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by Shane Stokes
August 17, 2014
Although Tinkoff Saxo team leader Alberto Contador confirmed in recent days that he will do the Vuelta a España, his team-mate Nicolas Roche has said that he will not take part.
Roche has previously ridden alongside Contador in many races, helping the Spaniard to success. The Irishman won a stage and finished fifth overall last year, and generally performs well in the Spanish race.
He has said on several occasions that it is his favourite Grand Tour of the season, but riding the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double has ensured a change of programme this year.
That said, Roche did consider riding a rare Grand Tour triple for the first time in his career.
“At some stage I was thinking about the Vuelta but then I reconsidered it,” Roche told CyclingTips. “Maybe it is too much. It is not like my career is over next year. I have already done a hard year and I will try something different for a change.
“I have done the Giro and Tour, being super-competitive, always doing work and going in the breakaways. That is very demanding. So I will do other races instead. It should give me a bit more time to focus on the worlds as well.”
Roche’s race programme will see him ride the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg on August 24, the GP Ouest France in Plouay on August 31 and the Tour of Britain, which runs between September 7 and 14.
He is then expected to ride the elite world road race championships later that month.
The Grand Tour triple is seldom attempted by riders, with less than 50 throughout history thought to have completed the three races in one season.
Lotto Belisol’s Adam Hansen is the latest to do so; he rode all three Grand Tours in both 2012 and 2013, and is aiming to do so again this year.
Roche and his agent Andrew McQuaid are currently working on his plans for next season. He is thought likely to leave Tinkoff Saxo and has been linked in media reports to a number of teams, including Sky.
He told CyclingTips this week that nothing has yet been finalised thus far with any squad.