With the 2014 Giro d'Italia Grand Partenza in Northern Ireland and stages in the Republic, Irishman Nicholas Roche was always going to target the Italian grand tour as a season goal. The 29-year-old has one final warm up race, the 68th Tour de Romandie, before the Giro and will be backed by a strong Tinkoff-Saxo team at the WorldTour race
Roche has been training in Italy, fine-tuning his preparation for the Swiss race which begins and ends with a race against the clock and includes several mountain stages.
"Having been on training camp near Etna on Sicily, my form is coming along nicely," Roche said. "We've all been working really hard over the past four weeks and I think it's finally starting to show.
"It's been an important camp in terms of preparing for the Giro and hopefully, Tour de Romandie will brush off my condition so I'll be ready. I feel ready and that’s a good start," Roche said.
Backing Roche will be Rafal Majka, who impressed at last year's Giro finishing seventh overall, and new signing Edward Beltran. The Colombian climber signed for the team in March on a two-year deal and will join Roche at the Giro where he will make his grand tour debut.
Tinkoff-Saxo for Tour de Romandie: Nicolas Roche, Rafal Majka, Evgeny Petrov, Pawel Poljanski, Oliver Zaugg, Jay McCarthy, Christopher Juul-Jensen and Edward Beltran.