[21] He entered the Tour de France as team leader again, despite Gadret's impressive 4th place finish in the Giro d'Italia. After keeping out of trouble in a first week which saw several favourites crash, Roche rose to 10th overall on Stage 12, although he lost time to other contenders on the final climb of Luz Ardiden.[22] However, on the next stage with a summit finish, Stage 14, Roche cracked and lost 6 minutes 47 seconds on the leaders, dropping to 18th overall.[23] He got in a number of unsuccessful breaks in the final week & eventually finished 26th on GC. He also rode the Vuelta a España, finishing 16th overall. In October, Roche won the 3rd stage of the inaugural Tour of Beijing.[24][25] This marked his first international victory in 3 years & his first ever win on the World Tour.


Professional Victories (6)

Grand Tour record

  • 2007: Giro d'Italia: 123rd GC
  • 2008: Vuelta a España: 13th GC (3 top 10 stage finishes)
  • 2009: Tour de France: 23rd GC (6th Points class; 5th Youth class; 5 top 10 stage finishes)
  • 2010: Tour de France: 15th GC (20th Points class; 1 top 10 stage finish)
  • 2010: Vuelta a España: 7th GC (6 top 10 stage finishes)
  • 2011: Tour de France: 26th GC
  • 2011: Vuelta a España: 16th GC (15th Points class; 4 top 10 stage finishes)

Yearly Progression

2011 - Ag2r-La Mondiale
  • 4th, Irish National Elite Road Race Championships (CN)
  • 5th, Giro del Piemonte (1.HC)
  • 10th, Paris–Camembert (1.1)
  • 11th overall, Tour of Beijing (UWT)
    • 1st, Stage 3 (6 UCI pts)
    • KoM class: 4th
  • 16th overall, Vuelta a España (UWT) (10 UCI pts)
    • 5th, Stage 13 (1 UCI pt)
    • 5th, Stage 3 (1 UCI pt)
    • 7th, Stage 8
    • 8th, Stage 5
    • 11th, Stage 16
    • Points class: 15th
  • 26th overall, Tour de France (UWT)
    • 14th, Stage 17
    • 15th, Stage 7
    • 17th, Stage 9
  • 33rd overall, Tour of Catalunya (UWT)
    • 7th, Stage 5
    • 11th, Stage 4
    • 18th, Stage 1
  • 58th overall, Tour de Romandie (UWT)
    • 8th, Stage 5
    • 14th, Stage 3
  • dnf, Critérium du Dauphiné (UWT)
    • 5th, Stage 1 (1 UCI pt)
    • 9th, Stage 2
2010 – Ag2r-La Mondiale
  • 2nd, Irish National Elite Road Race Championships (CN)
  • 3rd, GP dell'Insubria-Lugano (1.1)
  • 4th, GP Canton d’Argovie (1.HC)
  • 5th overall, Volta a Catalunya (ProTour) (20 UCI pts)
    • 3rd, Stage 7 (2 UCI pts)
    • 6th, Stage 3
    • 8th, Stage 2
    • 9th, Stage 1 (ITT)
    • 11th, Stage 6
    • 13th, Stage 5
  • 8th, Clásica de San Sebastián (ProTour)(10 UCI pts)
  • 7th overall, Vuelta a España (Grand Tour) (38 UCI pts)
    • 5th, Stage 14 (1 UCI pt)
    • 6th, Stage 20
    • 6th, Stage 3
    • 8th, Stage 16
    • 8th, Stage 4
    • 10th, Stage 6
    • 12th, Stage 15
    • 14th, Stage 11
    • 15th, Stage 8
    • Points class: 9th
  • 11th overall, Paris–Nice (2.HC)
    • 3rd, Stage 3 (2 UCI pts)
    • 4th, Stage 7 (1 UCI pt)
    • 6th, Stage 1
    • 8th, Stage 5
    • Points class: 7th
  • 15th overall, Tour de France (GrandTour) (16 UCI pts)
    • 7th, Stage 10
    • 11th, Stage 7
    • 12th, Stage 17
    • 12th, Stage 3
    • 13th, Stage 16
    • 14th, Stage 5
  • 19th overall, Tour de Suisse (ProTour)
    • 9th, Stage 3
  • 22nd, Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1.HC)
  • DNF, Tour de Romandie (ProTour)
    • 3rd, Stage 1 (2 UCI pts)
    • 9th, Stage 2
2009 – Ag2r-La Mondiale
2008 – Crédit Agricole
2007 – Crédit Agricole
2006 – Cofidis
2005 – Cofidis
2004 – Cofidis (stagiaire)
2004 – VC La Pomme Marseille
2003 – Sprinter Club de Nice / VC La Pomme Marseille
2002 – OCCV Draguignan
  • 1st, M.Donnelly Junior Tour of Ireland
    • 2 Stage wins & KoM winner

Grand Tour General Classification results timeline

Grand Tour 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Pink jersey Giro 123 - - - -
Yellow jersey Tour - - 23 15 26
golden jersey Vuelta - 13 - 7 16

WD = withdrew


  1. ^ "Roche makes it official". Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  2. ^ "Reluctant Roche declares for France". Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  3. ^ "Mixed start to season after Roche’s shock defection". Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  4. ^ "2002 Michael Donnelly Junior Tour of Ireland results". Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  5. ^ "2004 Irish Elite Road Race Championships". Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  6. ^ "Roche redeclares for Ireland". Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  7. ^ "2006 Tour de l'Avenir Stage 4 results". Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  8. ^ "2006 Tour de l'Avenir Stage 4 description". Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  9. ^ "Bettini wins world championships, Roche impresses with aggressive move". Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  10. ^ "Roche wins Irish time trial championships". Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  11. ^ "Win for Roche in Portugal". Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  12. ^,28480,19040_6260641,00.html
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^,,20072010,00.html
  15. ^,,22072010,00.html
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Nicolas Roche wins stage three to claim first WorldTour race victory". Daily Telegraph. 7 October 201. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "Roche beats Deignan in Yong Ning Town". Cycling News. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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