Roche will battle for podium in Vuelta

Irishman sixth before final Pyrenean stage

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) lost time on the Collado de la Gallina stage after suffering badly with the cold, but says he plans to bounce back in the Vuelta a Espana’s final six stages.

Sixth overall, Roche attacked on the Porte de Bales on stage 15 and with strong support from teammate Oliver Zaugg managed to claw back 17 seconds but it was not enough to dislodge Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) from fifth.

“Oliver did a great job for me, just like the rest of my teammates have throughout the race,” he told the Spanish newspaper AS. “I’m going well and if it hadn’t been for the cold [on stage14] I wouldn’t have lost my podium place.”

“The race doesn't finish until Madrid though and I hope I will get onto the podium. I’ve never seen myself battling so well for the overall, and in the team we can see there are enough opportunities in what’s left of the race to try to do that.”

Roche may well have another opportunity to chance his arm on the long, grinding ascent to Formigal today, a climb that should suit his talents well.



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