Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) is set to make his 2020 debut at the Tour Cycliste International du Var et des Alpes Maritimes (2.1) this week which will mark his first race since crashing out of the Vuelta a España last year.
The Irishman, who held the Maillot Rojo leader’s jersey for three days, crashed on the sixth stage of the Vuelta when sitting in 5th position overall. He was subsequently hospitalised and required a dozen stitches to his forearm. The crash put an end to his season. In preparation for the 2020 season, Roche has recently been training in South Africa along with his Team Sunweb team-mate Michael Matthews.
Friday’s opening stage takes the riders over a 186.6-kilometre hilly stage from Le Cannet to Grasse with the final two stages finishing on Col d’Eze and Mont Faron respectively.
Following on from the French race, Roche is scheduled to take part in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Itzulia Basque Country before tackling the Ardennes classics.
Lining up alongside Roche in the three-day race will be Mark Donovan, Felix Gall, Chris Hamilton, Marc Hirschi, Sam Oomen and Michael Storer.
Arjan Ribbers (Team Sunweb coach) – “After our European season got underway at the Tour de La Provence last week, we continue our time in France with the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var. Once again we want to race aggressively and be on the front foot throughout the race, chasing stage success. Marc arrives as our main card to play, with the rest of the guys protecting him and looking to set him up for the stage finales. Felix makes his debut for us after being promoted from the Development program, Mark also starts in the team’s colours for the first time and it is nice to have Chris back after his early season injury.”
Team Sunweb Line-up for Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var:
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Felix Gall (AUT)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Marc Hirschi (SWI)
Sam Oomen (NED)
Nicholas Roche (IRL)
Michael Storer (AUS)