Nicolas Roche has extended his contract with Sunweb for two further years until 2021, following a successful first season with the German team.
The contract extension will keep him racing until he is at least 37 years old, and will take his number of years as a professional rider up to 17.
Although the Irishman is currently out injured after breaking his kneecap in a crash on stage six of the Vuelta a España, Roche wore the red jersey for three days at the beginning of the race, a high point in what has so far been a distinguished career, where he has raced for five different WorldTour outfits.
“I am extremely happy to be re-signing for two years with the team,” Roche said. “I have really found my place here and I enjoy the role that I played in the team this year. It’s been great to share my experience with the younger guys and support in the Grand Tours. The days in red at the Vuelta were really the highlight of my season and now with two more years confirmed with the team, I’m already really looking forward to the upcoming season.”
Sunweb coach Marc Reef said: “We’re really happy that Nicholas stays with the team for another two years. He’s one of the most experienced riders in the peloton, having ridden 22 Grand Tours throughout his career; experience that is invaluable in helping the young riders in the team.”
“He rode two very good Grand Tours, including three days in the red leader’s jersey at the Vuelta, and he was a reliable team player in stage races throughout the year. His desire and motivation will also be incredibly helpful in helping to coach and guide the younger riders within the team over the coming years.”
The re-signing of Roche will be a boost to Sunweb, who have largely had a 2019 to forget, struggling for results after their star rider Tom Dumoulin crashed out of the Giro d’Italia, ending his season, with the Dutchman later parting ways with the squad to join Jumbo-Visma.
Michael Matthews, another one of Sunweb’s star riders, has also re-signed until 2021, while Tiesj Benoot coming over from Lotto-Soudal will bolster their chances in the Classics.