Nicholas Roche Interview
by Diane Vilarem
by Diane Vilarem
Nicholas Roche is a champion cyclist in his own right, and one of the most recognisable figures in the World Tour Peloton. He’s also the son of a champion – Stephen Roche, which makes him even more fascinating as part of a cycling heritage. In our book, there are few people more interesting to interview, and with a deeper cycling story.
Please introduce yourself to our audience!
Hi, my name is Nicholas Roche, I am now 37, riding my 17 th year pro, for team DSM.
Who inspired you to start cycling?
Not sure who inspired me. I was all my life in a cycling enviroment, almost felt natural. Although I did do many other sports.
What other sports did you practice as a kid?
Cross country running, football, and rugby.
This has been a strange year for everyone.What was your competition schedule for 2021?
This year my schedule involved racing GP ouest Fance, Tour of Britain, Tre valle Varesine, and Lombardia.
Favorite climb on the French riviera?
My favorite climb on the Riviera is col d’Eze. The view is simply spectacular.
Favorite café on the riviera?
My favorite café? Well having invested in the Service Course, I will have to say the Service Course Nice !
If you didn’t make a living from cycling, what would you be doing?
Now that’s not an easy question… At the time my dad had a hotel. I was going to study hotel management, so maybe something along that line.
Favorite workout session or training ride?
My favorite ride is about 3h/3h30 good pace with a friend for a conversation, enjoying being out and working out. Good compromise between fun, work, and socializing.
I do really like my Scott.
Favorite movie. I guess the Harry Potters or Lord of the Rings saga. They are like my escape movies.
« Mes amis mes amours » from Marc Levy.
You have competed in Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana several times. Which one of these tours is your favorite and why?
I love the Vuelta and I usually go best there. But the tour is the tour. It’s the biggest race of them all.
Most memorable race?
My stage win in Vuelta stage 2 in 2013
The 2020 Tour de France took you up Col de la Loze, how was that climb compared to others?
Col De la loze was really long, but you know judging a climb can be very difficult. If you have a bad day, or even bad weather, the climb can be horrible. And, if you do it in other circumstances, it can be fabulous. So for me, it’s always hard to compare climbs. I have hated 1k climbs sometimes more than 20k climbs.
Worst or most awkward moment in your career?
Too many to pick just one!
Wasn’t Tour de France more badass back in the days when stages were 400km long, and you could drink beer during the race?
Everything changes. Today TDF has nothing to do with the original races. It was different times. I guess more than bad ass. Its was more of an adventure. Now, its a sport where u can win or loose just by seconds.
You spend 25-30h a week in the saddle; do you have time for anything else?
I’m a busy man. I never stop. There is always something to do.
Cyclists are normally very inflexible; do you practice Yoga? If so, favorite Yoga pose?
I don’t do yoga. I admit for a long time what was my strength was my “killer instinct” – the agressivness in racing. I believed that relaxing was not productive, and that I would loose my edge for performance. Today I’m in a different role, but still, I don’t have the patience to relax. I see it as I could be doing something else.
If I challenge you to execute a classic Yoga pose and share it on social media, would you do it?
I might struggle with that 😉
Do you follow a specific diet?
I have a general diet. I eat healthy without going into extremes. I have no intolerance, or allergies. I enjoy food. My diet is healthy, and I am cautious, but I can also enjoy wine.
Favorite food? Thats a hard one. I do love a lobster pasta 🙂
How important is the mental part of training? Do you visualize a race in advance?
I also don’t visualize. Maybe in a TT event, but its more for trajectories than anything else. Tried sofro, and visuasation technics, but I found that if you are not at the level; you can imagine yourself winning all you want. If you don’t have the legs it’s no good to you. Also, cycling has so many unpredictable elements, that I don’t see the point.
I listen to music. Thats my escape. Obviously in cycling, mental strength is key. To go deep and suffer you need a strong stemina.
Finally, tell us something we cannot find on Google.
A secret about me? Humm not sure. Google is pretty on it when it comes to privacy!