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



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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: http://joepapp.blogspot.com/2010/07/spare-thought-for-nicolas-roche.html. 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.