Irishman Roche describes Il Lombardia as a tough race, as befits its status as one of the most prestigious single-day events in the cycling calendar.
“Il Lombardia is definitely one of the toughest, if not the toughest, one-day races of the year so it would be nice to wrap my season up well,” said Roche, who placed fourth behind winner Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) at Giro dell’Emilia last Saturday and 14th overall in the Vuelta a España in September.
“Coming out of Giro dell’Emilia with fourth place was a good indication of where my form is at the moment. The two races are quite different and maybe the short, steeper climbs of Giro dell’Emilia are more suited to me but I’m confident I can do another good result on Saturday.”
American Tejay van Garderen had originally been mooted as riding Il Lombardia, but his name is missing from BMC’s final line-up.
Italian Alessandro De Marchi will provide the squad with another option alongside Roche.
“De Marchi is also looking strong and motivated after the UCI World Championships, and that’s exactly how you need to go into a tough race like Il Lombardia if you want any chance of a good result, you need the legs and you need the motivation,” said BMC sports director Max Sciandri.
Along with Roche and De Marchi, BMC’s line-up consists of Damiano Caruso (Italy), Martin Elmiger (Switzerland), Ben Hermans (Belgium), Amaël Moinard (France), Michael Schär (Switzerland) and Manuel Senni (Italy).
Defending champion Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) will not be taking part after fracturing his shoulder blade in Giro dell’Emilia.
Front runners for the hilly race include Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), Fabio Aru (Astana), Mikel Landa (Team Sky), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Steve Cummings (Dimension Data).