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"I believe Richie has the level to make that podium and even win the Tour at some stage, so it's exciting to be there to discover how good he can be."

Photo: Sirotti






25.10.2016 @ 19:52 Posted by Benjamin M. Lillelund

Nicolas Roche is convinced that Richie Porte has the potential to win the Tour de France. The 32-year-old Irishman (who finished the season last weekend with a second place in the Abu Dhabi Tour) will wear the colors of BMC in 2017 and will support the Australian at the Tour. In the Vuelta a Espaa, he hopes to take his own opportunities.


Roche has experience as a domestique for a leader who can fight for the victory in a grand tour. At Sky and Tinkoff, he supported Alberto Contador and Chris Froome. 


"The main plan is to be there with Richie in the Tour, and it's a very exciting plan. It puts a lot of pressure on me physically to be at the top, so it's a very interesting challenge. "In the last few years, I have been to the Tour with favourites in Alberto and Froomey, and now I'm going to be going with an outsider in Richie, he says in an interview with Sky Sports . "I believe Richie has the level to make that podium and even win the Tour at some stage, so it's exciting to be there to discover how good he can be."


Roche hopes to be the leader in the Vuelta. 


"Hopefully, I will get a proper go at the Vuelta, as team leader or co-leader, depending on what the team's strategy is," he said. "I still believe I can do some strong things there."


Roche has been in the top ten twice. In 2010, he was seventh in the final standings and in 2013 he finished fifth.


In 2013 and 2014, Roche rode in the service of Contador at Tinkoff. The 33-year-old Spaniard thought about retirement but decided to continue at Trek Segafredo. While ’El Pistolero’ has his best years behind him, Roche believes that the Spaniard still has what it takes. 


"His best is behind him, but that doesn't mean he hasn't got a lot to give. I know Alberto well, and I know how passionate he is about cycling, and if he decided to carry on for another two years, it's because he believes he has more to show," Roche told.


"One of Alberto's strengths is his mental ability to fight and never give up. When he is in contention, even if it's third, fourth or fifth, you know he is ready to do anything and can still turn a race upside down. You cannot ignore Alberto at this level."



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