Stephen Roche is the new ambassador for cycling at Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), according to an article today in French newspaper L’Équipe.
In addition to organising the Tour de France, ASO also organise numerous other races including Paris–Roubaix, Paris–Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, La Flèche Wallonne and the Tour de Yorkshire. Both ASO and L’Équipe are part of the French media group, EPA (Éditions Philippe Amaury).
Roche takes over the position from five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault who has held it for the past thirty years. During his time as ambassador, one of Hinault’s roles was to appear at stage finishes to greet stage winners and jersey holders. On a number of occasions, Hinault had to tackle individuals jumping onto the podium at stage finishes.
Hinault announced that he was retiring from the role last year, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his grandson.
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Roche’s win in the Tour. During a remarkable season, he also took victory in the Giro d’Italia and World Championships, becoming just the second rider after Eddy Merckx to complete the triple crown.