Nicolas Roche finished the Giro d’Italia yesterday and in doing so, continued his run of never having withdrawn from a Grand Tour. The Irish rider has now joined Sean Kelly in having completed sixteen Grand Tours.
The Team Sky rider has now completed the Giro d’Italia three times, the Tour de France seven times and the Vuelta a Espana six times. His highest ever Grand Tour finish was fifth in the 2013 Vuelta a Espana and he has also taken two stage victories in the Spanish race – in 2013 and 2015.
Roche finished the Giro in his highest position on GC to-date (24th place) and along the way, he picked up two top ten finishes, 9th place on the Stage 19 from Pinerolo to Risoul and 10th place on Stage 4 from Catanzaro to Praia a Mare.
Kelly’s record of Grand Tour finishes consists of four Vuelta a Espana finishes and twelve Tours de France, although he did have a number of withdrawals during his career.
As impressive as Roche’s number of finishes is, he’s still a long way off the overall record holder though. The Spanish rider Eduardo Chozas, has finished 27 (consisting of 6 Tours, 7 Giros and 14 Vueltas). The only Grand Tour he could not finish was the 1984 Vuelta a España when he retired on the last stage.