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Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche to leave Team Sky at the end of the season

Roche will also take part in the Men’s road race in the Olympic Games this weekend.

Nicolas is the son of 1987 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner, Stephen Roche.
Nicolas is the son of 1987 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner, Stephen Roche.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

CURRENT IRISH NATIONAL champion Nicolas Roche has revealed he is to leave Team Sky to race for BMC Racing from the start of next season.

The 32-year-old will join the American team after spending the past two years at Sky, where he helped Chris Froome to victory in the Tour de France in 2015, but Roche was left out of the squad for this year’s event.

The French-born rider finished second at the Tour de Yorkshire this year, and finished ninth at the Clasica San Sebastian this weekend, having also won stage 18 of the Vuelta a España last year.

“Nicolas brings a wealth of experience and is exactly the sort of rider we are looking for to support our Grand Tour ambitions and work for his own personal objectives.

“A lot of our goals are centred around Grand Tours and we felt we needed an additional rider who could bring us experience in that field,” said BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz.

Roche, who will compete at the Olympic Games in the Men’s road race on Saturday, is looking forward to working with the sixth team of his 12-year career.

“I’m super excited because BMC is a team that rides with a lot of the characteristics that I like. They’re always up the front, riding with aggression and trying to make an exciting race. I think I’ll enjoy the aggressive style of racing,” Roche said.

“Looking ahead to the 2017 season, my main role will be to really support Richie Porte and Tejayvan Garderen in their general classification ambitions, and hopefully I’ll have a good go at the Vuelta a Espãna.”

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Shane Costello

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