Nicolas Roche ends 17-year pro...


Nicolas Roche ends 17-year professional cycling career

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Nicolas Roche has announced his retirement from professional cycling. 

The 37-year has ended a 17-year career, which included two individual stage victories on the Vuelta a España.

Roche's final outing came in Sunday's National Road Championships in Wicklow.

The son of 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen said he came to the realisation in August that his professional career was coming to a close.

Roche turned professional in 2004, initially riding for the Cofidis team.

At 2007's National Championships, he won in the time trial. Two years later, Roche won the National Road Race title.

His first Grand Tour came in the 2007 Giro D'Italia. But it was the Vuelta in which Roche would see the most success.

He had two top-10 finishes on general classification (2010 & 2013). Roche was an individual stage winner on the Vuelta in 2013 and 2015.

And in 2016, he won both the time trial and road race in the National Championships.

In a statement, Roche said it felt fitting that his final professional race came in the Wicklow Mountains.

Nicolas Roche statement: 

Today I announce my retirement from professional cycling.

This is both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever had to make. I have been lucky to have spent time with some of the best cyclists in the world, past and present.

We often discussed when is the right time to start a new chapter. I always thought I would keep racing for as long as possible, however these riders often said that one morning you will wake up and just know it is time to retire.

You will be ready to try something else, have new challenges and new goals. I never believed them until that day arrived in August for me. For the first time in my life I woke up one morning before a race knowing it was time to do something else.

After 17 years and over 1270 professional race days, my last race was yesterday at the Irish National Championships in Wicklow, my favourite place in the world to ride a bike, surrounded by my friends, family and a lot of the supporters who had made racing in and for Ireland so special.

Racing in front of the Irish crowd one last time knowing it was my last race made for a very special day. There were a lot of emotions running through my head the last few kms, a tear was shed, but luckily I have no regrets.

It feels very fitting that the last race will be here for it it was in the Wicklow mountains as a 12 year old that I started dreaming of one day being a professional cyclist. Little did I know that all my dreams would come true.

To all those who supported me, encouraged me, followed me over the past number of years - thank you.

To the next generation of Irish riders, who I saw with my own eyes yesterday are very strong, dream big, work hard and anything is possible. I look forward to following your progress from the side of the road, or in the team car, over the next number of years.

Cycling is my life. It has allowed me to meet some incredible people, and travel to some of the most fantastic places in the world.

Ever since that day in August, I wake up excited about the possibilities waiting for me in this new chapter of my life.

Of course cycling is such a big part of my life and I will stay involved in the sport. I look forward to taking up a consultancy role in Trinity Sports Management, my management company of over a decade. Learning the business side of the sport from my good friend of 30 years Andrew McQuaid is a natural fit. I will continue to develop my Roca sports shop in Ireland and soon open a new store in Galway.

There are other plans in the making, and I look forward to sharing more details soon.

I thank you all for the incredible support that I received during my cycling career.

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