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by Mark Zalewski
February 9, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Right-hand man: Roche dedicated to putting Porte into Tour de France yellow; Sexism and abuse in women’s cycling: A dozen pros share their experiences, anonymously; British Cycling review report delayed over legalities; Keagan Girdlestone competes in first race since crash; Meeusen feeling left out by Team, Nys; Bruyneel responds to 60 Minutes report on motor doping; New Energy Tour set to replace World Ports Classic; Speed bumps placed in cycle lane to ‘protect’ cyclists; Cancellara’s final Flanders bike sells for €16,100; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour teaser; WeLeaf:The first 4,000 kilometers; When dodgy former Olympic doctors have to find a new gig.
Nicolas Roche is in a new role, yet it’s a familiar one. For the past two seasons he was part of Team Sky and, in 2015, gave his all to help Chris Froome clock up the second of his Tour de France victories. Now, following an off-season transfer to the BMC Racing Team, he is seeking to play the same role with someone else. In July of this year he will dedicate himself to Richie Porte’s Tour chances. All going to plan, he believes that the Australian can emulate Cadel Evan’s victory in 2011.
“I have backed Richie up for the last couple of years when we were in Sky,” Roche tells CyclingTips, speaking on Tuesday. “I just know how good of a climber he can be. He has proven that he is also super-competitive in time trials. Now it just making sure that everything goes right for him.
“In the Tour you need a bit of everything. You cannot have an unlucky day or a bad day. Last year unfortunately he punctured at the wrong time. Looking back, maybe he could have otherwise got a podium.”
The time gaps certainly bear that out. Porte conceded one minute 45 seconds after flatting on stage two. He was deeply disappointed to incur the early time loss but persisted, equalling Froome on several occasions in the mountains. He ultimately finished just one minute and 12 seconds off second place overall.
If he has better luck next July, he is in with real a shot of yellow.
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