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Bray GP




M Donnelly Junior Tour

Ireland, August 5-11, 2002

Stage 1: Prologue Dunmore East 1.7 miles
Stage 2: Waterford-Waterford 57 mile

Roche takes First Yellow Jersey

by Shane Stokes

There was a well-known name at the head of the leaderboard of the M Donnelly Junior Tour this evening, when Nicolas Roche took the opening prologue of the 6 day race in Dunmore East. The son of the Tour de France winner Stephen Roche, Nicolas displayed signs of the same time trial prowess which characterised his father’s career when he covered the hilly 1.7 mile time trial course in an impressive time of 3 minutes 40.38 seconds. This was over a second faster than that recorded by Dutch rider Joost Van Leijen of the Tempo BMV Veldhoven A team.

Third place went to Theo Hardwick of the Stena Ireland national team, who clocked a fine time of 3 minutes 46.41 seconds and took an early lead in the first year junior classification.

Roche finished fourth in the race last year and given his form this season, must be considered one of the favourites to take the final yellow jersey. Today’s win marked his fourth of the season, with victories in two international time trials and a criterium already on his CV for 2002.

‘I was hoping to do well in this time trial’, he said afterwards. ‘I won a big mountain time trial two weeks ago and when I saw the course, I knew I had a chance. I would love to bring the yellow jersey back home at the end of the week, but think that I will not try to hold it tomorrow. I have just one second over the next rider and it would be too difficult for my team to control the race all week, so I will let it go and try to get it back before the race ends on Sunday.’

‘It would be great to win this race. I have had about a million second places this year so I want to try to get more first places' I have been going well but just not got that many victories.’

The M. Donnelly Junior Tour continues tomorrow with a hilly 57 mile road race starting and finishing in Waterford.


Stage 1, Prologue 1.7 mile in Dunmore East
1 Nicolas Roche (Fra) Team Stephen Roche                      3.40.38
2 J. Van Leijen (Net) Tempo BMV Veldhoven                        1.60 
3 T. Hardwick (Ire) Stena                                        6.05
Previous results from Ireland