Nicholas Roche announces retirement from professional cycling

Having spent 17 years in the men’s peloton, the last three of which were with Team DSM, Nicholas Roche is set to hang up his wheels at the end of the 2021 season.

Roche turned professional in 2005 and has spent an incredible 17 years riding at the highest echelons of the sport. Taking an impressive 12 wins throughout his career including two stages at the Vuelta a España, Roche has also started a mind-boggling 24 Grand Tours, completing a remarkable 22 of them. He’s also ended the Vuelta in fifth and sixth place on GC, alongside numerous other top 15 places in the overall classification at the Vuelta and Tour de France.

Upon joining Team DSM in 2019, Roche helped the team to some strong results throughout the year before claiming a brilliant second place on stage two of the Vuelta; a result which saw him move into the race leader’s jersey for the team, something he had done previously in 2013. Sharing his wealth of experience with the team’s riders throughout his three years in Team DSM, Roche has contributed to several victories, particularly at the 2020 Tour de France where he was an important member of team’s successful campaign there. 2021 has seen Roche spend his final season riding strongly in support of others, while also still showing good legs himself with hard-fought and hotly contested stage podium finishes at the Tour of the Alps and Giro d’Italia.

Roche said: “After 17 years and over 1270 professional races days, with a lot of great memories, it is time for me to retire and look to a new horizon. My last race was the Irish championships, at home, with my friends and family. Cycling is my life and it has brought me so much over the years. It has allowed to meet and work with some incredible people and travel to some of the most remote and fantastic places on this planet. It was an experience to also work with Team DSM and it was very different to all the teams in the past. I continued to learn a lot with them and I really enjoyed being the “big brother” of the younger guys in the team. Spending another four days in the red jersey at the Vuelta in 2019 will always be a special memory. I want to thank you all, everyone who is reading this, for the incredible support I received during my cycling career. Thank you!”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Nicholas has had a long and very successful career, and we were happy to have been a part of that for the last three seasons. Joining the team in 2019, his experience in the peloton has been really valuable for helping to guide our younger crop of riders, whether that be helping with positioning in the bunch, to showing them how to conduct themselves in off the bike activities. Nicholas has also shown a good level too in his time with us, helping the team to some strong results and we’ll always fondly remember his stint in the red jersey for us at the Vuelta in 2019. From everyone at Team DSM we wish Nicholas all the best and good luck with what’s next.”