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Roche signs with Ag2r

Nicolas Roche — fresh off winning the opening stage of the Tour de Limousin this week — has penned a two-year deal with French outfit Ag2r-La Mondiale. The 24-year-old son of Irish great Stephen Roche, he leaves Credit Agricole to join the French team through the 2010 season. “Nicolas is a rider with a big future with important physical abilities,” said Ag2r manager Vincent Lavenu. “He already has some solid experience and is arriving at maturity as a rider. All of that should enable to realize his potential in the big races.”

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Nicolas Roche — fresh off winning the opening stage of the Tour de Limousin this week — has penned a two-year deal with French outfit Ag2r-La Mondiale.

The 24-year-old son of Irish great Stephen Roche, he leaves Credit Agricole to join the French team through the 2010 season.

“Nicolas is a rider with a big future with important physical abilities,” said Ag2r manager Vincent Lavenu. “He already has some solid experience and is arriving at maturity as a rider. All of that should enable to realize his potential in the big races.”

The Limousin stage victory is Roche’s fourth win since turning pro in 2005. He also won a stage in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2006, won the Irish time trial championship in 2007 and the GP Internacional Paredes Rota dos Moveis (Portugal) earlier this season.

Roche spent two years with Cofidis and two years at Credit Agricole, but that team is in danger of folding at the end of this season due to a lack of sponsor.