By Shane Stokes
Meanwhile, another promising Irishman has signed a two year deal to race with the Crédit Agricole team in 2007 and 2008. 22 year-old Nicolas Roche is currently in the second year of his pro contract with Cofidis and has posted some good results this year, including fourth on a stage and fourth overall in Paris - Corrèze, fourth in the Irish road race championships, eighth in the Polynormande and tenth in Paris - Camembert Lepetit.
He also went close to a stage win in the Four Days of Dunkirk in May, going clear with Niels Brouzes (Auber 93) but being caught inside the final 500 metres. He finished sixth overall in the final King of the Mountains classification there.
Roche, son of the 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche, will next compete in Sunday’s ProTour GP Ouest France in Plouay. He will then go on to ride the Tour de l’Avenir, which runs from August 31 to September 9.