Irishman honoured on home soil

Stephen Roche has been inducted into the Giro d’Italia Hall of Fame at a small ceremony in Northern Ireland.

The 1987 race champion is the third rider to be honoured after Eddy Merckx (2012) and Felice Gimondi (2013) and the first to accept the accolade outside of Italy.

The Irishman was presented with a trophy at the Causeway Hotel, near the World Heritage Giant’s Causeway coastline, in front of an audience of about 83 people including RCS Sport representatives.

Northern Ireland will host the Grande Partenza and an additional two stages of the Giro this year with the last finishing outside in Dublin. It will be the 11th time the Grand Tour has started beyond Italy’s borders.

Roche fondly recollected highlights of his professional career that in 1987 included not only the Giro but overall at the Tour de France as well as gold at the Road World Championships.

“I’m very proud of course for a multitude of reasons,” Roche told journalists.

“Having it here on the Giant’s Causeway, the Giro is a giant event, giant achievement, a giant honour for me getting it here, you know. It’s not something I would of thought of if I’m being honest with you. I’m very proud.”

Read more in Cyclng Weekly magazine next Thursday.

Twitter: @SophieSmith86