Nicolas Roche, who is joining AG2R La Mondiale for next season, is gearing up to be competitive in early 2009. The son of Tour de France winner Stephen Roche will start his racing programme in the Tour Down Under in January, one month sooner than this year, where his first race was the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia in February.
"This year, I started later than ever before," Roche told French Cyclismag. "I am very motivated by the first races. Even more so because, after my crash at the Worlds, I missed out on three weeks of racing including Paris-Tours..."
The young Irish-French rider, who rode a very promising Vuelta a España this year, is already watching his weight closely for his early season goals. Instead of being five kilos over his racing weight like in previous winters, he said this year it was only three. Roche will meet up with his AG2R teammates in a training camp in the beginning of December.