Nicolas Roche appointed manager of Irish national team

Nicolas Roche in action for Ireland at the 2018 World Championships in Innsbruck.
(Image credit: Getty)

Nicolas Roche will serve as director of the Cycling Ireland senior road programme in 2022, managing the Irish elite teams at the World Championships in Wollongong and the European Championships in Munich.

Roche, who retired this winter after a professional career that spanned 17 seasons, will also serve as a mentor to the Irish junior and under-23 squads. He finished his career with three seasons at Team DSM, where he served as a road captain for the team’s younger riders in his final Tour de France in 2020.

“Having recently retired from professional cycling I am delighted to be asked by Cycling Ireland to become part of the organisation in this manner,” Roche said in a statement released by Cycling Ireland on Friday.

“I am very taken by the ambition and vision for cycling in Ireland and I really look forward to working with athletes and staff in preparation for upcoming international events. I benefited from support and guidance throughout my career, and I am looking forward to giving back to junior and U23 riders and hopefully helping to develop a pipeline of Irish talent.”

Roche brings a wealth of experience to the role, having competed at seventeen different World Championships for Ireland at elite, under-23 and junior level, dating back to 2001. He also lined out in four consecutive Olympic Games in Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo.

A stage winner at the Vuelta a España in 2013, when he also wore the red jersey and finished fifth overall, Roche later raced as a trusted domestique for riders including Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Richie Porte.

Roche hung up his wheels at the end of 2021 after his contract wasn’t renewed, with his final race coming at the Irish national championships in Wicklow last October. He is currently a contestant on the Irish edition of Dancing With The Stars, and he is the co-owner of a bike shop in Cork and has plans to work alongside his agent Andrew McQuaid at Trinity Sports Management.

“This is a very significant move for Cycling Ireland and will help to ensure world-class preparation for upcoming major events including the European and World Championship,” said Liam Collins, president of Cycling Ireland.

“We are delighted that Nicolas Roche shares our ambition and vision and recognizes the potential we have. We very much look forward to working with him and developing the road program as we target Paris 2024.” 

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