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Nicolas Roche (Ireland) in action during the world championships.
Irishman to target top ten
Nicolas Roche hopes to make the top ten at next year's Tour de France as he did at the Vuelta this year. He was pleased to discover the route of the 2011 Grande Boucle.
"This route suits me well," the Irishman told Cyclingnews. "The route in 2010 suited me well, too. There are a lot of mountains! It'll be important to prepare well for the team time trial. I heard that even though 23 kilometres is short, a team could lose one and half to two minutes on that day. Every second will count for a good result.
"Last year I was a bit scared of the cobblestones but I was pleased to do it eventually," Roche added. "I crashed twice the day before but not on that day. Next year the windy stages will have to be taken seriously and the race will be more difficult in the end. It'll be important to be attentive and patient at the same time."
The 26-year-old got his first top ten finish at a Grand Tour when he completed the 2010 Vuelta in seventh position, increasing his motivation for next year's Tour de France. "I'd like to make the top 10 after coming 15th last time," he said. "I yet have to work a lot to improve but I prefer to set a high objective for myself and try to stick to it rather than start with a lower goal. I want to continue racing as I've done at the Vuelta."