Nicolas Roche Discussion Thread

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Feb 14, 2010
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forty four said:
hmmm well everyone to some degree likes and/or respects the guy as i do. to be honest i care more about good personalities than i do wins such as people like voight ogrady sastre etc... but its even better when people i like do well which they often do. mental state and heart generally take a back seat to vo2 max etc.. with regards to cycling in this day and age. but none the less the sufferers are the riders i respect the most and are the more complete athletes if general physical ability was concerned.
I agree. Roche is on my VDS team, and I hope to see him in the top 5.

If you count Joao Correia among the good personalities, I just read a really good interview.

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/5565/Joao-Correia-interview-Racing-with-the-Cervelo-Test-Team-and-why-it-is-stopping.aspx

I haven't looked at all the climbs still to come, but I saw video of the Bola del Mundo, and hope Roche can make it up that one in the first group. Should be a major selection that day.
 
Jun 15, 2010
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Vino

aahmadhu said:
i think he fits the bill of a GT animator. climbs well, sprints well, aggressive in breakaways. some areas of his riding style still need polishing though. if developed correctly, we could see a new vinokourov i.e. not a main GT contender, but still up there giving headache to the big guys. don't u think?
I think the Vino comparison is a good one.Although Vino would have actually thrown Gadret out of the Bus:eek:
 
Aug 26, 2010
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maltiv said:
Better than the current GC riders Sky has, and he would definitely be a much needed captain for the hilly classics. So I was really surprised Sky didn't manage to sign him for 2011.
I agree. I think he would be the perfect insurance policy to actually get the sky jersy on TV in the mountains. Their team is strong enough to hedge their bets until one of Wiggo or Roche puts thir hand up too.

If they got Uran like it sounds like they will they could have had a leader for the Giro and the Vuelta too. The mountains is where sky needs to build strength.
 
Jul 29, 2010
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Don't know why Roche would switch teams. He has stated he's clean, and it's pretty well-believed that the French teams ride clean. Also, he's bi-lingual/bi-cultural (originally declared for France on his pro license) and my guess is he will soon be getting print ads/endorsement offers for various products w/i the domestic French scene. Those offers prob wouldn't come if he was at Sky.

I was at his father's cycling camp (Mallorca) back in 2000. I remember some chatter about his son -- a promising kid who wouldn't listen to his father's advice. As such, one of Roche's old domestiques was hired to coach young Nicolas. It has been great to track the progression since then!

If you guys want to see a funny video, track down Nicholas' "Tour video dairy" from this year. I think it is on youtube and the Irish Independent website. There is one video entry in particular, where Roche is getting a post-stage massage. The music choice accompanying his massage? Wham!'s, "Careless Whisper". To make things worse, the AG2R masseuse is muscle-bound and working SHIRTLESS..

(Hey, things are different in Europe, I guess?? :p)
 
Apr 26, 2010
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Sydney21 said:
I agree. I think he would be the perfect insurance policy to actually get the sky jersy on TV in the mountains. Their team is strong enough to hedge their bets until one of Wiggo or Roche puts thir hand up too.

If they got Uran like it sounds like they will they could have had a leader for the Giro and the Vuelta too. The mountains is where sky needs to build strength.
agree. that is a strong mountain line up. roche could be wiggins mountain's lieutenant at sky, and also could be the one who makes the selection on the slopes. or maybe operate as a dual assault i.e. basso-nibali at at this year's giro or the schleck brothers at '09 tour de france.
 
aahmadhu said:
agree. that is a strong mountain line up. roche could be wiggins mountain's lieutenant at sky, and also could be the one who makes the selection on the slopes. or maybe operate as a dual assault i.e. basso-nibali at at this year's giro or the schleck brothers at '09 tour de france.
And that post right there is exactly why Roche is fine at AG2R and definitely shouldn't move to Sky.
 
As I had started the day just one second off seventh place and just three seconds off sixth, I too wanted to contest the sprint in the hope of nabbing a few bonus seconds. I spent the final kilometres leading up to the sprint shouting into the microphone of my team radio, which is clipped into my jersey, asking for one of the guys to help in the sprint. I was angry when nobody responded but found out later my radio wasn't working.

The sprint line itself was in a dangerous place. I saw Rodriguez setting up for the sprint as we descended full gas off the big motorway. Suddenly there was a tiny roundabout at the end of the motorway and the bonus sprint was just 100m after the roundabout.

I went into the roundabout at the same time as Vincenzo Nibali, the Italian leader of the Liquigas team. Nibali started the day in third place overall, so he knew if he won the sprint and got the six-second bonus, he could take over the lead of the Vuelta.

As we leaned into the corner, we collided accidentally and were both lucky to stay upright. There was a bit of shouting as Nibali wanted to know why I was going for the time bonus. I told him I could move up to sixth, the same way he could move up to first if he won it. The argument didn't last too long, though, and both of us got more of a fright than anything else and we both apologised a few metres later.
I don't know whether to laugh at Roche for the absurdity of getting into a dangerous sprint to move up to sixth with half the Vuelta still left, or commend him for his competitive spirit.
 
hrotha said:
I don't know whether to laugh at Roche for the absurdity of getting into a dangerous sprint to move up to sixth with half the Vuelta still left, or commend him for his competitive spirit.
I think he just likes getting into sprints. He finished 10th in mass sprint a few days ago, when he must have known that he wasn't going to win the stage and was taking a slight risk in getting involved.

