Nicolas Roche reveals manic 30km, spat with Warren Barguil

Posted on: July 15th, 2017


Nicolas Roche reveals manic 30km, spat with Warren Barguil

Nicolas Roche on yesterday’s stage with Thomas Voeckler, Greg Van Avermaet and Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (Photo with thanks to Georgie Francis)


Nicolas Roche reveals manic 30km, spat with Warren Barguil


It may have been all about Dan Martin in recent days at the Tour de France, but Nicolas Roche is in great form too and has been up the road already.

And in the early part of yesterday’s stage he said he rode it like a junior race such was his sheer volume of attacks to try and get clear.

At one point climbers’ classification leader, and eventual stage winner, Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) got tetchy with Roche.

He took exception when the Irishman followed a number of his attacks.

But Roche took it in his stride. And as one of the patrons of the bunch now, he reached out to Barguil later to smooth over the issue.

Writing in his Irish Independent Tour de France Diary today, Roche said while he got clear in an early escape it was the wrong one.

And he had ridden so hard for the opening 30km, in a stage of just 100k, that when the big picture started he was in the red.

Barguil got up the road very early in the stage with Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie). And Roche was part of a group of about 20 that rode across to them.

From that group Alessandro De Marchi, a BMC Racing team mate of Roche’s, attacked with Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Philippe Gilbert (QuickStep).

And on the Col de Latrape Barguil attacked after the leading trio and Roche marked him.

The Irishman said Barguil, clearly really keen to get away, “had a go” at him for following him several times.

“Thinking I was just marking him, he took it personally. The truth was I was just following anything that moved in the hope that it would be the right one,” Roche writes.

Roche added that Barguil is a good friend of Amael, the Irishman’s roommate. Because of that he has gotten to know Barguil a bit. He added he was delighted he had won the stage yesterday.

This was especially so after Barguil breaking his hip at the Tour of Romandie in May. His hands were so cold he couldn’t brake at a roundabout.

“Today was a great comeback for him,” Roche says, adding he got Barguil’s mobile number after the stage.

He sent him a message of congratulations also explaining that he was following the early attacks, rather than him personally.

Unfortunately for Roche he had not picked the right moves in the opening 30km, despite his all-out aggression.

And when the race split going up the Latrape, he was in trouble. He was in a small group only 30 seconds down on the yellow jersey group at the top of the climb.

But with the race going forward for the whole stage, there was no way back on.

When he heard Alberto Contador and Mikel Landa had attacked, he knew the action would not settle down.

Eventually he got into a group that was pulled along by four members of the Fortuneo team until they rode off up the road.

And Roche would eventually finish in a group of 20, some 14:20 down.