Roche’s brilliant story about two Giro riders attacking and then hiding

Posted on: May 14th, 2018

Nicolas Roche BMC Giro

This is the kind of craic riders would normally have on a winter club spin. But these two did it on the Giro and it provoked an Astana chase. Nicolas Roche’s story about Adam Hansen and Tim Wellens is a good one.


Nicolas Roche’s Grand Tour diaries have been carried in the Irish Independent for years and they’re always insightful and entertaining.

They’ve even been turned into an award-winning book down the years. Many of the apparently minor facts he shares often the most entertaining.

And the same can be said today. There’s a gem of a yarn tucked away in his dispatches about stages 8 and 9 in the mountains at this Giro.

He details how Adam Hansen, the Aussie riding for Lotto-Fix All , sent a text to Roche’s team mate and former race leader Rohan Dennis at dinner on Saturday night.

“After another long transfer to our hotel, my room-mate Rohan Dennis got a text from fellow Aussie Adam Hansen last night at the dinner table,” Roche writes.

“The Lotto Fix-All rider was worried that we might be pissed off about his attack with team-mate Tim Wellens while the bunch was taking it easy early in yesterday’s stage.

“Apparently the duo had jumped up the road as a joke, hiding behind a wall or something as soon as they got out of sight.

“Their attack was the match that lit the fire in the peloton again but in fairness, I was down the back of the bunch at the time.

“And (I) hadn’t noticed anything apart from the pace going up suddenly as Katusha took up the wild-goose chase at the front, so all we could do was laugh about it last night.”

Roche also details how getting caught behind Chris Froome’s crash on Saturday was the last straw that saw him dropped from the group.

He said he was already under pressure on the closing climb. And when Froome crashed he had to jam on. While he got going again the interruption finished him off.

And while the real test for the riders in on the roads while racing, Roche hasn’t had much of a break with hotels so far; the weekend proving no better.

“Our luck with hotels hasn’t been great on this Giro,” he said. “And a broken bed combined with a loud karaoke underneath us meant last night wasn’t much better.

“Despite donning ear plugs to get some sleep, this morning we were woken at 6.30am by the sound of a huge generator outside as the chefs and mechanics got to work.”

You can read the full diary by following this link.