Nicolas Roche: New team and new ambitions at BMC Racing

Irishman to link up with Porte and get the team firing

When Nicolas Roche found himself on the transfer market BMC Racing were quick to pursue the 32-year-old Irishman for next season.

According to BMC's Richie Porte, Roche brings senses of calm and experience and will fit in perfectly with the team's Grand Tour plans for next season.

"It's a new team and new ambitions for myself," Roche told Cyclingnews at the Tour of Britain.

"I've had an amazing time here at Sky and it was incredible to win the Tour de France with Chris Froome last year. It was an adventure but I'm ready for a new chapter. I'm looking forward to being back with Richie Porte, and I've got a fair few friends there."

Roche brings with him years of experience as a three-week and one-day racer and could conceivably become BMC Racing's road captain on the road – a vital bride between the riders and management and a role once held by George Hincapie.

"I hope I can bring something more than just cycling capabilities and hopefully I can help to get the team right," he said.

"I've noticed this year that sometimes their leaders are quickly isolated and one of my main strengths will be trying to bring that group back together."

Roche and Porte are friends off the bike and train locally in Monaco where they reside. The pair rode together at Team Sky in 2015 before Porte led the way to BMC.

"I'm pretty sure that I'll be doing Richie's programme," Roche added. Such a move would see Roche head to the Tour Down Under – not a race he has pleasant experiences of from the past.

"Richie threw that at me last week. I said that after my spider bite I wasn't going to go back there but I might have to go back on my decision. I've not discussed my full programme with the team but it makes sense that I go back there."

"It's the right time and moment to go to a new team and I'll be able to have my own chance in some races again. There are also great hopes with winning races with guys like Greg Van Avermaet and Rohan Dennis. It's a team that I could fit into."

Roche's season is far from finished. He will compete at the European Championships next week before potential trio of Italian races in and then Worlds.

"Next up is the time trial at the European Championships on Thursday and then the Italian one-day races. I'm not sure yet if I do all of them. I'll do Lombardy hopefully but I'm not quite sure if I do the ones before. After that will be the TT at Worlds and then the road race but that's not bee confirmed yet."

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