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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019

Ireland's Nicolas Roche leads Vuelta after Stage 2

‘Just to be back in the leader’s jersey of a Grand Tour, I’m speechless.’

Nicolas Roche in Vuelta action (file pic).
Nicolas Roche in Vuelta action (file pic).
Image: Imago/PA Images

FORMER WINNER NAIRO Quintana continued the Colombian streak in Grand Tours when he won the first long individual stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Calpe on Sunday, and he was chased across the line by Ireland’s Nicolas Roche who took the overall lead after two days of racing.

Roche led the chasing pack home to finish second, five seconds behind the South American.

Team Sunweb’s Roche took a seven-second advantage over Quintana into the second stage, so he now leads the field by two seconds at this early juncture.

The only Irish cyclist ever to win the Vuelta was Sean Kelly in 1988.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” the 35-year-old Roche told Eurosport. “It’s been six years now since I had the red jersey so it’s an amazing day. Just to be back in the leader’s jersey of a Grand Tour, I’m speechless.

“I was expecting there would be a 25 or 30-man group and a sprint and it would be guys like [Philippe] Gilbert for the jersey.

“Until the final 20 kilometres I didn’t think about it.”

Murray joins Bernard and Gavan with all the latest from training camp in Portugal, including a concerning update on Joey Carbery’s fitness. Plus, BBC Scotland’s Tom English explains why the Scots have a negative perception of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland team.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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