Nicolas Roche continued his efforts for a new professional contract on Tuesday, winning strongly on the second stage of the Tour of Poland.
The 37-year-old dedicated himself to serving DSM team leader Jai Hindley on the bumpy 200.8 kilometer stage to Przemysl, helping the Australian prepare for what would be seventh on the rising ramp to the line. Hindley was 12 seconds behind stage winner João Almeida from Deceuninck-QuickStep, while Roche was 30th, 51 seconds behind.
Roche’s Irish compatriot Ryan Mullen was prominent earlier in the scene, being part of a group of breakaways. The newly married rider from Trek-Segafredo was reassembled before the finish.
Roche’s role in the race is to support Hindley rather than chasing personal success, but he hopes to attract a team’s interest in 2022 by riding well. He jumped 56 places to finish 30th overall.
Meanwhile, two Irish amateurs have done well in France. Junior rider Darren Rafferty (Team 31 Jolly Cycles U19) showed the form that earned him the national junior time trial title last year by winning the second stage of the Causses Junior Tour on Sunday -Aigoual-Cévennes.
He then took the solo victory on the hilly third stage that afternoon and finished in a superb second place overall, just two seconds behind race winner Julien Azile Lozach (Nouvelle-Aquitaine Occitanie).
Elsewhere, Matt Teggart won the king of the mountain classification and finished ninth in the general classification of the four days of the Estivale Bretonne in Brittany on Monday. He finished eighth, 10th, 10th and sixth on the stages and finished the race one minute and 29 seconds behind the overall winner Johan Le Bon (Dinan Sport Cycling).
Tour of Poland (WorldTour)
Step 2, Zamosc to industry: 1 João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 200.8 kilometers in 4 hours 41 min 33, 2 D Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), 3 M Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) both at the same time, 4 M Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) at 4 , 5 M Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 8, 6 L Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) at 12
Irish: 30 N Roche (Team DSM) at 51, 85 R Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) at 8 min 24
General classification after stage 2: 1, João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 9 hours 42 min 47, 2 M Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) at 4, 3 D Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), 4 M Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) at 11, 5 M Honoré (Deceuninck- QuickStep) at 18, 6 D Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) at 22 seconds
Irish: 30 N Roche (Team DSM) at 1 min 1, 83 R Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) at 10 min 22