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R is for Roche: The Irish Tour Winner

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June 23, 2016 – For the letter R in our A-to-Z countdown to the 2016 Tour de France (#TDF2016) we’ve chosen Stephen ROCHE, the Tour’s only Irish winner.

#PelotonShorts by John Wilcockson/Photo by Yuzuru Sunada

He is also the only cyclist in history, besides Eddy Merckx, to win the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and world road championship in the same season.

Roche completed that triple in 1987, two years before this photo was shot in Luxembourg before the prologue time trial of the 1989 Tour. You can see the rainbow bands on the neck and cuffs of his racing jersey that all former world champions have the right to use. Roche’s MBK time-trial bike bears few modern-day aero features.

Besides the plunging top tube and bullhorn bars, it has standard down-tube shifters, spoked wheels and side-pull brakes. He even has a bottle cage—probably not needed for a 7.8-kilometer, 10-minute effort!

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