Roche switches to prioritising stage wins over GC ambitions in Giro d’Italia

After a tough start to the Giro d’Italia, Nicolas Roche‘s plans of battling for a top GC placing have not collapsed completely, but the BMC Racing rider recognises at this point that it will be an uphill struggle to impact on the overall.

Roche had told Cyclingnews during the Volta a Catalunya that he had plans to go for the overall classification in the Giro, and he would be hoping for a top-10 finish on GC in Rome.

However, things have gone askew already for the Irishman, with the biggest dent to his GC ambitions coming when he lost a hefty 1:14 to stage winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) in the opening time trial. On stage 4, another 21 seconds were shed by Roche to stage winner Tim Wellens (Lotto Fix All), although he was far from being the only standout name to lose time in the fraught finale.

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Whatever the reason, Roche is now 37th at 1:32 on Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), and well down on the main GC favourites.

“The opening time trial was actually a good course for me, and I completely missed it,” Roche told Cyclingnews earlier this week. “In Israel, it was difficult to train, it was one hour’s driving out and one hour back before we could get on our bikes, so if you wanted to do more it wasn’t possible. I felt like probably I should have done more.

“I think the travelling and staying there those two or three days and absolutely not doing enough, I kind of paid for it in the time trial.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com