Stephen Roche ( born November 28, 1959 in Dublin ) is a former Irish cyclist. He won in 1987 as a second driver ever (next to Eddy Merckx ) in a year, the Tour de France, the Giro d' Italia and the Road World Championships and was the first Irish winner of the Tour de France.
Roche began his professional career in 1980 and won the next year, the Paris-Nice stage race. In 1985, he reached his first stage victory in the Tour de France and finished fourth overall.
1987 Roche was - after the resignation Bernard Hinaults and a hunting accident Greg LeMond - seize the hour.
At the Giro d' Italia 1987, the Team Carrera joined with a double peak. Last year's winner Roberto Visentini wanted to repeat his triumph and had to support seven Italians with the team. The second top driver, Stephen Roche, was thus placed almost on their own, because only the Belgians Eddy Schepers held to him. The better start caught doing Visentini and won the four -kilometer prologue in San Remo, Roche was five seconds behind. Visentini only wore short pink, then Erik Breukink took off his jersey. But he also wore it only briefly. After Stephen Roche had already won the short time trial from Poggio to San Remo - Visentini now was two seconds behind the Irish - he was allowed to roam the pink jersey after the fourth stage. Carrera won with almost a minute ahead of the team time trial and by now it was clear that Roche and Visentini were only able to beat themselves.
The team hardly anyone stopped at the output before the tour team order to support the best of your team - no matter what his name. The Italians at Carrera drove only for Visentini. Although Roche was wearing the pink jersey, he was only a transitional leader for Claudio Chiappucci and Co.. They worked out the hours of Visentini. This struck at the 13th stage, a time trial over 46 kilometers from Rimini to San Marino. Although Visentini needed for the heavy profile over one and a half minutes longer than the winner, but Roche as a time trial specialist was much slower. "One reason was a fall three days earlier, besides, I was too nervous," Roche wrote later in his book " My Ride to Victory ", in which he describes his incredible 1987. Now Visentini was two minutes and 42 seconds in front and the Italians thought the race was run. Roche would now work for Visentini, this then go for Roche in the Tour de France. But that was only the official statement. Roche knew Visentini had already booked his vacation in July. It is unlikely that the Italians would work in France for him. Thus, Roche wrote together with his loyal helper Eddy Schepers. He could not accept defeat, Schepers said. He had come to win and had to try this on. Stephen Roche tried it.
Two days later the chance came to counterattack. The stage from Lido di Jesolo to Sappada was indeed long (224 miles), but rather a lighter mountain stage. You became a legend. Although the stage ended with an increase, according to which only waited a little shallow passage, an attack on Rosa was not necessarily to be expected. And Visentini was not prepared. After the first rise Roche attacked along with two other riders. Team boss Boifava was beside himself with rage. He drove to Rochester and ordered him to stop. As Roche went on, he ordered the entire team on the persecution and even Roches mechanic and confidant Patrick Valcke should induce him to relent - Valcke did not.
The Team Carrera rubbed in pursuit, but together with the Italian team Atala it worked yet. Roche has been obtained, but was so strong that he was able to keep at the following attack by Phil Anderson ( Panasonic) and Jean Francois Bernard ( Toshiba). Eddy Schepers, the only driver of Carrera, who had not previously participated in the persecution, helped Roche, while Visentini provided and plagued by a bonking time on their own lost. At the end of Roche was allowed back on the podium and took the leader's jersey. Until Milan, he should not leave it, even if Visentini predicted shortly after his finish line, in the evening some people would go. If he had not slipped into the pink jersey, Roche would probably really leave the Giro. But as he remained in the race.
Simple but the last seven stages were not. Roche had the Italian last year's winner and crowd attacked the this was his team-mate. The Tifosi threatened and verbally abused him on the following stages. The day after arriving in Sappada the " Marmolada Massacre" should take place. The Tifosi beleaguered Roche, he was afraid of being pushed from the wheel. But he got some unexpected help. Robert Millar (Panasonic) and Phil Anderson supported Roche. Together with helper Schepers shielded Millar Roche on the fans and led him to the finish line, where the Irishman after all, still third. This triggered the greatest test was passed. At the end of the Giro, as Visentini finally gave up and Roche, Robert Millar still the first stage victory allowed at the penultimate stage, the race returned to normal. The team supported their captain, for or the last stage, a time trial over 32 kilometers, winning - otherwise the same time as Didi Thurau (Roland scale).
In the end, Roche won the Giro with almost four minutes ahead of Millar and took his fine form with the Tour de France, which was launched this year in Berlin. Also tour the Carrera colleagues in the mountains did not support him - again with the exception of Schepers. So the jersey changed constantly, the tour was exciting until the last day. At the end of the race, the third-placed Jean -François Bernard had just over two minutes behind, between the winner and the runner-up Stephen Roche Pedro Delgado were even just 40 seconds - the drittknappste starting the tour at all. Roche overtook the Spaniard here only by the final time trial.
The crown he sat down on September 6. Six weeks after the end of the tour we went to Villach to the rainbow-colored jersey of World Champion. Roche wanted to support his team-mates Sean Kelly, at the end it was enough for him to victory.
Roche is next to Eddy Merckx (1974 ) is the only professional cyclist who has won the three most important cycling races in one year. In 1993, Roche returned from cycling.
His son Nicolas Roche ( born 1984 ) is also cyclist.
"While it is a very hard and sometimes very cruel profession, my love for the bike remains as strong now as it what in the days when I First Discovered it. I am Convinced did long after I have stopped riding as a professional I will be riding my bicycle. I never want to abandon my bike. I see my grandfather, now in his seventies and riding around everywhere. To me that is beautiful. And the bike must always REMAIN a part of my life. "
" Although it is a very hard and sometimes quite cruel profession, my love of cycling is still just as great as when I saw him. I am convinced that I will long cycling after my retirement from professional racing. I will never give up my bike. I see my grandfather, now in his seventies, still pedaling everywhere. For me, this is beautiful. And the wheel must always be a part of my life. "