Nicolas Roche is from a cycling dynasty. If having Stephen Roche, winner of cycling's Triple Crown (The Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the World Championships in one year) wasn't enough, his paternal uncle Laurence also rode the Tour de France; his maternal uncle Neil Martin rode two Olympic games and won stages of several domestic races; and his cousin, Dan Martin, had an illustrious career with five Grand Tour stage wins, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Lombardy under his belt.

Nico himself continued that pedigree throughout his career. Racing as a pro from 2005 to 2021 he signed with Cofidis, Credit Agricole and AG2R-La Mondiale, before a stint at Team Sky and BMC. In 2019 he joined Team Sunweb, as a domestique for Tom DuMoulin, where, amongst other results, he wore the leader's jersey of the Vuelta a Espana for three stages, and had a top three stage finish in the Giro d'Italia.

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Roche is what commentators would call 'pugnacious'. If there was a breakaway, he was usually there, if there was an attack, he was usually featured. Much like fellow Irishman Sean Kelly, Nico appeared to perform the best at la Vuelta, where the parcours are hot, dusty, and unpredictable – He took three stages over his career and wore the leader's jersey several times, not to mention the 43 Top 10 stage finishes he racked up at the Spanish race.

Nicolas was Irish National Road Race and Irish National Time Trial champion twice, getting both jerseys concurrently in 2016, and we think he's the perfect addition to our Irish joyride. The prince of Irish cycling royalty who more than proved his own mettle.

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