Recently retired Irish rider Nicolas Roche will take a slightly different direction in his career path this winter, joining Ireland's version of Dancing with the Stars.
Roche confirmed on social media that he will appear on the television show, ready to test his ability on two legs rather than two wheels in this new challenge.
He said: “I’m very excited to take part in Dancing with the Stars. It’s a massive challenge for me, and something completely new. It scares me and thrills me at the same time.
Professional cyclist, Nicolas Roche has represented Ireland on a world stage… but he’s giving up cycling for some sparkle!This is going to be a very different race, @nicholasroche! 🚴 #DWTSIrl #DWTS pic.twitter.com/nzN8NgYkKTDecember 12, 2021
“It has been great being back in Ireland and I’m really enjoying my time at home. The rehearsals so far are going good, it’s hard work, it’s pushing me both in terms of being something completely new, and also in terms of performing and learning to let go."
Roche retired from competition after the Irish national road race championships in October 2021, ending a 17-year career that saw him win two individual Vuelta a España stages, in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Last riding for UCI WorldTeam Team DSM, Roche has twice been Ireland's national champion, and he represented his country seven times at the road world championships.
The 37-year-old started his professional career in 2005 with Cofidis, before moving to teams such as Crédit Agricole, Ag2r, Saxo–Tinkoff, Team Sky and BMC.
Roche is clearly making the most of his retirement, engaging in opportunities he otherwise would've had to forego in favour of pre-season preparations in previous years. In November, he posted a video of him skydiving from 13,000ft, with his Dancing with the Stars escapade the latest event in his time-off from cycling.
Upon retiring, he said: "This is both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever had to make. I have been so lucky to have spent time with some of the best cyclists in the world, past and present.
"We often discussed when it the right time to start a new chapter. I always thought I would keep racing for as long as possible, however these riders often said that one morning you will wake up and just know it is time to retire."
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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