Ireland’s Nicolas Roche remains team Ag2r La Mondiale’s Tour de France leader despite internal rivalries.

“The team is working for Nicolas,” said team sports director, Vincent Lavenu. “It has been that way from the start of the Tour de France in Rotterdam: Nicolas is the leader and then below him are Christophe Riblon and John Gadret.”

Yesterday, Roche criticised his French team-mate Gadret, who refused help him when he punctured his tyre.

“I asked Gadret – who was there to help me – for his wheel. I couldn’t believe what happened next,” wrote Roche on his diary in the Irish Independent. “He just shook his head and said ‘Non’. At first I thought he was joking, but soon realised he wasn’t when he kept riding past me.”

Lavenu, said Roche, was yelling for Gadret to wait, but he never did and instead rode ahead while Roche lost nearly four and a half minutes and slipped from 14th to 17th overall.

“I got the whole team together last night and we talked about it,” said Lavenu.

“There are big problems at the Tour de France, but yesterday’s was a small one.”

Roche said in his diary, “I had great difficulty in not putting his [Gadret’s] head through the nearest window,” but said today that the two have settled the issue.

“He said he was defending his position on the GC and that he was thinking of the team classification,” said Roche. “You can argue yes or no, was it going to save me a place had he stayed with me?”

Roche sits 18th overall after today’s mountain stage. He struggled at the beginning, but thanked Riblon and Martin Elmiger for helping him. And Gadret?

“I am not going to go for a pint with him yet.”

Tour de France 2010: Latest news

Armstrong has his last go in the Tour

Tour’s points leader Petacchi investigated for doping

Contador issues video apology to Schleck

Millar searches horizon for Eiffel Tower

Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem

Wiggins at 2010 Tour: “I haven’t got it”

Basso wins Tour’s acceptance; podium spot next goal

Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds

Can Cav win without Renshaw?

Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour’s top

Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish’s win

Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour

Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?

Cavendish in a ‘must win’ situation for Tour’s green jersey

Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut

Roche alongside Tour’s top men ahead of Pyrenees

Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?

Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage 16: Fedrigo takes tough Pyrenean stage

Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey

Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win

Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban

Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks

Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour

Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 16 video highlights

Stage 15 video highlights

Stage 14 video highlights

Stage 13 video highlights

Stage 12 video highlights

Stage 11 video highlights

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special


  • John Galt

    It’s good to hear that NR is still team leader, but that doesn’t change the fact that one of his mtn. lieutenants is now completely untrustworthy. Though I was not a fan of him as a rider per se, Joe Papp wrote a very strong opinion piece in support of Roche at his site, Pappillon. I didn’t know that Papp held Irish nationality in addition to his US citizenship. Here is the link to the commentary: I especially liked this statement, contrasting the much-ado-about-nothing of Schleck-Contador with what happened to Roche:

    “Nevertheless, the mantra that “what goes around, comes around” is a limp and frigidly ineffective comfort when considering the case of former Irish national champion Nicolas Roche of the Ag2r-La Mondiale cycling team. It’s the great travesty of the 19th and 20th of July that most of the English-speaking cycling world cries crocodile tears on behalf of a Christ-like Andy “Preying Mantis-head” Schleck, while nary a thought is spared for the one rider who was truly, positively wronged during yesterday’s fifteenth stage of the Tour de France.”

    Keep up the good work.