Perhaps a more interesting questions is what Nibali was at going for the same sprint. I wouldn't have thought it was in his interests to go for the leaders jersey yesterday. I like both Nibali and Roche, but it would have been pretty funny if the 3rd and 8th placed men in the GC had taken each other out going for an intermediate sprint bonus!
 
Oct 29, 2009
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hrotha said:
I don't know whether to laugh at Roche for the absurdity of getting into a dangerous sprint to move up to sixth with half the Vuelta still left, or commend him for his competitive spirit.
Ah! The little wascal has Spiwit!
 
Mar 11, 2009
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hrotha said:
I don't know whether to laugh at Roche for the absurdity of getting into a dangerous sprint to move up to sixth with half the Vuelta still left, or commend him for his competitive spirit.
I read that and unbidden "what a f'in idiot" came to mind. I like him but really at least Nibali could wear the leader's jersey for a day. But 5th after 11 stages???? its not quite liek sprinting for 35th place in the local crit but then again...
 
Jun 15, 2010
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I like him as an antidote to riders like Menchov and Liephiemer, but if he really wants to be a big winner he will have to control his natural instincts a bit.
 
Sep 6, 2010
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Velonews has an article on Roche's Vuelta. It concluded with a view on Roche's future, as recently discussed here.

___
Looking to the future, Roche says he’s happy with his Ag2r team, which he joined in 2009. He said the team supports his efforts and is backing his bid to develop into a three-week stage racer. He recently penned a contract extension with the French outfit, but didn’t discount someday racing for English-speaking team.

“I have been interested to ride on an anglophone team, at the end of the day, I am Irish,” Roche continued. “I have spent a fair bit of a time in France, I lived here since I was 15, I raced amateur in France, I turned pro in France, so I am staying in France for the moment. I am happy with the team. The team is focused around me the next few years. Maybe in the future I hope to be a rider on an anglophone team, if anyone is interested.”

Whether or not he can follow in his father’s footsteps and win a major, three-week tour remains to be seen. Roche doesn’t like to look too far into the future, but rather focus on the here and now. Next year, he hopes to break into the top-10 at the Tour.

“Winning is another thing. Being a GC rider, I don’t want to be over-ambitious and say I want to win the Tour. Everyone who races a bike wants to win the Tour,” Roche continued. “I do hope one day I can achieve to be fighting for the 5th and 10th in the Tour, that’s where I’d like to be.”
 
A really high quality ride from Roche today. He's up to fifth now, although I suspect that as he rode the Tour and rode it hard enough to finish in the top 15 that it will be very difficult for him to ride at this level for another week.

Here are his two most recent diaries, by the way. It will be interesting to see his diary about today but as the Irish Independent isn't published on a Sunday we'll have to wait until Monday.

I can't waste energy by going shopping
Today was one of those days that just drags on
 
Jun 27, 2010
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Brillant stuff Nicholas. Fab effort yesterday.
Big big days and challenges ahead.
What a fantastic stage race.

Get well soon Igor and co very sad.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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nice moved to 5th and 5th in the stage hoping he can attain top 10 overall looking relatively good so far.
 
May 10, 2009
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Timmy-loves-Rabo said:
agreed. Maybe one day, like his father, can win the vuelta - if all the stars align properly that is.

I suspect he will rack up a few top ten places in the tour.

I kinda get a similar prospect vibe with him and hesj. Not huge GT prospects, but both have a lot of heart, and can be amongst it, but never good enough.
Reallly? his father?
 
Feb 14, 2010
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Digger said:
Reallly? his father?
No. But Stephen did win the Tour and the Giro in 1987.

It was interesting to read the journal entry where he wouldn't go shopping with the guys because it's his responsibility to save all his energy for the race. That's way different than another 25 year old who started the race, I hope he finishes top five.
 
Jul 3, 2009
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As an Irishman i am of course biased. So i do think Roche is a class rider, i love his go for it attitude (chasing seconds in sprints). He is an aggressive rider as could be seen by the amount of times he got into moves in his first tour. As a GC rider i have my doubts, i see him more in the Kelly mould as a classics rider & high GC rider but not an out & out GC rider (to broad on the shoulders still), I thiink he could be a serious points jersey contender if he wanted (look how many top 30 placings he gets in stages :) ). If he goes to SKY he should go as a protected team leader as a replacement for the one hit wonder Wiggo.
 
theswordsman said:
No. But Stephen did win the Tour and the Giro in 1987.

It was interesting to read the journal entry where he wouldn't go shopping with the guys because it's his responsibility to save all his energy for the race. That's way different than another 25 year old who started the race, I hope he finishes top five.
On the other hand, scolding a 23-year-old teammate for "wasting energy" by going shopping (seriously, how much energy can a perfectly fit person waste that way?) in a public medium is not cool in my book.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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hrotha said:
On the other hand, scolding a 23-year-old teammate for "wasting energy" by going shopping (seriously, how much energy can a perfectly fit person waste that way?) in a public medium is not cool in my book.
He didn't scold him, he told us that he scolded him. He's writing a genuine journal, with tidbits on what goes on in a GT. Would you rather the sanitized rubbish we get from the younger Luxemburger?
 
Jun 29, 2009
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Finishing the Vuelta strong is pretty crucial not just for him personal but also for AG2R, as a Top 8 finish would pass them by BBox (now at #18 after Voecklers win in Canada) and Androni Giocattoli in the UCI World Ranking into the Top 17. And as BBox and AG still have opportunities to score (Montreal, Lombardia), one place up or down could be the deciding factor.
 
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