Would absolutely wear every single part of either ensemble.

Nicolas Roche needs to work on his jive

The Irishman is the latest pro cyclist to become a reality TV star, appearing on Ireland's Dancing with the Stars.

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche, who called time on his career last year, is already keeping himself busy in retirement. The ex-DSM rider is a competitor on the Irish version of the reality TV staple, Dancing With The Stars

In Sunday’s season-opening episode, Roche debuted alongside dance partner, Karen Byrne, dancing a jive to The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ – a certified banger, and Billboard’s #1 song of all time. While that song objectively knocks it out of the park, Roche and Byrne were not so fortunate, scoring a lowest-of-the-night 11 points out of a possible 30. 

One judge pointed out that Roche “just needed a bit more foot pressure”, while another rolled out his very finest bicycle-related analogies: “when you are out on the bike at your own, you can pedal at your own pace,” judge Barry alleged, “[but] when you are on a tandem, if you are out of sync, you are going nowhere.”

Roche, who admitted before the show that he “can’t dance”, seemed to take in his stride Barry’s suggestion that he had “a lot of work to do technically in terms [of] trying to improve that dancing.”

Roche is not the first pro cyclist to be blinded by the lights of reality television.

In October 2021, Nairo Quintana appeared on the Colombian reality TV program ¿Quien es la Máscara? – a franchise better known to Western audiences as The Masked Singerdressed as a chameleon. Mere months earlier, Tour de France stage winner and green jersey victor Baden Cooke appeared on Australian Survivor: Brains vs Brawn, repping Team Brains. Neither Quintana nor Cooke won, but boy howdy didn’t we have a lot of fun along the way.

In the more artistic sphere, Roche is in good company, too. Three years after being booted out of the Tour de France by his team, while wearing the yellow jersey, Danish star Michael Rasmussen appeared on the 2010 season of his homeland’s Dancing with the Stars (Vild med Dans). His Rabobank teammate Michael Boogerd boogied on the Dutch Dancing on Ice, finding love in the process; his dance partner is now mother to their daughter. 

In Italy, meanwhile, alleged domestic abuser Mario Cipollini appeared on his local Dancing with the Stars (Ballando con Le Stelle) and romped it home with 37 pa-la-pa-la-RUMs out of a possible 50.

CyclingTips wishes Roche greater foot pressure in the coming episodes, with the first eviction of the series to take place in episode three.

Editors' Picks