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Ride with Stephen Roche and His Sons

It’s not everyday you meet such a cycling celebrity! Stephen Roche is a living legend. In 1987, he became the second man in history to win the Tour de France, Giro and the World Championship in just one year. Today, he runs popular cycling camps in Mallorca. During the last several years, he’s also been a key member of the Škoda Team at the Tour de France. It was a great honour to spend a day with him!

The sun is rising over the island of Mallorca promising a nice day ahead. The first thing you notice is a couple of teenagers hanging around Stephen since the early morning. No surprise. Those sporty looking gentlemen are his sons Florian (14) and Alexis (16) who have an opportunity to see their father doing what he likes the best. Ride a bike.

Now in his fifties, Stephen Roche is still full of energy. Today he’s leading a group of cyclists to the finest roads of beautiful Mallorca. You almost feel the strength that keeps Stephen and his sons going faster than the rest of the group. Is it the secret way how they pedal? The other people on the road try hard to keep a pace with them, but Roche’s are looking pretty relaxed even a steep climb. Lucky genes? Very likely.

„You can imagine how big pleasure it is for me, that my three sons are riding bikes,” says Stephen who is still the most powerful member of a day. The third of his sons is Nicolas, a member o professional cycling Sky Team.

Alexis was planning to play a rugby but when he was 13 he said „Dad, I want to ride a bike.” And then Stephen’s young son Florian came along and said: Daddy, I want to start to ride a bike. „For me it’s important not to push them. It came from them,” says cycling champion.

Today it’s a sunny day without any shadows. The troubles are far away. But in the age of eight Florian was diagnosed with leukemia. His brother Alexis asked no questions and underwent a painful surgery just to donate his bone marrow to his younger brother. Now you can see them riding side by side. Brothers. No words. No gestures. Just family. It’s a pleasure to be here with them.

„For some reason I gave to Alexis the special jersey for 25 years anniversary of my wins in Tour de France, Giro and World Championship this morning before the ride because it makes me very proud to ride with them on my side here in Palma,” says Stephen.

It’s all about a beauty of cycling. It’s about life. Keep it rolling!

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